MobileMe users lose their free 20GB of iCloud storage

MobileMe users lose their free 20GB of iCloud storage

It's Tuesday, October 1, 2013, which means that if you're a former MobileMe user, you've lost 20GB of free storage on iCloud unless you've migrated to a new paid plan. The upgrade expired on September 30th.

Apple's iCloud service lets you access photos, documents and other files regardless of what device you're connected to - computer, iPad or iPhone. It offers data synchronization capabilities so you can keep your calendar, contact database and other important info the same between devices. And it also helps you back up important files on your iOS devices. iCloud, which is free in its basic form, replaced Apple's earlier subscription-based MobileMe service, so Apple extended MobileMe customers some extra storage capacity for added value.

For many - if not most - users, the standard 5GB of storage included with all free iCloud accounts is perfectly sufficient to manage some light backups and keep other data synchronized. But for those who are doing more with iCloud, Apple offers tiered storage plans - an additional 10GB for $20 per year, 20GB for $40 per year, or 50GB for $100 per year.

Apple had previously sent an email to MobileMe subscribers to remind them of the change, so this shouldn't come as a total shock. In August, when Apple put the word out to remind users that the upgrade would go away, the company noted:

If the storage you're using in iCloud exceeds the total storage available, iCloud Backup, Documents in the Cloud, and iCloud Mail will temporarily stop working. To resume using these features, you can either reduce the amount of iCloud storage that you're using, or purchase a storage plan with a larger amount of storage than you're currently using.

There's no indication if the data that overruns the 5GB of free storage is lost permanently or is returned to you when you upgrade. If you find out, let us know.

Is 5GB enough for you, or did you pay to upgrade? Is Apple wrong to charge extra space for iCloud when other cloud services give you more storage space for free? Sound off in the comments.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

MobileMe users lose their free 20GB of iCloud storage


Currently at 14.8 GB (2 iPhones, 2 iPads, an iMac and a MacBook Air)

$40/year is worth it to me. Made no attempts to reduce the useful tool. Heck, still less that $99

Sent from the iMore App

I have 5 devices on my iCloud account, and I have no problem staying within the 5GB limit. The solution is a simple one.

I've had a gmail account for years, and when Apple offered me a free (and later - still not sure why I needed both...) email address when I signed up for iCloud, I had chosen not to use it for email. Rather just data syncing.

That alone probably saved me a ton of data.

Also, if you already pay for web space, there's no need to host your photo journals you create in iPhoto on iCloud either.

Those are probably the two biggest reasons people run out of space on iCloud.

The 5GB limit is fine for me because all my pictures and videos get synced to my laptop. I also use Flickr for online storage of my pictures. The pictures and videos would be the biggest thing for me so without that taking up huge amounts of space the 5GB limit is plenty. However I have family and friends who either don't have a computer or never sync with the computer so their iPhone or iPad is full of pictures and videos. So they have run up against the limit more than once. I think Apple charges what they charge and with the current limited state of cloud storage they can do it. Until a cloud service comes out that is available on all platforms, is easy, lets the user store anything and gives large amounts of storage for cheaper than what's out there now Apple has nothing to worry about.

I'm a former mobile me user and it was a good run. Two years I think of the 20gig. I never seem to get past 2gig. I may upgrade for another 10 gig and start to take advantage of it.

Sent from the iMore App

Being a former MobileMe user I think that once you can properly manage your data (like sending photos to Photo Stream instead of using iCloud backups) 5GB should be enough. But in all honesty I feel that Apple should have given 10GB accounts to all their users free considering things like HDR photos and the larger size of iPad applications.

Peter, I had the grandfathered 20GB of storage and was within less than 40 MB of my limit after the deadline passed. I let it go without upgrading the storage limit. This past weekend, one of my family calendars simply vanished. Baffled (and panicked) me for two days. I checked my available iCloud space and was at my limit. I upgraded my plan, but no calendar returned. Gave it 24 hours, nothing. I cut network access, restored the deleted Calendar from Time Machine and then exported the Calendar to the desktop. (Doing this while on the network put the calendar back in the calendar app in OSX, but it would simply disappear again.) I put the iMac back on the network and the Calendar was back up and it synced across all devices again without issue. I can't prove the calendar was deleted due to the iCloud storage issue, but the timing is awfully suspect. It is very scary to think data will simply vanish as limits in iCloud storage are reached. Moral of the story, if you're using iCloud, ensure your storage is sufficient. Nothing in my searches talked about a problem like this, sadly.