iCloud plays an important role on iPhone and Mac. It not only syncs your photos, notes, reminders, etc. seamlessly between devices, but also serves an essential backup function. But what if you want to turn off iCloud?
Whether it’s to save iCloud space or to protect your privacy, you can turn off specific iCloud features — or even iCloud itself — entirely. We’ll find out and test how it works below.
What is iCloud?
iCloud is a combination of cloud-based features that work in tandem to sync and back up your data. For example, iCloud Photos lets you keep your photos and images securely stored in the cloud, while iCloud Drive uploads and makes your files available across devices.
Furthermore, native apps (such as Contacts, Notes, and Reminders) use iCloud to keep your activity up to date on every iOS and macOS device you own.
On iPhone, iCloud even lets you create a complete backup of your device. You can then use it to restore everything in case something goes wrong. It also provides a means to track Apple devices through Find My if you ever lose them.
The best thing is that you don’t have to set up iCloud manually. Simply signing in with your Apple ID is all you need to do to activate it on your iPhone or Mac.
However, you can choose to turn off individual iCloud features or stop apps from using the service to sync or back up data. You can also sign out of your Apple ID and turn off iCloud if you want.
Why you should turn off iCloud selection
Both iPhone and Mac allow granular control over how iCloud works on your devices, so you can deactivate any iCloud feature quickly. Here’s why you might want to do it.
Stop syncing data
iCloud syncs data from different apps—such as photos, reminders, and calendar events—between devices. But if you want to keep your activity for a particular app separate from the rest of your devices, you must prevent it from using iCloud.
For example, if you want to prevent your iPhone from uploading or downloading notes from other devices, it helps to deactivate Notes on iOS devices.
Conserve iCloud Storage
iCloud offers 5GB of free cloud storage. However, that can fill up quickly. Even iCloud’s paid storage plans don’t last long if you have multiple devices linked to the same Apple ID.
Therefore, turning off the iCloud features that use the most space — such as iCloud Photos and iCloud Drive — on certain devices can help save space. You can also disable iCloud Backup if you decide to just back up your iPhone to your computer.
Why you should turn off iCloud completely
iCloud offers many advantages, but you may also encounter situations that require you to turn it off completely on your iPhone or Mac.
You plan to sell your device
If you’re going to sell your iPhone or Mac, you should turn off iCloud completely. That will automatically disable Find My, which in turn will disable a feature called Activation Lock. However, you must follow up by factory resetting your device as this will delete all locally stored data from your device’s internal storage.
Preserve your privacy
Apple has a firm stance in favor of user privacy by encrypting content in iCloud. But if you want to prevent any chance of compromising your data, you might want to deactivate iCloud.
However, that comes at the expense of deactivating Find My. The anti-theft ability that the feature brings cannot be ignored.
Also, turning off iCloud will not delete the data you have stored in it. You have to manage that separately (more on that below).
Turn off iCloud on iPhone and Mac
You can turn off individual iCloud features on iPhone and Mac using the following instructions.
Turn off iCloud feature on iPhone
1. Open Setting app on your iPhone.
2. Choose yours Apple ID.
3. Press icloud.
4. Turn off the switches next to the features you want to disable. Some items (such as Photos and iCloud Backup) show additional options that let you fine-tune how they work on your iPhone.