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I currently pay for the 50 GB iCloud plan for myself. I'm thinking of upgrade to 200 GB and share it with my wife using the family sharing.

But I was wondering what would happen if we use over 50gb together, and then eventually decide to stop using family sharing, and I go back to using my personal 50gb by myself. Will I no longer have space due to her files being used in it?

For instance: currently I'm using 30/50gb on iCloud. Let's say we switch to 200gb and use the family plan: I'm using 30/200gb and my wife is using 50/200gb. So total used would be 80/200gb. Then, if I turn off family sharing, and go back to the 50gb plan for my personal use, will I no longer have 20gb left?

  • if you decide to stop using what? If iCloud storage, I think you'll receive notifications for file deletion and iCloud syncing disabled etc., because the Family sharing is still on, it just has more content than space – ankii Sep 20 at 7:12
  • I mean if we decide to stop using family sharing, and I go back to using my personal 50gb – shmob Sep 20 at 12:57
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The short answer is: YES, you can do what you're proposing and you'll still have the same amount of space left. You're essentially asking - if I 1) sign up for family sharing, and; 2) upgrade my storage to 200 GB, can I reverse this entire process and everything will be the way I left it.

The answer is YES provided that your storage amounts and your wife's storage amounts are unchanged in your example.

I think there is some confusion on how Family Sharing works. It does not merge your files... it doesn't actually insert your wife's files into your iCloud. It keeps them completely separate. You'll be able to see how much space her files take up by clicking on Manage Storage, but that's it - you won't have direct access to any of her files.

So, it will be a bar graph that will show something like this:

  • Photos - 20 GB
  • Documents - 10 GB
  • Wife's files (family sharing) - 40 GB

enter image description here

You won't be able to see your wife's individual breakdown of how her storage is used -- e.g., docs, photos, etc., just that she is using 40 GB (and she won't be able to see your breakdown either).

If you decide to disconnect Family Sharing, it will simply remove the '40 GB' block of your Wife's files from your account and you will both have to sign up again for paid storage in order to keep your files. But, you'll still have 30 GB in this case, and she'd still have 40 GB, and you'd each be fine with a 50 GB plan.

As mentioned by @Udhy, in order to downgrade, you must be under the allowable storage limit. So in this case, if you were using Family Sharing, you would need to pay for the 200 GB plan as the 50 GB plan is not sufficient for both you and your wife to use. And, once you downgrade, you'd each be fine with the 50 GB plan.

  • THANK YOU SIR! Exactly what I wanted to verify. I appreciate your detailed response! – shmob Sep 20 at 13:21
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When you downgrade your iCloud storage plan, the storage decrease takes effect after your current monthly or annual subscription ends.

If you downgrade or cancel your plan and your stored iCloud content exceeds your available storage, new photos and videos don’t upload to iCloud Photos, files don't upload in iCloud Drive, Messages in iCloud don't update, and your iOS devices don't back up.

  • 1
    this didn't really answer my question - Currently I'm using 30/50gb on iCloud. Let's say we switch to 200gb and use the family plan: I'm using 30/200gb and my wife is using 50/200gb. So total used would be 80/200gb. Then, if I turn off family sharing, and go back to the 50gb plan for my personal use, will I no longer have 20gb left? – shmob Sep 20 at 12:59

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