How to set up and use Documents in the Cloud

Note: As of iOS 8, Apple has replaced Documents in the Cloud with iCloud Drive. So if you've updated, you can check out our guide on how to set up and use iCloud Drive instead. If you're still using iOS 7 or below, continue on.

With iCloud you no longer have to fuss with traditional computer files and folders, or worry about forgetting where you put a document when you go back to look for it later. For apps that support Documents in the Cloud, all you have to remember is which app (or apps) opens the type of file you want to work on. From then on, iCloud manages everything, storing any changes you make back up to the cloud, and pushing down those updates to every device you have logged into your account. Create a Keynote presentation on your iPad at home, it's ready and waiting when on your Mac when you get to work.

How to enable Documents in the Cloud on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap on Documents & Data.
  4. Turn On the option for Documents & Data at the top.
  5. You can also specify underneath that which apps you'd like to be able to store documents and data in the cloud. Turn Off the ones you don't want to grant permission.

How to create a new iCloud document on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch Pages, Keynote, or Numbers on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the + button in order to create a new document.
  3. Tap on Create Spreadsheet.
  4. Create the document just as you normally would.
  5. Tap Done when you're finished to return to the main screen. Your document will automatically be saved to Documents in the Cloud.

How to delete a document from Documents in the Cloud on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch Pages, Keynote, or Numbers on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap and hold on any document or tap Edit in the upper right hand corner.
  3. Tap on the documents you'd like to delete to select them.
  4. Tap on the trash can in the upper left hand corner.
  5. Tap on Delete in the popup menu to confirm the deletion.

This process may differ for other apps that support storing documents to iCloud but to delete them, simply delete them from inside the app and you're done! Some may even offer local options instead of storing them in Documents in the Cloud, and you may be able to revert to that option too.

How to get your existing documents into Documents in the Cloud

Once you've got Documents in the Cloud turned on, you may realize that you have files on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac that you'd like to sync up to the cloud. On iOS, it's a simple process. After you launch Pages, Keynote, or Numbers, you're prompted about Documents in the Cloud and whether or not you'd like to use it. Just say yes and you're all set. However, documents you already have saved on your Mac will need to be moved over. Luckily the process is pretty simple and we've already got a guide that's got you covered.

How to get more help with iCloud

If you still need help with setting up or using Documents in the Cloud on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Windows or Mac PC, or any other iCloud feature, head on over to our iCloud Forum and ask away!

Note: Originally published, April 2012. Updated, September 2014.