How to set-up and use iCloud Drive on the iPad

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icloud drive

iCloud Drive was first introduced with the release of iOS 8 & Yosemite last fall.  Once set-up on your iPad it replaces Documents and Data, where, up to this point, you stored your saved iWork documents.  All documents currently stored in iCloud will automatically be moved to iCloud Drive when you decide to upgrade.  One word of caution before proceeding–once you upgrade your iPad to iCloud Drive, you won’t be able to open any documents stored in iCloud Drive from your Mac, iPhone or any other device until those devices are also upgraded to iOS 8 or Yosemite.

Setting up iCloud Drive is easy

Settings–> iCloud–> iCloud Drive–> turn on iCloud Drive–> follow the prompts.


One nice thing with iCloud Drive that wasn’t previously available with iCloud is that you can save documents from various programs and keep them in one central location that is shared across your devices.  There are only a couple related limitations for iCloud Drive storage–files need to be less than 15 GB each, AND not exceed available iCloud storage.  Examples of documents include

  • Images
  • PDF’s
  • Keynote
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • iA Writer
  • Text Editor
  • Preview

There is virtually no limit to what can be saved to your iCloud Drive.  As long as the app is supported, you can save your documents.


Too manage your files from your iPad, as well as monitor the available storage in iCloud, go to Settings–> iCloud–>storage.  Once you select the app that is using iCloud Drive storage, you can look at individual files within the app and edit/remove them from storage.  This can be done manually by swiping from right to left on the individual file or by selecting the edit button from the top, and checking off the files that you would like to remove.  Your files and folders will be synched across all your devices using iCloud Drive.  In addition, you will be able to create new files and folders and work on the same file using multiple apps.


The minimum requirements for using iCloud Drive are

  • An iPad running iOS 8
  • Mac with OS X Yosemite
  • Safari 6.0 or later
  • An internet connection (for synching & saving)

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2 thoughts on “How to set-up and use iCloud Drive on the iPad”

  1. What about the Notes app and the notes created in it? Do all my previous notes get moved over?

    Also, What about apps that sync to iCloud like 1Password? Is all that taken care of behind the scenes?

  2. Hi Rowan–thanks for your comment.

    Do you already back up your notes to iCloud? If you’re not sure you can check by opening system preferences–>iCloud, and make sure the box is checked next to Notes. In addition, you can view which apps are backed up in iCloud Drive by clicking on the options button to the right of iCloud Drive. See link for example. Let me know if this helps.

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