How to set up and use iCloud Drive on Windows 10

(Image credit: iMore)

Apple would like people to use its devices and platforms exclusively, but it at least acknowledges the sheer number of Windows users around the world. Using an iPhone or iPad and a Windows machine isn't at all uncommon, and as such, iTunes and the core iCloud services are available on Windows 10.

One of those services is the iCloud Drive storage service. It's pretty easy to get up and running with Apple's cloud storage on your Windows PC. Here's how.

This story was originally published in September 2015, but we recently refreshed it for April 2017.

Download, install and set up iCloud for Windows

iCloud on Windows 10


Before you do anything you need to have iCloud for Windows installed and set up. The good news is that it's an easy enough process. The even better news is that our sister site Windows Central has a complete guide to walk you through it, step by step:

How to set up iCloud on Windows 10

Enable sync on Windows 10

iCloud ib Windows 10

If you didn't take care of this already in the first step, the next thing you need to do is to enable iCloud Drive in iCloud for Windows.

  1. Open the Start menu and navigate to the iCloud folder.
  2. From there, you need to open the iCloud application.
  3. In the box that pops up, check the box next to iCloud Drive.

That's all you need to do to turn it on.

Pin to Quick Access and Start menu

iCloud on Windows 10

Once enabled, your iCloud Drive folder is a little buried. You'll find it in Users > Your User Folder, which isn't much use for getting to it quickly. For that, you can pin it to Quick Access, the Start menu or both.

  • To add to Quick Access in File Explorer, right-click on iCloud Drive and select Pin to Quick Access.
  • To pin to the Start Menu, right click on iCloud Drive and select Pin to Start.

Using the iCloud Drive folder

iCloud Drive

Once you've followed the steps above, you can use iCloud Drive like any other folder on your Windows 10 machine. Drag and drop files and other folders or save things directly to it. You'll see a whole bunch of folders already in there, potentially with files you may or may not be able to open. Any apps on iOS or Mac which make use of iCloud to store data will show up, for example.

But as long as you have a data connection, anything you add to any of the folders in your iCloud Drive on your Windows 10 computer will automatically sync, allowing you to access them on other enabled devices.

For more iCloud tips and tricks, visit our iCloud destination page.

Richard Devine

Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy. Follow him on Twitter and Google+

  • I wish I could get photos to sync on Windows. I've activated iCloud Photo Library and it's never accessible via Windows even installing that cloud software. If photos actually sync'd that would be amazing.
  • Never worked for me either. I gave up. I really only need iCloud on my winPC so I can see those calendars in Outlook. Recently, though, there's a bug / unwanted "feature" that uses the **** out of the processor for about 10 minutes of boot up; Apple Security Monitor, I believe is the name of the process. I think it's related to the switch from 2-step verification to 2-factor authentication. I've tried signing out, uninstalling, and back again, but it didn't help. Sent from the iMore App
  • iCloud Photos works for me.. I've set it up to send everything on my phone to the cloud and my PC to do the same. Now have my iCloud Photo Library safely on my Windows PC.
  • What about Windows 8.1? Isaiah Heart.