System Preferences→AppleID, there's an App list that using iCloud on this Mac

Screenshot of apps using iCloud

Note that Mail and Reminders app are on the list, I can understand the data of Reminders needs to be sync to other devices like iPad or iPhone, but what data does Email have to sync with? Cause Email can retrieve emails from email servers directly, it does not need to be sync, right?

Let's continue, click the options... button of iCloud Drive, it shows up an App list too, Apps that store documents and data in iCloud, again, we can see Mail and Reminder in the list, but what's the difference of Mail and Reminder between this list and the list mentioned above? What's more, I can only check the Mail above but uncheck the Mail on this list, but it does not make any difference, I can't see any Mail's data on my iCloud Drive(neither on my Mac nor the web page side) Screenshot of apps storing data in iCloud

In my opinion, I think iCloud Drive is an App too(build-in App), which is similar to Dropbox, Apps like Calendars, Contacts, Reminders, Notes and so on are all sync data respectively, not through iCloud Drive, if I need to sync files through iCloud Drive, I just need to save files to iCloud Drive folder, that's all.

My System Version: macOS Big Sur 11.5.1

  • 1
    I think you're confusing the apps with the contents/documents the apps consume. Reading this, I only see 1 question and that's about the Mail app, is that correct?
    – fsb
    Aug 11 '21 at 14:54
  • @fsb Actually two, Mail.app and Reminders.app, cause I think Reminders.app doesn't create files on iCloud Drive folder.
    – Willis
    Aug 11 '21 at 17:17
  • Both apps store data in iCloud so they can share that data across devices. What problem, exactly, are you trying to solve here?
    – fsb
    Aug 11 '21 at 19:03
  • @fsb I didn't encounter any problem, I just trying to figure out what it use for, see my comment to this answer apple.stackexchange.com/a/425507/301356
    – Willis
    Aug 11 '21 at 19:27

Ticking the box for Mail means that you are using and accessing the iCloud email servers for Apple accounts.

By default, the iCloud email servers use IMAP, which does sync its contents with one or more email clients, allowing you to have the same emails on multiple devices.

The second option is, as the dialog suggests, to allow Mail to store documents within iCloud file storage.

  • Thank you, it turns out that Apple's Mail Server is using iCloud, it's not an independent service. But the second option, I still don't understand, I can save files to iCloud Drive with TextEdit.app even I uncheck the TextEdit option on the option... list, it seems that that list is useless except Documents and Desktop.
    – Willis
    Aug 11 '21 at 19:22

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