Switching from Mac to a Windows PC does not necessarily mean that you have to leave your data behind. Though not hugely advertised, Apple was friendly enough to make an application for PC users who want to access and sync the data in their iCloud drive. The app is known as iCloud for Windows.
With this unlikely integration, you can download and upload media from your iDevices to your PC as well as have a consistent set of bookmarks that synchronize between your Windows browser and Mobile Safari. However, just like in all other iOS devices, the iCloud for Windows is free up to 5GB. For more storage, you’ll have to pay.
If you prefer using a mix of Windows and iOS storage, here are instructions for setting up and using iCloud for Windows.
Before You Start You’ll Need
To set up iCloud for Windows, you will need to have:
How to Install iCloud for Windows in 6 Steps
Step 2: Once you have downloaded the iCloudsetup.exe file, double-click on it to start the installation process. You will first have to agree to the Terms and Conditions, before clicking the “Install” button.
Step 3: When the installation is complete, click on the “Finish” button. You will be asked to restart your computer – click the “Yes” button and patiently let your PC reboot.
Step 4: Once Windows is fully launched, you should be able to access the login window for iCloud. Key in your iCloud account details and sign in. If you initially turned on Advanced Security, you will be requested for a two-step verification code. In this case, you will have to enter the six-digit code that is automatically sent to either your iPhone or iPad.
Step 5: Once you are in, you should be able to access the iCloud settings window on your PC. You’ll notice that it will sync your files from iCloud, photos from your iPhone/iPad, as well as Mobile Safari bookmarks.
Step 6: Now, from your File Explorer, you will have the iCloud Drive and iCloud Photos, in addition to Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive (if you had previously installed them). This should also be visible from your other Apple devices and iCloud websites.
Setting up iCloud Photo Sharing on Your PC
Previously known as Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Sharing works a little bit differently on PCs. Your photos will not automatically sync to a specific program like Aperture or iPhoto (since they are not available for Windows OS). Instead, they will be accessible from one of the folders on your computer.
You can use the iCloud Control Panel to locate the iCloud Photo Sharing folder on your computer. To do this:
Step 1: Go to the “Control Panel” on your computer and select “Network and Internet” settings.
Step 2: Click the “iCloud” button and to open the “iCloud Control Panel for Windows”.
Step 3: Next to “iCloud Photo Sharing”, you will see an “Options” button. Click on it.
Step 4: This will open the location of your photo folder. From here, you can change the location of the folder using the “Change” button.
Keep in mind that the iCloud Photo Sharing feature only holds the last 1000 uploaded photos and images. It does not store videos.
Managing Your iCloud for Windows Library
Managing your iCloud on your PC is not so different from using it on your iDevices. You can upgrade or reduce your storage plan, make changes to your Apple ID, and update your mailing address and other account information.
- To see the amount of storage available or used up, simply open iCloud for Windows. This information is usually located towards the bottom of the homepage.
- To make changes to your Apple ID, click on “Account Details” from the homepage, and then click on “Manage Apple ID”.
- To manage the available storage, click on “Buy More Storage” to upgrade your storage or click on the “Storage” button to see how much space a particular app or file is using.
Updating Your iCloud for Windows Version
For the best experience, it is recommended to update your app regularly. Updating is easy, simply open the Apple Software update on your computer, check for available updates, and click on the “Update” button.
To get notified when an update is available, choose “Edit” on the homepage, then click “Preferences”. From there, select when you would like to get update notifications. You can choose to have Daily, Weekly, or Monthly notifications. There is also a “Never” option for users who don’t want to get update notifications.
Make sure you sign out from your iCloud on your PC before upgrading and installing the app.
Is Your iCloud for Windows Not Working? Here’s the Fix
Even though iCloud for Windows is a reliable app, it may occasionally fail to work due to certain issues. Hence, your PC data won’t sync to your iCloud Drive.
If you are going through this rough patch, here are some workarounds that can get rid of the problem.
1. Check Your Internet Connection, Apple ID, and Time Settings
First things first, ensure you have a proper internet connection and have signed in using the appropriate Apple ID. It is also important to check and set the time and date correctly.
2. Refresh Your Outlook
If you have recently made changes in your Outlook account, click “Refresh” on the Outlook window and check whether the problem is solved.
Sometimes, internet configurations do not allow access to certain sites and services. Therefore, ensure that your iCloud server is not blocked by the internet configurations on your PC.
3. Ensure Your iCloud Outlook Add-in is Active
With this add-in, you can add new features and custom commands to your Office programs for more efficiency and productivity. Sometimes, the app may fail to work because this feature is inactive. To enable the iCloud Outlook add-in:
Step 1: Click on “File Menu”, then select “Options” on the left panel.
Step 2: From the “Active Application Add-Ins” section, select "iCloud Outlook Add-in".
4. Turn Your iCloud Contacts, Mail, Calendar, and Tasks Off/On
Open the iCloud for Windows on your PC and turn off the Contacts, Mail, Tasks, and Calendar. Turn them on after a few minutes and check whether the app works properly. To do this:
Step 1: Launch the iCloud for Windows on your computer, and deselect Contacts, Mail, Tasks, and Calendar.
Step 2: Reboot your PC.
Step 3: Open iCloud for Windows once again, and select Contacts, Mail, Tasks, and Calendar.
Step 4: Click on the “Apply” button and then open Outlook.
5. Update Windows on Your PC
One of the common reasons why iCloud for Windows is not working on your PC could be your out-of-date Windows version. Besides, it’s always recommended to have your device up-to-date.
To upgrade your Windows OS, simply search for “Windows Update” and follow the prompts. Make sure you have reliable internet access for this.
6. Delete and Reinstall iCloud for Windows
If all the attempts above fail, you can uninstall then reinstall the app. Follow the steps below:
Step 1: Open the application and sign out.
Step 2: Uninstall the program from the Control Panel.
Step 3: Restart your PC, then reinstall the application.
iCloud sync on your PC should start working.
Uninstalling iCloud for Windows – 3 Steps
Before uninstalling the iCloud for Windows, make a backup of all your files. Then follow the steps before:
Step 1: From the homepage of your computer, click the “Start” icon.
Step 2: Select “Control Panel”, and then click on the “Uninstall a Program” button.
Step 3: Choose “iCloud for Windows” option and then click the “Uninstall” button. Confirm if need be.
If your computer is using Windows 7 or earlier versions, you can follow the following steps to uninstall the app:
Step 1: Click the “Start” button and select “Control Panel”.
Step 2: On the Control Panel page, click on “Program”, then “Program and Features”, then “iCloud for Windows”, then “Uninstall”, and finally the “OK” button.
If you do not want to uninstall the program but want it inactive, you can simply turn it off. To do this, open the application and sign out. In addition, you can stop specific services or files from updating by selecting the service/file you want to stop on the iCloud page, and then click the “Apply” button.
Our Final Thoughts on iCloud for Windows
iCloud for Windows will also help you to restore your data in the unfortunate event you lose your iPhone/iPad.
This application can be an absolute lifesaver! Should anything happen to your iDevice, you would potentially lose irreplaceable photos, documents, folders, and more.
However, if you back up your devices on a regular schedule, you’ll never have to worry about a crushing loss again! You’ll breathe easier knowing that you’re keeping your information safe.