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How to set up and use iCloud mail, contacts, and calendars

Everything you need to know to get your mail, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, and reminders syncing with iCloud

iCloud includes push email, calendaring, and contact services. That means whenever you get an email, it's immediately made available on all your devices. Whenever you make or change an appointment it shows up in your calendar on all your devices. Whenever you add or change contact information, its reflected in the contacts on all of your devices. You can access these services via the Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, via the iCloud.com website from any desktop browser, or through popular mail, calendar, and contacts apps on your Mac or Windows PC.

iCloud will also sync Bookmarks, Notes, and Reminders.

How to set up iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendars

If you didn't originally set up your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with iCloud, or if you want to use a different iCloud account for Mail, Contacts, and Calendars than you do for iTunes purchases, for example, or you simply want to add an additional account to your device, here's how to get it working.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Mail, Contacts, & Calendars.How to add iCloud account to existing e-mail account list on iPhone iPad iPod
  3. Tap iCloud. How to add iCloud account to your iPhone iPad or iPod touch
  4. Enter your iCloud (me.com) email address as the Apple ID and your Password. How to add your iCloud account to your iPhone iPad iPod

How to enable or disable individual iCloud services

Whether you're setting up iCloud on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad for the first time and want to choose which services are turned on and which are turned off, or you've already set it up but want to make some changes, it's easy to configure.

You can selectively choose to enable or disable Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, and Find my iPhone/iPod/iPad.

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Tap on iCloud
  • Go down the list and toggle anything you want to enable to On, and anything you want to disable to off

Turning off an iCloud feature on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad will remove the associated data from your device, but not from iCloud's servers. So, if you change your mind again, just repeat the process and flip the switch back on.

How to access iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendars via the Web

You can access iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, as well as Documents in the Cloud, and Find my iPhone/iPod/iPad from any Mac, Windows, Linux, Unix, or other PC with a modern web browser via:

How to access iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, and more via Windows PC

To access your iCloud data via a Microsoft Windows PC, first you need the iCloud Control Panel for Windows Vista SP 2 or Windows 7.

Free - Download now

  1. Click on Start to launch the Start menu.
  2. Go to Network and Internet.
  3. Go to iCloud.
  4. Enter your Apple ID username and password.
  5. Check mark the iCloud services you want to enable.

You can choose to turn on Mail, Contacts, Calendars & Tasks (Reminders), Bookmarks, and Photo Stream. The following software will then be able to access iCloud data:

  • Mail: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010
  • Contacts: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010
  • Calendars: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010
  • Reminders: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010
  • Notes: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010
  • Bookmarks: Safari, Internet Explorer

How to access iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and more via Mac

iCloud is built into Apple's OS X 10.7 Lion for Mac, and will be even better integrated into the upcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

  1. Launch System Preferences.
  2. Click on iCloud.
  3. Check mark the iCloud services you want to enable.

You can choose to turn on Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks, Photo Stream, Documents in the Cloud, Back to my Mac, and Find my Mac. The following software will then be able to access iCloud data.

  • Mail: Mail, Outlook for Mac (via IMAP)
  • Contacts: Address Book, Contacts (Mountain Lion)
  • Calendars: iCal, Calendar (Mountain Lion)
  • Bookmarks: Safari
  • Photo Stream: iPhoto, Aperture

How to manually set up iCloud mail using IMAP and SMTP

If you want to access your iCloud mail from a non-iOS, Windows, or Mac mail program, or with an alternate smartphone platform like BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, etc. you'll need to set it up manually using IMAP and SMTP.

  1. Launch your mail app
  2. Add a new account
  3. Enter the following IMAP server name: imap.mail.me.com
  4. Toggle SSL encryption to on/yes
  5. Set the port to 993
  6. Enter your iCloud email address as the username, using @me.com instead of @icloud.com (yourname@me.com)
  7. Enter your iCloud password
  8. Enter the following SMTP server name: smtp.mail.me.com
  9. Toggle SSL encryption to on/yes
  10. Set the port to 587
  11. Set Authentication Required to yes
  12. Enter your iCloud email address as the username, using @me.com instead of @icloud.com (yourname@me.com)
  13. Enter your iCloud password

Note: Apple advises that, if you receive errors using SSL, you try using TLS instead.

How to get more help with iCloud

If you still need help with mail, contacts, or calendars on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, or any other iCloud feature, head on over to our iCloud Forum and ask away!

Ally Kazmucha, Chris Oldroyd, and Gary Mazo contributed major sections of this guide.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 4 comments. Add yours.

Burnlife308 says:

Thats all fine and dandy but how about an instructions on how to set it up manually with a none supported email service That will integrate into iCloud by changing the port and such because what you showed was an automated service and with apple having the most dumb downed U.I for it customers I don't see why your wasting pages with useless knowledge

towerdave says:

iCloud for Windows caused me a HUGE headache. I want to sync our Outlook calendar with my Android phone and my wife's iPhone. Had GoogleSync working great, and then I installed iCloud and it proceeds to create a new Calendar in Outlook and move all my stuff from the original calendar to the new one. GoogleSync pops up and asks if I wanted to delete all 746 calendar items. NO, I DON'T. How about make iCloud sync with the original calendar? Or at least tell me what's going to happen so I can cancel it and figure out some other way to make this work. Bad design Apple, BAD!!

TD

Juiceair says:

This was not helpful. I still don't have half of what I needed to transfer to my iPad. Apple has better tutorials, try them.

apbear says:

As of Feb 6 a number of users have found a new glitch in the calendar portion of icloud (the web site). If you change one instance of a repeating event, the others disappear off the cloud website. You can still see them on your apple device but not on a desktop connected to the cloud. We insist this be fixed, and soon! See
https://discussions.apple.com/message/21165255#21165255 and
https://discussions.apple.com/message/21184925#21184925 and
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4783901?start=0&tstart=0
as examples.