iCloud Drive (Windows Explorer)

Apple on the iPhone 6 launch day Friday issued an updated version of its iCloud utility for Windows users with support for iCloud Drive and the ability to manage your cloud documents and upload/download files directly from Windows Explorer.

iCloud Drive can also be accessed in any desktop browser through the web interface at iCloud.com.

To set up iCloud Drive on your PC, first, set up iCloud on all of your iOS and Mac devices. Then download iCloud for Windows from Apple, install the app and open it (Start > Apps or Programs > iCloud for Windows).

The 73.2-megabyte download is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 or 8, Microsoft Outlook 2007 or later or an up-to-date browser (for Mail, Contacts and Calendars), Internet Explorer 9 or later, Firefox 22 or later or Google Chrome 28 or later (for Bookmarks).

Upon activating iCloud for Windows on your machine, you’ll be asked to set up iCloud Photo Stream and upgrade to iCloud Drive.

Note that if you’re upgrading from iCloud Control Panel 1.1 or earlier, you will need to sign out of iCloud Control Panel and uninstall it before downloading iCloud Control Panel 3.1.

iCloud Drive (Panel, screenshot 001)

“When you turn on iCloud Drive and Photos, iCloud for Windows creates new folders for those content types in File Explorer,” writes Apple in another support document explaining how to set up and use iCloud for Windows.

You may also be interested in these tutorials by Apple:

“Then when you save files in those folders, the files will automatically appear on your other devices”.

The documents and photos you may already have in iCloud will automatically download to the folders in File Explorer when you set up iCloud for Windows.

Here’s the iCloud Drive’s web interface.

iCloud Beta (iCloud Drive, web screenshot 001)

Interestingly enough, Mac users are unable to use iCloud Drive on their computers as of yet because the feature requires OS X Yosemite, which is due in October.

According to release notes, the utility, which sits in the Windows tray, functions much like the desktop Dropbox client.

To store a file in iCloud, simply drag it into the iCloud Drive folder on your Windows PC and the program will automatically upload content to the cloud, in the background.

The program also keeps your Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome bookmarks on Windows in sync with your Safari bookmarks. As a bonus, you can even set up iCloud Photo Sharing with My Photo Stream, which automatically downloads the most recent photos from your iOS devices to the PC.

[Apple via 9to5Mac]

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    Lol so windows got icloud drive before the Mac

    • Dan

      gotta admit it’s a bit silly, but being a PC user, I’m happy 😉

      • Ian Leon


    • NeftyCorrea

      thats is Wack .

    • Damian

      And iOS 7 does not get it which is ridiculous

      • Agreed. Because of the limitations with iCloud Drive the process I go through to keep 1Password in sync is as follows:

        1. Open 1Password on iPad
        2. Sync with iCloud
        3. Disable iCloud sync
        4. Enable Wifi sync
        5. Sync with 1Password on my Mac over wifi

        This should not be a 5 step (ten step if you double it since I have to do the same with my iPhone) process. Then again that’s first world problems for you…

    • So now I have to boot up Windows in Parallels and share the iCloud Drive folder (assuming this is possible) just to gain access to iCloud Drive in Mavericks. Then again this is Apple, it’s not like we haven’t been humping through hoops before…

      • Dan

        Humping through hoops lol

      • Lol.

        *jumping through hoops

        Silly iOS autocorrect…

  • Dan

    thanks for the heads up, I was fiddling with it two days ago but iCloud drive was not showing up. I will uninstall and try again tonight. Great timing since my 50GB free Dropbox is expiring soon.

    • Rowan09

      What happens when it expires? Does it delete the files over the free allotted space?

      • Dan

        nah just doesn’t allow to upload anything new anymore

      • Rowan09

        Ok thanks.

  • RV

    Is there an app in ios8 dedicated for the icloud drive like a file manager?

    • hkgsulphate

      x2 having the same problem

    • Manjot Singh

      i thought there would be
      maybe someone will make one for the app store
      or jailbreak

    • I think that Apple just forgot this! Ridiculous, maybe it’s on the way with iOS 8.0.1 or will appear as an app on App Store soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

      • You need to ask the app developer to add support. For example here’s Dropbox’ implementation that allows me to upload files stored in the Transmit app / accessed via the Transmit app to Dropbox:

        (Pics to follow because Apple broke Safari photo upload in iOS 8!)

      • ..

      • .. ..

      • The view in the middle is from the actual Transmit app

    • I think there’s an api for developers to use but I might be wrong…

    • Dan

      yeah seriously, I thought that the pics in iCloud drive would appear in the photo app or something. How am I supposed to access them from my phone??

  • Andy

    Wait, so we can’t access and manage our files on the iCloud website? You know, like Google Drive.

  • Damian

    And now windows got it but not iOS 7


  • Developers need to add support for iCloud Drive in order for you to access it for example here’s Dropbox:

    This is just downloading files and then uploading them to Dropbox but I’d imagine it’s also possible to download files, make changes and then have them upload back up to iCloud Drive.

  • Shawn H.

    Hope everyone read the fine print on System Requirements — PC users will need iTunes 12, which is still in Beta, and not due to release until OS X Yosemite. So, still no ‘Drive’ available for Windows users.

    Sneaky buggers.

  • I enabled iCloud Drive on my Win7 machine and its “setting up” for 30+ minutes, but all I see in the folder is Keynote, Numbers, Pages (All of which it appears you can’t delete) and Scanner By Readdle. This is taking forever to convert!

  • I think it’s another of their capitalist ways of getting you to look for an app on the AppStore. Just like creating group contacts and Bluetooth file sharing aren’t readily available out of the box…

    • Well really it should involve a downloadable app of some sort since not everyone will use iCloud Drive. Then again not everyone uses iBooks or Podcasts and Apple is now including them by default with iOS…

  • Meh…cloud storage is a no-no for me.