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Like this article? We recommend Using the iCloud Drive Mobile App

Using the iCloud Drive Mobile App

Your online-based iCloud account now has a separate storage area, called iCloud Drive, that’s been automatically set up for you. One way to access it from your iPhone or iPad (that’s connected to the Internet via a cellular or Wi-Fi connection), is using the iCloud Drive mobile app that comes preinstalled with iOS 9.

When you initially launch this app (or access iCloud Drive from your Mac or iCloud.com), you’ll discover several folders have already been created for you. However, as you begin using this feature, it’s possible to create additional folders (as well as subfolders within those folders), in which you’ll ultimately store the individual documents, files, photos and content you want to make available via this feature.

When you access a file that stored within iCloud Drive (using the iCloud Drive app), it’s possible to preview it from within the app, or open and work with it using another compatible app. For example, if it’s a Word document, you can ultimately open that document using the Word or Pages app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. If it’s a PDF file, you can open and view it using any PDF reader app. Shown in Figure 1 is a PowerPoint presentation file that’s stored online (within iCloud Drive) that can be previewed using the iCloud Drive mobile app.

Figure 1 Use the iCloud Drive app to preview content you have stored online within iCloud Drive, without having to launch the specific app used to work with that file. Shown here is a PowerPoint presentation file.

Like any app that comes preinstalled with iOS 9, iCloud Drive has an app icon that appears on your device’s Home screen. Tap on the app icon to launch the app. When applicable, tap on any folder to open and then view its contents. Or, tap on any file icon or listing in order to preview the file.

When you’re previewing content, tap on the Share icon to access a menu that allows you to share that content via text message or email, or open that content within a specific (compatible) app that’s already installed on your iPhone or iPad (shown in Figure 2). As needed, the selected file or content will automatically be downloaded from iCloud Drive, stored within your mobile device, and then loaded into the compatible app.

Figure 2 Tap on the Share icon while previewing a file (in this case, a graphic image file) in order to then load it into a compatible app.

As you’re previewing content or files, tap on the Trash icon to delete the file, or tap on the Folder icon to move that file into a different folder within iCloud Drive (online). When you tap on the Folder icon, a listing of folders within your iCloud Drive is displayed. Tap on the listing for the folder where you want to move the selected file or content to.

Located at the top-center of the screen when you launch the iCloud Drive app is a Search field. Type a keyword or search phrase to quickly find a file that’s stored online within the iCloud Drive portion of your iCloud account.

To custom-sort how the iCloud Drive folders and files are displayed on your smartphone or tablet’s screen, tap on the Date, Name, or Tags tab that’s found below the Search field (shown in Figure 3). Tap on the View icon, located to the right of these tabs, to switch between an icon view and a listing view related to your stored folders and files.

Figure 3 When using the iCloud Drive app, you can determine how files are sorted and displayed.

Tap on the Select option displayed in the top-right corner of the iCloud Drive app’s screen to choose one or more files or folders, one at a time, by tapping on them. As soon as you tap on the Select option, a New Folder, Move, and Delete option is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

After selecting one or more files, tap on the New Folder, Move, or Delete option to handle that task. When you tap on New Folder, for example, it’s possible to create a new folder within your iCloud Drive account. Tap on the Move option to move the selected file into a different online-based folder. Tap on the Delete option to delete the selected content.

Keep in mind, the files and folders you manage using the iCloud Drive app are initially stored online (in the cloud) within your iCloud account. Anything you do using the app impacts what’s stored online. Remember, these files are accessible from all of the computers and mobile devices linked to the same iCloud account.

So, if you delete a file using the iCloud Drive app on your iPad, for example, that file is removed from your online-based iCloud account, and will no longer be accessible from any of your other computers or mobile devices that are linked to that account. Likewise, if you transfer a file that’s stored within your mobile device to your iCloud Drive account, it will almost instantly become accessible from your other computers and mobile devices that are linked to the same iCloud account.

When using the iCloud Drive app, displayed at the bottom of the main screen is a summary of how many items (individual files) are stored online, as well as how much of your allocated online storage space is still available. Anytime you store content online, within iCloud Drive, this utilizes some of your 5GB of online storage space (or any additional iCloud storage space you’re paying for).

Thanks to iCloud Drive, it’s possible to store content online, and not keep it stored within your mobile device (or computer) in order to free up internal storage space. Yet, as long as your mobile device or computer has Internet access, the files stored within iCloud Drive are always accessible when they’re needed.

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