I have a folder on my iCloud and in the beginning I shared it with edit rights to anyone who has the link, then it asked them to have an iCloud account, so then I thought may be because I set it as editable. So then I set it as view only and shared the link but still they needed an account which to me it feels inconvenient or I thought may be I did something wrong.

Is there a way which I don't know how to do it?

Like for example on DropBox or Google Drive it will ask them to have an account if they want to edit but to view or download they can do this without the need of signing up and creating an account on DropBox or Google Drive.

3 Answers 3


Sharing participants must have an iCloud account.

Participants need an Apple ID to view or edit files in a shared folder. If you invite someone without an Apple ID, they'll be prompted to create an Apple ID.

Source: Apple Support Document Share folders with iCloud Drive under the heading, Learn more about folder sharing

  • Uhh, didn't know that. Limits its value somehow...
    – nohillside
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 12:44
  • 1
    Why I'm fan of OneDrive. I can share a Word doc and to view, you don't need to log in, but if you want to edit even if you don't have Word installed, you can edit with the Web version - all you need is a (free) Outlook account. Same as DB and GD.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 12:46
  • @Allan According to my question here: apple.stackexchange.com/q/389424/116989 which option you think is the best from your advice?
    – Tak
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 12:59
  • You have to decide that based on what your requirements are. OneDrive works for me because it fits my needs. Determine what you want, rank them in terms of "must have," "nice to have," and "ok not to have" then look at the various services and see which comes the closest.
    – Allan
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 13:06
  • Your SOURCE states nothing about when sharing, users must have an APPLE ID ?? Commented May 15, 2022 at 7:48

I had a nice little 20-minute conversation with an Apple support representative about this, oh boy... I can confirm that Apple removed that content from the help page, but when we use anyone with the link to share folders you can only access them by adding them to your iCloud drive which means you need an account but for files, you get an option to download a copy.

  • You’re essentially confirming the accepted answer. If it was helpful to you, please up vote.
    – Allan
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 13:26

to anyone following the link and wondering why it doesn't show that "Participants need an Apple ID ..." anymore. Apple have quietly removed this from their page BUT they have still not allowed anyone without an Apple ID to view shared filed via a link "for anyone with the link"

This is apple being "different".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .