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I own an iPhone 7+, an iPad, and most recently a new MacBook Pro… so I'm starting to look at the more intelligent syncing of content between devices.

If I mirror my photos (for example) or other documents between devices through iOS, does that effectively tripple the storage used in iCloud to back up that content, or is there a bit of intelligence to avoid backing up synch'd content multiple times?

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No, it doesn't. iCloud is a syncing solution. That means it will sync everything to all devices signed-in with the same Apple ID.

You can read more about setting up iCloud from this Apple support page.

The amount of storage will be same on all your iOS devices. It might different on macOS because of optimized storage. It will never be more space (or tripled).

  • But iCloud is also also a backup solution for my iOS devices (with a set amount of space I pay for)... so the question is — If the photos (for example) are synced across devices, are they being backed up multiple times or does the iCloud backup have the intelligence to store that data only once? – Robert Cartaino Mar 28 '17 at 16:46
  • It's not really a backup, it's syncing everything you have in iCloud Drive or Photos to all other devices. You're treating it like a backup but it's really not designed for that. From Apple: iCloud securely stores your photos, videos, documents, music, apps, and more — and keeps them updated across all your devices." – fsb Mar 28 '17 at 16:51

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