You can now buy 2TB of iCloud storage for $20/month, but free tier is still just 5GB

By , Aug 30, 2016

iCloud 2TB Storage tier

With eight days left until Apple’s big iPhone 7 reveal scheduled for September 7, the company has just added a brand new two-terabyte tier to its iCloud storage upgrades.

Now available for purchase on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in Settings → Storage, or a Mac in System Preferences → iCloud → Manage, it’ll set data-hungry users back $19.99 each month.

Quickly, do the math in your head—at $20 per month, you’re looking at a yearly cost of $240 for the privilege of having two terabytes of iCloud storage for your device backups, photos, videos, personal information, files and whatever else you like.

By comparison, Dropbox’s 1TB tier is a $99.99 per year value, or about $8.3 per month. Unfortunately, Apple’s free iCloud tier is still paltry five gigabytes. Price points for other tiers have not been tweaked. After today’s change, iCloud storage tiers are as follows:

  • 5GB—free
  • 50GB—$0.99 per month
  • 200GB—$2.99 per month
  • 1TB—$9.99 per month
  • 2TB—$19.99 per month

Check out Apple’s support document for availability information and pricing of iCloud storage upgrades around the world.

The new tier makes sense for people who plan on using macOS Sierra’s new feature which keeps the contents of a user’s Documents and Desktop folders synchronized and available on iOS devices via iCloud Drive.

Also, Sierra includes another feature, called Optimize Storage, that frees up storage space on your computer by keeping only the latest and frequently used files locally while storing those you access infrequently in iCloud.

What do you think of the new 2TB iCloud tier? Does the fact that the new offering went live ahead of the iPhone 7 event indicate that the new phones will double the storage versus existing models, do you think?

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  • Chris Gilmore

    I just use the .99, 50GB one. That with 64GB iPhone 6s is plenty for me.

  • James G

    Don’t need it yet (currently on 1TB plan) but glad to see I won’t have to worry as my photo library grows with all the videos and photos with whatever new camera the iPhone 7 Plus will have.

    Wish they’d get more competitive with pricing but iCloud Drive supports iCloud Photo Library which is what really sets it apart.

  • paul_krupa

    I am running MacOS on my MacBook pro and discovered that some VMs (GBs!!!) was syncing while I was tethering on my iPhone hotspot. So I went through my 30GB ATT data plan pretty fast last month before I realized what was up. The fix wasn’t too easy either. I had to copy the Documents folder to an external drive, disconnect Documents from icloud (which deletes local folder) and re-copy the Documents folder back. Fortunately I had a 128GB SSD that made the transfers real fast.

  • diggitydang

    Where’s the Family Plan??? Come on, Apple.

  • They really need to become more competitive with their free version… Like 15 gb would be perfect for almost every iPhone user… but taking $12 bucks a year (i know its not much but thats not the point) is just petty.

  • Joseph Jerry Hache

    iCloud storage would be fine if Apple made it easier to use. I bought the 200GB plan, and turned off all settings for using cellular data on my iPhone. Well, low and behold the photos app on the iPhone used up almost 20gb of my 26gb plan in less than a day updating all my pictures. It seems that even when you turn off cellular in the iCloud settings, it still uses it. Forget that. Went back to 5gb, and use google photos.

  • anonymous

    55 mins to back up my stuff to iCloud WTF ridiculous

  • Dodgy Debjit

    Or sign up for Amazon cloud drive at $100 per year for unlimited storage…

    Currently backing up up my 20TB NAS…