How to get an additional 30GB of iCloud storage for free

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iCloud-storage

When Apple first introduced the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus back in September they also, without much fanfare,  increased iCloud storage plans. Although they didn’t upgrade the standard 5GB of iCloud storage that comes with every iOS device, Apple did drastically improve the cloud storage limits of their existing plans.

New iCloud Storage Plans

  • 50GB –> $0.99 / month (2.5X more storage for the same price).
  • 200GB –> $2.99 / month (cost reduced by 25%).
  • 500GB –> $9.99 / month (discontinued).
  • 1TB–>  $9.99 / month (cost reduced by 50%).

Finally, Apple’s new iCloud plans are much more competitive and can compete with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Dropbox. Unfortunately, these upgrades, while offered at the same cost or even lower than previous iCloud plans, do not upgrade automatically for existing users. So how can you upgrade your current iCloud plan to one of the new storage plans at no additional cost to you?

How to upgrade your iCloud Plan for free

My current iCloud plan was one of the legacy plans and was no longer available.  I was paying $10.99 for 20 GB/year.  Apple has since offered a comparable plan that was a little more expensive at $0.99/month.  Fortunately, when the new plans were announced, I was now able to upgrade to 50GB of storage for the same $0.99/month price of the existing 20GB plan. However, I had to manually select this plan to acquire the extra storage.  Perhaps this was due to the fact that I was currently on a yearly billed plan that didn’t expire next August. It is unclear whether or not Apple would have increased my storage at the time of renewal–or at least alerted me to the new storage options when my current yearly plan was due for renewal.

iCloud-storage

To view your iCloud settings, and upgrade your storage plan, got to Settings–> iCloud–> Storage–> Change Storage Plan.

Change-iCloud-Storage

When you choose to change your storage plan you will be shown the all the current available options.  At this time I could increase my storage by 2.5X from 20GB to 50GB for the same monthly price.  It was a $1/year increase for me only because I was still on a older, discontinued plan.

iCloud-storage-upgrade

With any changes to you your iCloud storage plan (both upgrades and downgrades) you will have to enter your iTunes password before you can confirm your selection. If you were like me, and you had many months remaining on a yearly plan, Apple will refund you the pro-rated difference for the unused portion.  In addition, they will also immediately charge your account for the new monthly plan, and will continue to charge your account each month until you change or cancel your plan.


Renkman

Son of the Windy City, and proud Father to two awesome boys. Rob is a displaced Chicago Bears fan living in the Orlando Florida area. When not obsessing about everything Apple, he can usually be found outside boating across Florida's natural resources and taking the road less traveled.

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10 thoughts on “How to get an additional 30GB of iCloud storage for free”

    1. Hi Gregory,

      I’m certainly not a liar. For me, and thousands of iCloud users like me who were already using the 20GB storage plan, we now get 30GB of additional storage for free simply by upgrading our iCloud plan like I demonstrated in this post. Also, in the first half of the post I listed the storage plans illustrating that we now can acquire 50GB of storage, 2.5X as much as previously offered, for the same price as the 20GB plan. I even changed the title of the post shortly after it went live to emphasize that this storage was an “additional” amount for free. Sorry if you feel misled, this certainly was not my intention, nor is it ever with any of my posts.

  1. Can the storage be billed to the balance on my Apple App Store gift card balance, instead of a credit card?

    1. Hey Mux,

      Accepted payment methods for iCloud storage upgrades include credit cards, debit cards, and iTunes Store credit. If you don’t have enough iTunes store credit to complete your upgrade, you’ll be charged the remaining amount. Unfortunately, though, Apple Store gift cards aren’t accepted as payment for upgrading iCloud storage

  2. Hey Renkman,

    I am very confused about this monthly pricing as i have always used itunes to back up.

    The only question i have is

    When we pay 0.99$ monthly for 50 gb, does that mean you get 50 gb each month when apple charges you. Like does the ” available storage” resets itself for ” 50 gb free space” each month ?

    1. Hi Manpreet,

      You pay $0.99/month for 50GB of storage. Nothing changes month to month. The credit card you have on file for your iTunes account automatically gets charged the same day each month. The storage doesn’t get reset. Think of it like this–you are basically “renting” cloud space to store your “stuff” and the rental price is $0.99/month. You get 5GB of free space automatically for any iOS device. To view and/or upgrade your iCloud storage, got to the Settings App–> iCloud–>Storage–> Change Plan.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

    1. Hey Phil,

      I wish you could share the storage . I have been dealing with the same dilemma in my household, and I have not found a viable option when a family member has their own Apple ID. I’ll update the post if I can find a way.

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