Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 9, 2017
Sync your Mac’s Desktop & Documents files across all your Apple devices

Do you work between your Mac and your iPhone? If you do, one thing that I love is that I can be working on my MacBook and when I leave the house, I can continue to work on my projects on my iPhone. Any changes I make in either place is automatically updated so the newest version appears on all my OS devices. Here’s how to set it up so you can have the same experience.

You will need to use your iCloud in order to use this feature because everything is saved there and synced every time you make any changes or when you add or delete files. One issue you may find though, is your iCloud Drive can fill up fast using the free 5 gigabytes Apple gives you. If your iCloud fills up, you will need to upgrade your storage so it holds more. It isn’t expensive and I’ll show you where to do this later in this article.

I love the fact that when I am standing in line at the bank, the grocery store, or any other place that takes my time away from working, I can access my files on my iPhone and keep working. Now, this may not be practical for many of you, but as a writer, it is priceless for me.

To enable this feature, select System Preferences from the Apple menu and then choose iCloud. When the window opens, to the right of iCloud Drive and select the Options button. Here you can select/deselect the apps that will be allowed to store documents in your iCloud. Be certain to checkmark the box: “Desktop & Documents Folders. I also recommend you select everything else, except for Weather, unless you find that important. If you have limited space on your Mac, you can checkmark the box: The full contents of iCloud Drive will be stored on this Mac if you have enough space. Older Documents will be stored only in iCloud when space is needed. Once you have made your choices, select Done at the bottom.

In the iCloud preferences window, you can choose to save other items in your iCloud, such as Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, etc. Select everything you want to save in your iCloud by check-marking the corresponding box.

Do you see the Manage button at the bottom-right? Go ahead and click it and we can talk about storage. This next window that opens, allows you to manage all the things you have requested to be saved in your iCloud. Just click each one and you will see options to the right.

Now, if you are low on iCloud space, select the Change Storage Plan button. When it opens, you can change from the 5 gigabytes free plan to one that may suit your needs a little better. Keep in mind, if you select something too high or too low, you can always change it here and Apple will adjust your payments. If you want to downgrade your plan, just select the Downgrade Options button and enter your Apple ID password to continue.

If you are going to store a copy of all your photos, you will most likely need more space. Since I do mostly documents, I have managed to get by with just paying the 99 cents a month for 50 gigabytes, but I am going to up my plan as I have started to save my photos in my iCloud too. Make your choice and just follow the instructions to continue. Once you are done, close all your windows.

Now, you will want to go to your iPhone and make the same changes. Select Settings and then select iCloud. Here you can select all the things you want saved in your iCloud by moving the slider. Next, select iCloud Drive and enable it. Then, turn on all the items you want saved into your iCloud Drive from your iPhone by moving the slider over. Also, if you want to use your cellular data to sync your items, move the slider. If you don’t enable this, when your iPhone gets in range of a Wi-Fi network that you are connected to, it will sync your items then.

If you have an iPad or iPod Touch, you can enable your iCloud drive on these devices by following the instructions for an iPhone, as they will be similar.

For 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at

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