What's the way to use the free iCloud 5GB storage space? I want to store misc files in there, and access them freely from the Finder/put links to them on my desktop, etc - how do I do it? Couldn't find any intuitive way.

(asking for same functionality like Dropbox/Box.net)

P.S. Will it be possible to access those files later on from a Windows machine too?

2 Answers 2


There is a folder, located at ~/Library/Mobile Documents/, that iCloud-enabled apps store their data in. You can trickily use this folder by simply putting any files in there that you want to access from another iCloud-enabled computer. Unfortunately, there's no way to access this folder via the web or on an iOS device, but Macs synced to the same iCloud account will all have your files in that location. I'd recommend creating an alias of some sort as well, to get quick access to it.

In answer to your P.S., there is no way to access this folder on Windows, as it doesn't exist. If you are for some reason only wanting to move iWork files, you can use and access the iCloud web interface on any computer, but I doubt this will help you.

  • Oh cool thanks! Is there any sign for the sync status? Do the files I put there automatically start uploading to iCloud?
    – mindbomb
    Jan 26, 2012 at 0:22
  • They do! As long as you have Documents & Data syncing turned on in System Preferences > iCloud, it will sync upon a change in the folder's data. There's no syncing icon, I presume because it's supposed to be entirely behind-the-scenes.
    – Tuesday
    Jan 26, 2012 at 1:05

Unfortunately, there's no way to use the iCloud storage outside the services and apps that make use of it.

Unlike Dropbox and SugarSync, which are designed to let you sync any file or folder on your computer through their services, iCloud is focused on integration with apps: Any iCloud-enabled app will sync documents automatically to the service’s server. As such, you won’t be able to sync individual files from apps that don’t offer iCloud support. source

The idea of iCloud is, you have this XX space, but you can use it throughout the interfaces we provide. Namely iPhoto, iTunes Match, iWork, Any AppStore app that makes use of the iCloud Storage APIs, Backup of iOS5 devices, etc.

  • You're not supposed to make use of it any other way. It is possible to, however. Regardless, +1 for the intent. Jan 25, 2012 at 23:56
  • @JasonSalaz what exactly do you mean by "you're not supposed to make use of it any other way". The fact that the ~/Library/Mobile Documents/ gets synced doesn't mean it will continue to do so in the future (i'm sure it won't, since the APIs are likely to change and take care of that, given the implementation is extremely awful, at least in the current Cocoa state). Jan 26, 2012 at 12:59

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