Apple gave former MobileMe members a complimentary twenty gigabytes of free cloud storage upgrade after moving to iCloud between October 12, 2011 and August 1, 2012. The company’s been sending email notices ahead of the cut-off deadline a few times now.
Unfortunately, today marks the day when your complimentary storage expires. Yours truly used to be a paid MobileMe member and today my iCloud storage got automatically adjusted to the free entry-level 5GB iCloud tier. Here’s what you need to know about the change and how to avoid service interruption…
As Apple writes in a support document, the free storage upgrades it’s been offering as a thank-you note for the past two years have expired on September 30, 2013. Unless you’ve purchased additional iCloud storage, you should be on the free 5GB tier now. Of course, five gigabytes is hardly sufficient for anything – especially if you back up your iOS devices to iCloud.
Matter of fact, Apple makes it clear that iCloud Backup, Documents in the Cloud and iCloud Mail services will temporarily stop working for anyone whose storage needs exceed the skimpy free tier.
The problem is, paid iCloud upgrades don’t come cheap: $20/$40/$100 a year for 10/20/50GB. That said, now could be a good time to reduce the amount of iCloud storage you are using.
For starters, you could delete old iCloud Mail messages with large attachments.
Next, you may want to reduce the amount of storage spent on Documents in the Cloud by selectively disabling unwanted apps in Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data. But it’s iOS device backups that really waste your iCloud storage space.
Unless there’s enough storage in your iCloud, your device won’t be able to back up itself to iCloud when connected to Wi-Fi and hooked up to power from the main grid.
Lory has a nice tutorial explaining what to do when there is not enough iCloud storage for device backups so make sure to give it a read.
Among the possible solutions: free up some used space by removing or backing up your photos and videos (the biggest data hogs) or at least exclude the iOS Camera app from iCloud Backup. You could also specify what data should or should not be backed up and/or delete old iCloud backups (this can only be done on a device which had created the iCloud Backup archive).
Finally, don’t forget to check out your Mac’s iCloud storage by choosing System Preferences from the Apple manu and then clicking the iCloud icon. Apple offers a few handy tips on managing iCloud storage in this support document.
I look forward to the day when I no longer have to worry about storage space. Whether local on device or in the cloud.
— Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin) October 1, 2013
By the way, why not use Dropbox to back up your photos and videos?