iCloud

iCloud is Apple's cloud-based storage service and app server, designed to let users store data ranging from documents, photos, and music to device backups and app data, such as save states. iCloud is an essential part of the Apple ecosystem, ensuring customers do not lose data, files, or iOS device setups even when an Apple product is lost, stolen, or damaged.

iCloud also includes a set of cloud-based web apps, accessible on any browser though the iCloud website. With iCloud apps, users can access their mail, contacts, calendar, photos, notes, and reminders, or track the location of their iOS and Mac devices. Apple's iWork apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, can also be used in a browser through iCloud.

Every iCloud user is given 5GB of free storage, but 50GB, 200GB, or 1TB of additional storage can be purchased for $0.99, $2.99, or $9.99 per month.

'iCloud' Articles

Apple Warns iCloud Users Some Disabled Services Were Accidentally Re-enabled in iOS 10.3

Apple today sent out emails to a small number of iCloud users, warning them that a bug in iOS 10.3 may have caused some iCloud services that had been disabled to be mistakenly re-enabled. The email asks iCloud users to revisit their iCloud settings to make sure to turn off any service that might have been turned on through the iOS 10.3 update. It's not entirely clear which iCloud services might have been affected, but MacRumors reader Karl, who sent us the email, said that he typically disables iCloud Mail. Following the update, he found the Mail option turned back on.We discovered a bug in the recent iOS 10.3 software update that impacted a small number of iCloud users. This may have inadvertently reenabled some iCloud services that you had previously disabled on your device. We suggest you go to iCloud settings on your iOS device to make sure that only the services you'd like to use are enabled. Learn more about how to manage your iCloud settings or contact AppleCare with any questions. The iCloud teamiOS 10.3, released on March 27, introduced a new Apple Filesystem among other major features like Find My AirPods, plus it included an overhauled iCloud storage breakdown, which may explain why some iCloud services were mistakenly turned back on. To check which iCloud services are enabled on your iOS device, open the Settings app and scroll down to the "iCloud" section. A list of apps and services using iCloud is front and center, and anything that was enabled via iOS 10.3 can be turned off using the toggle buttons. A wide range of first and third-party

Small Sample of iCloud Credentials Provided By Hackers Are Valid, But Questions Remain

On Wednesday we reported that Apple had become the target of a ransom threat, with hackers claiming to have access to more than 600 million iCloud accounts. A group known as the "Turkish Crime Family" said they would reset and wipe the accounts unless Apple paid them $150,000 in Bitcoin by April 7. Apple responded to the threat by stating that there had not been any breach of its systems, and that if hackers did have access to iCloud accounts then it could only be because of compromised third-party services. Yesterday, ZDNet said it had received a set of 54 account credentials from the hacker group for "verification" and subsequently reported that all of the accounts were valid, based on a check using Apple's online password reset function. The accounts include @icloud.com addresses dating back to 2011, as well as legacy @me.com and @mac.com domains from as early as 2000. The list of credentials is said to contain email addresses and plain-text passwords separated by a colon. According to Troy Hunt, data breach expert and owner of notification site Have I Been Pwned, this would suggest the data could have been aggregated from various sources. ZDNet worked to contact each account holder via iMessage to confirm their password, and found that many of the accounts are no longer registered with Apple's messaging platform. However, of those that could be contacted, 10 people – all based in the U.K. – confirmed that the passwords were accurate, and they have changed them as a result. When pressed about the original source of the data, the hackers claimed

Hackers Claim Access to 300 Million iCloud Accounts, Say Apple Refused to Pay $75,000 Ransom

A single hacker or group of hackers who have identified themselves as the "Turkish Crime Family" allegedly have access to at least 300 million iCloud accounts, but they are willing to delete the alleged cache of data if Apple pays a ransom by early next month, according to a report from Motherboard. The hackers have allegedly demanded $75,000 to be paid in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin or Ethereum, or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards, by April 7, or they will reset a number of the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims' Apple devices. The email accounts are said to include @icloud.com, @me.com, and @mac.com addresses. The report said that the hackers "provided screenshots of alleged emails between the group and members of Apple's security team," while the hackers also shared an unlinked YouTube video that seemingly shows proof of them accessing "an elderly woman's iCloud account" and "the ability to remotely wipe the device." If the screenshotted email is accurate, which it very well might not be, a member of Apple's security team turned down the ransom, noting that Apple does "not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law.""We firstly kindly request you to remove the video that you have uploaded on your YouTube channel as it's seeking unwanted attention, second of all we would like you to know that we do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law," a message allegedly from a member of Apple's security team reads. (Motherboard only saw a screenshot of this message, and not the original). The alleged Apple team member then says archived communications

Some Users Experiencing Issues With iCloud Services [Updated]

According to Apple's System Status page, a small number of users are having ongoing issues with some iCloud services, including iCloud Backup, iCloud Drive, iCloud Notes, iCloud Web Apps, iWork for iCloud, and Photos. Apple says less than 0.04 percent of users are affected by the iCloud problems, with those users experiencing "slower than normal performance." The iCloud slowdowns may be due to an Amazon Web Services outage that is affecting multiple websites and web services this morning. Over the weekend, Apple updated the look of its System Status page, and the company now provides additional information on individual services that are experiencing problems. Prior to the update, Apple used a status bar at the bottom of the page to relay problems, but now each service can be clicked for an individual report that better outlines what's going on. The page also provides a better look at past incidents that have since been resolved. It is not clear when today's iCloud problems will clear up, but customers experiencing issues should keep an eye on the System Status page for updates. Update: Additional services are experiencing issues, including Apple Music, the App Store, Apple TV, and more. Update 2: The Amazon Web Services outage has ended and Apple's System Status page now suggests all Apple services are functioning as

Apple Purchases iCloud.Net Domain, Shuts Down 'iCloud Social Network' Site

Apple recently purchased the iCloud.net domain, one of the last major iCloud-related web addresses that wasn't in its possession, reports TechCrunch. The iCloud.net domain, which now appears to be registered to Apple, was the home of the "iCloud Social Network," a dubious-looking social networking platform designed to allow people to share activities, pictures, music, videos, and other content. It's not clear how many users iCloud.net had before Apple purchased the domain, but the site now states that the iCloud.net services will be shut down at the end of February 2017, and data will be destroyed in March. It has apparently existed since 2011, and in a blog post, the site's owner said "iCloud.net finished his mission, it is time for him to retire." MacRumors received a tip suggesting Apple had purchased the domain for $1.5 million, but we have been unable to verify the information. The price Apple paid for iCloud.net is unknown and the company declined to comment on the purchase when contacted by TechCrunch. Back in 2011, ahead of the launch of the iCloud service, Apple purchased the iCloud.com domain name from Swedish company Xcerion, shelling out approximately $5.2 million. Apple also possesses upwards of 100 iCloud domains, ranging from iCloud.us and iCloud.eu to iCloudApps.com and iCloudAds.com. It's not clear why Apple waited more than five years to acquire the iCloud.net domain, and it likely was just done as a measure to make sure the company owned all of the iCloud-related domains, but TechCrunch speculates that the purchase may have been made due

iCloud Was Storing Deleted Safari Browser History for Months, but Apple Fixed the Issue

When clearing Safari browser history, iPhone and iPad users expect all records to be permanently deleted from their devices, but it appears Apple's cross-device browser syncing feature caused iCloud to secretly store browsing history for a much longer period of time ranging from several months to over a year. iCloud was caught storing deleted browser history by software company Elcomsoft, which develops cracking tools for extracting protected data from iOS devices. Speaking to Forbes, Elcomsoft CEO Vladimir Katalov explained that the company had been able to retrieve "deleted" browser history dating back more than a year. Deleted browser history pulled from iCloud by Elcomsoft Apple was keeping deleted browser information in a separate iCloud record called "tombstone," and in a press release announcing updated Phone Breaker software for extracting the stored browsing info, Elcomsoft explains that the data was likely kept as part of an iCloud feature that syncs browsing history across multiple devices and ensures it's deleted from all devices when history is cleared.The point is that Apple keeps synced Safari browsing history in the cloud for much longer than one, three or four months - even for deleted entries. ElcomSoft researchers were able to access records that've been deleted more than a year ago, which means that deleted records are not actually cleaned up from iCloud.Forbes tried using the Phone Breaker software created by Elcomsoft and was able to retrieve nearly 7,000 records dating back to November of 2015. Site names, URLs, Google searches, visit counts,

Redesigned Photos Web App on iCloud.com Now Available for Everyone

After first testing out a new update to the Photos web app on the iCloud beta website earlier this month, Apple has now rolled out the update to all users (via Mac Generation). The overhaul to the app on iCloud.com introduces a macOS-like Photos experience with a sidebar that can be toggled on and off, and a scrollable thumbnail view of every photo in an album at the bottom of the site when looking at individual pictures. Previously, Photos on iCloud.com placed albums in a tab bar at the top of the site, so the update makes it easier to navigate multiple albums at once. To top off the navigation tweaks, there are also four action buttons in the top right corner of the web app for uploading, adding, downloading, sharing, and deleting albums and photos. The Photos web app on iCloud.com is still lacking macOS and iOS features like editing, shared albums, memories, and people, which uses facial recognition to organize your photos on Mac and iPhone. Users can head over to iCloud.com to check out the new Photos update on the

Apple Addresses iCloud Calendar Spam With New 'Report Junk' Option

Apple has added a "Report Junk" option to iCloud.com to help combat a recent increase in calendar spam, as noticed by a Reddit user over the weekend. Now, when an iCloud user receives an unsolicited calendar invite from a sender who is not a contact, the event can be double clicked on and reported as junk. Clicking on "Report Junk" opens a window confirming the invitation has been reported as junk. Junk invitations are automatically deleted from the calendar, and the sender's details are presumably reported to Apple for further investigation. There is also a "Not Junk" option if users make a mistake. The option is currently only available on iCloud.com, but a Reddit user claims an Apple Support representative informed him it will be rolling out to the Calendar app on iOS, and presumably Mac, soon—which would make sense. iCloud calendar spam is nothing new, but there was a major uptick in spam leading up to the Black Friday shopping holiday in November. The spam invites appear to originate mainly from Chinese email addresses, advertising questionable discounts on products such as Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses. Late last month, an Apple spokesperson apologized and said the company is working to block spam calendar invites.We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.iCloud users should not click on Accept, Decline, or Maybe if they receive a spam calendar invite, as choosing any of these options

Apple's iCloud Service Down for Some Users [Update: Fixed]

Apple's iCloud service appears to be down or working slowly for many users, according to reports sent in by MacRumors readers and comments on Twitter. Customers who are affected by the outage are not able to log into the iCloud website and are receiving server error messages. iCloud features like Calendar and mail are also not working for users in areas where iCloud is down. Apple's System Status page is not currently reporting an iCloud outage, but Apple often does not update the page until outages are resolved or close to being cleared up. There's no word on how long the outage might last, but most of the time, connection issues are resolved quickly. Update: Apple's System Status page is now reporting an issue with iCloud Web Apps, which appear to have been unavailable for some users since 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Update 2: As of 2:50 p.m. Pacific Time, Apple's System Status page suggests the iCloud outage has been resolved.

Apple Testing Redesigned Photos Web App on iCloud.com Beta With macOS-like Interface

Apple has updated the iCloud beta website with a new Photos section that includes improved navigation tools similar to the native Photos app on macOS Sierra. As discovered by MacMagazine [Google Translate], the Photos section in the beta site now includes a sidebar for navigation, which displays all of a user's albums so it's easier to jump between photo collections. In the current iteration of iCloud.com albums are found in a tab bar at the top of the Photos part of the website, next to a user's moments. With the update, users are also able to choose multiple photos from the new album select toolbar "and use the action buttons in the upper right corner to add, share, download, or remove albums." Within each album, when a specific photo is clicked on, users will be presented with a scrollable thumbnail view of the entire album's contents, providing further ease of navigating through large photo collections. The iCloud.com updates are strictly navigational improvements, with no addition of the new macOS Sierra Photos features like Faces and Memories. It's unclear how long it will take for the new changes to launch on a broader scale after debuting on the iCloud.com beta

Apple's Services Teams to Start Working Together to Improve Siri, Maps, iCloud, and iTunes

Apple plans to unify its cloud services teams, including Siri, Apple Maps, iCloud, Apple Pay, Apple News, and parts of iTunes and Apple Music, at its existing Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, California, according to Bloomberg. Moving the teams into a single campus should streamline growth of Apple services, as the current structure of having teams spread out throughout various office buildings in Cupertino and Sunnyvale contributed to software bugs and slowed product development, the report claims. The cloud services teams could be on the move again in the near future as Apple completes work on its new Campus 2 headquarters, where well over 13,000 employees are expected to work. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company will begin moving employees to the new campus in 2017. The report adds that Apple is also planning to shift its services to a single, Apple-made backend system, codenamed Pie. The infrastructure change will reportedly give Apple "more control" and "may speed up load times."Apple has begun moving over parts of Siri, the iTunes Store, and Apple News to the new platform, one of the people said. Apple plans to move other services, including Maps, to its new system over the next few years. Apple has also developed an internal photo storage system dubbed McQueen to gradually end its reliance on Google and Amazon servers, the people said.In March, it was reported that Apple is working on an in-house cloud storage system called "McQueen" to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, with

Apple Hires Former Time Warner Cable Exec for Cloud Services Team

Former Time Warner Cable executive Peter Stern has joined Apple to work on the cloud services team, reports The Wall Street Journal. Stern will serve as a vice president, reporting to iTunes chief Eddy Cue. During his tenure at Time Warner Cable, Stern was involved in talks with Apple about a potential deal for a joint television service that would be offered on the Apple TV. No such deal was able to be established, however, as Apple has had ongoing negotiation difficulties with content providers. Stern left Time Warner Cable following its acquisition by Charter Communications earlier this year.He served in senior strategy and corporate development roles at the cable company as it maneuvered through multiple takeover attempts over the past few years. Most recently, as chief product, people and strategy officer, Mr. Stern helped implement a strategy focused on customer service that helped Time Warner Cable grow its cable TV subscribers last year after nearly a decade of losses.According to The Wall Street Journal, Stern is a vocal proponent for eliminating proprietary cable boxes provided by cable companies. He believes content providers should "be more open" to offering TV channels as apps across a wide range of devices. Given his expertise in the cable industry, Stern may help Eddy Cue negotiate deals with media companies for a future television service. Cloud services also encompasses Apple Music, iTunes, and other iCloud-based products, so his hiring does not necessarily suggest a renewed interest in television

Apple Adds New 2TB iCloud Storage Tier for $19.99 Per Month

Apple today quietly added a new iCloud storage tier, offering customers 2TB of data storage space at a price of $19.99 per month in the United States. Apple now offers four iCloud storage tiers at prices that start at $0.99. The new 2TB iCloud storage option comes just over a week ahead of the company's September 7 event, where new versions of the iPhone and Apple Watch are expected to debut alongside new operating system updates. Rumors have suggested camera improvements could be one of the features coming to the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, and that could be one of the reasons Apple is introducing more storage space. A dual-lens camera, as is rumored for the iPhone 7 Plus, could potentially produce images that are larger, resulting in customers who need more space to store their photos and other files. We've also heard rumors that the high-end iPhone models could offer up to 256GB of storage (perhaps limited to the iPhone 7 Plus), which could be another factor leading to Apple's decision to increase available iCloud storage space. Perhaps the biggest reason for the jump in iCloud space is a new desktop syncing feature coming to macOS Sierra. In the new operating system, all files stored on the desktop or in the Documents folder of a Mac are automatically uploaded to iCloud to make them available across a wide range of

Second Man Behind Phishing of Celebrity iCloud Accounts Pleads Guilty

Edward Majerczyk, a 28-year-old Chicago man who played a role in the phishing of celebrity iCloud accounts in 2014, has signed a plea agreement and agreed to plead guilty to a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to court documents made public on Friday. Majerczyk was charged in a Los Angeles, California district court, but will enter his guilty plea in the Northern District of Illinois. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Ryan Collins, a 36-year-old Pennsylvania man who was also involved in the iCloud attack known as "Celebgate," likewise entered into a plea agreement in March with a recommended sentence of 18 months in prison. Between November 2013 and September 2014, Majerczyk and Collins engaged in a phishing scheme to obtain the iCloud and Gmail usernames and passwords of over 300 victims, including female celebrities, according to court documents. The perpetrators sent their victims emails that appeared to be from Apple and Google, asking them to provide their usernames and passwords. Majerczyk and Collins used the credentials to illegally access accounts and extract private information, which included nude photographs and videos. In September 2014, hundreds of nude photos of celebrities were then leaked on online image board 4chan before spreading to multiple internet sites, but investigators have not yet been able to find any evidence that either of the men were directly behind the leak. Shortly after the breach occurred, Apple conducted an investigation that revealed the accounts were compromised by weak

Apple Reportedly Using Chinese Server Supplier to Migrate iCloud Service

Apple is reportedly working with China-based server vendor Inspur to help transfer its iCloud data services in-house, according to sources out of the China supply chain (via DigiTimes). Currently Apple is thought to rely heavily on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host many of its cloud server requirements, but the company’s data center plans suggest it is looking to scale back the money it spends on third-party cloud computing platforms as its data demands increase. Inspur currently has a share of over 60 percent of China's internet server market, and has previously agreed partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and other technology companies looking to expand their server capacity. Inspur already has facilities close to Apple's headquarters in California that include an R&D team as well as a production center. Neither Apple nor Inspur have confirmed the rumor, but sources within the supply chain quoted by Taiwan-based website DigiTimes have proven reliable in the past. Last month, Apple signed a deal with Google worth between $400 million and $600 million that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs until its own data centers are all fully operational. Apple is currently building new data centers in Ireland, Denmark, Reno, and Arizona, and is expanding its existing data

Apple Working to Create its Own Cloud Storage Infrastructure

Apple is working on building its own cloud infrastructure to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, according to information shared by Re/code and VentureBeat. A project called "McQueen" is underway at Apple, with a team of employees working to create an in-house cloud storage system.According to a source familiar with the matter, Apple already has a team working on this; it's known internally as "McQueen," as in Steve. It's unclear if that project will materialize or when. But a source tells Re/code that the codename refers to Apple's intent, sometime in the next few years, to break its reliance on all three outside cloud providers in favor of its own soup-to-nuts infrastructure.According to VentureBeat, Apple is unhappy with AWS's inability to quickly load photos and videos onto iOS devices, something its own cloud system could fix. Apple executives reportedly believe that creating a full cloud infrastructure could pay for itself within three years. Estimates suggest Apple spends upwards of $1 billion on cloud services each year.Project McQueen kicked off after a conversation between a Microsoft employee and an Apple employee, the source said. Azure won't be able to handle the growth of Apple's workloads in the future, meaning Apple would have to pay much more in order to help Microsoft cover the cost of expanding Azure's data center infrastructure, the Microsoft person told the Apple person.Apple is already investing significant money into building new data centers around the world and is said to be

Apple Inks Deal to Use Google Cloud Platform for Some iCloud Services

Apple has signed a deal with Google that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services, reports CRN (via Business Insider). Apple reportedly established a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last last year and has, as a result, "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to the sources, Google executives have told partners that Apple is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google Cloud Platform, although this couldn't be independently confirmed. Also unclear is whether this range refers to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity.While the money Apple is now paying Google was previously spent on AWS, Apple has not stopped using Amazon's cloud computing services entirely. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs. According to The Information's Amir Efrati, who has confirmed Apple's plans, it will take a year for Apple to transition to using Google Cloud Platform. It’s true, @iCloud to be partially powered by @googlecloud. But will take a year & unlikely to be profitable. @awscloud lost $ from iCloud.— Amir Efrati (@amir) March 16, 2016 Since last year, Google has been aggressively pursuing deals for its Google Cloud Platform, led by former VMware CEO Diane Greene. Google and Amazon have been involved in ongoing pricing wars, but Google claims to be the "price/performance

iCloud Backups Not as Secure as iOS Devices to Make Restoring Data Easier

Apple's ongoing fight with the FBI over whether the company can be compelled to help the government unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook has brought the full range of Apple's privacy policies into the spotlight. The details surrounding the case have made it clear that while Apple is unable to access information on iOS devices, the same is not true of iCloud backups. Apple can decrypt an iCloud backup and provide the information to authorities when ordered to do so via a warrant, as it did in the San Bernardino case. In a piece posted on The Verge entitled "The iCloud Loophole," Walt Mossberg takes a look at Apple's iCloud backups and explains the reason why iCloud data can't be made as secure as data stored solely on an iPhone or iPad. Apple is able to decrypt "most" of the data included in an iCloud backup, and an Apple official told Mossberg that's because the company views privacy and security issues differently between physical devices that can be lost and iCloud. With iCloud, it needs to be accessible by Apple so it can be used for restoring data.However, in the case of iCloud, while security must also be strong, Apple says it must leave itself the ability to help the user restore their data, since that's a key purpose of the service. This difference also helps dictate Apple's response to law enforcement requests. The company's position is that it will provide whatever relevant information it has to government agencies with proper, legal requests. However, it says, it doesn't have the information needed to open a passcode-protected

App Store and iTunes Experiencing Issues for Many Users Worldwide

Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect that many users may be unable to access, purchase, or update apps on the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Multiple other iCloud services are or were also experiencing downtime, including the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, iCloud Drive, and iWork for iCloud. The issues began shortly before 7:00 a.m. Pacific and appear to be widespread, affecting customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere, according to social media posts. Apple TV services and Apple's Volume Purchase Program are also affected by the service issues. Update (9:10 a.m. Pacific): Apple's System Status page shows that the App Store, iTunes, and other iCloud services have been

Multiple Apple Services Experiencing Widespread Outage [Updated]

Apple has updated its system status page to reflect widespread issues affecting multiple Apple products and services since approximately 7:30 PM Pacific, including the App Store, Apple TV, iBooks Store, iTunes Match, iTunes Store, Mac App Store and Radio. Many users are also unable to fully access or use the Apple website, Apple Online Store, Apple ID, Apple Music, FaceTime, iCloud, iMessage, Mail, TestFlight and several other Apple services, suggesting possible larger server or DNS issues. Apple's standard response on its system status page says it is investigating and will provide a status update as more information becomes available. Update 8:38 PM: Apple's system status page now indicates the issues have been resolved, and users are indeed reporting Apple's services are up and running once