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

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

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 on your iPhone, it instantly shows up in your Calendar app on your iPad and Mac. Whenever you add or change contact information, its reflected in the contacts on all of your devices. iCloud will also sync Bookmarks, Notes, and Reminders. And we can help you get started with all of it.

How to set up iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and more

If you didn't originally set up your iPhone or iPad with iCloud, or if you want to use a different iCloud account than you do for iTunes purchases, for example, or you simply want to add an additional account to your device, you can add an iCloud account at any time via the Settings app.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Enter your iCloud email and password and tap Next in the upper right hand corner.
  4. Turn On the services you want to sync with your iPhone or iPad. By default most, if not all, of iCloud's services are turned on.

In the future, if you ever want to disable a specific iCloud syncing service, just return to Settings > iCloud and turn Off anything you don't want to sync any longer.

How to access iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and more on the Web

You can access your contacts, iCloud email, calendar events, and more through any web browser when your iPhone or iPad aren't handy.

  1. Launch any web browser on any computer.
  2. Go to
  3. Log in to your iCloud account.
  4. Once you're logged in, you can access mail, contacts, reminders, calendar events, documents saved in iCloud, and much more. Just tap on the icon for the service you'd like to access.

How to access iCloud sync settings on your 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.

  1. Download iCloud Control Panel for free from the Apple website - Download Now
  2. Click on Start to launch the Start menu.
  3. Go to Network and Internet.
  4. Go to iCloud.
  5. Enter your Apple ID username and password.
  6. Check mark the iCloud services you want to enable.

Keep in mind that while iCloud Control Panel syncs many services such as Contacts, Calendars, Photo Stream, and a few others, it doesn't support all iCloud syncing services.

How to access iCloud sync settings on your Mac

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu on your Mac running OS X Lion or newer.
  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 apps will then be able to access your iCloud data -

  • Mail: Mail, Outlook for Mac (via IMAP)
  • Contacts: Address Book, Contacts
  • Calendars: iCal, Calendar
  • Photos: iPhoto, Aperture
  • Keychain: Safari
  • Documents & Data: Any app that saves data to iCloud and has a Mac app that supports iCloud as well. Examples include Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and many more

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 the Mail app of your choice.
  2. Add a new account.
  3. Enter the following IMAP server name:
  4. Toggle SSL encryption to On or Yes.
  5. Set the port to 993.
  6. Enter your iCloud email address as the username, using instead of — example:
  7. Enter your iCloud password.
  8. Enter the following SMTP server name:
  9. Toggle SSL encryption to On or Yes.
  10. Set the port to 587.
  11. Set Authentication Required to Yes.
  12. Enter your iCloud email address as the username, using instead of — example:
  13. Enter your iCloud password.

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

Note: Originally published April 2012. Updated June 2014.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

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


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

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!!


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 and and
as examples.