iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage service that allows you to store photos, documents, contacts, calendars and more and keep them up to date across all your Apple devices. If you use iCloud, you may want to view the content stored there from time to time, especially from your iPhone.
There are a few different ways to see what’s in your iCloud storage from your iPhone. Here are the main options:
View iCloud Content in Settings
The easiest way to get an overview of what’s in your iCloud is directly in the Settings app on your iPhone:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on your name at the top (your Apple ID).
- Tap on “iCloud”.
On the iCloud page, you’ll see a list of all the iCloud features that can store content, like Photos, Mail, Contacts and more. Tap on any category to see how much storage space is being used.
This doesn’t let you view the actual files, but gives you a summary of what’s being stored in your account across each app. For example, you can see how many photos or emails are stored in iCloud.
Use the iCloud App
Apple also provides a dedicated iCloud app for iPhone and iPad that offers more detailed access to your iCloud content:
- Open the App Store on your iPhone.
- Search for “iCloud” and install the iCloud app from Apple.
- Open the iCloud app.
The iCloud app gives you access to your iCloud photos, videos, documents, notes and more. You can view thumbnails of photos stored in iCloud, preview documents, and open notes. This gives you detailed access to all files actually stored in iCloud from your iPhone.
View iCloud Photos
The Photos app offers dedicated access to just your iCloud Photos library. This is useful if photos are the only thing you need to check:
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone
- Tap on the Albums tab at the bottom
- Scroll down and tap on iCloud Photos
This will display all the photos you have stored in iCloud, organized by date. You can tap any photo to view it in full resolution. To only see photos stored on your device, go back and tap “Photos” instead of “iCloud Photos”.
Check iCloud Email
To view email messages synced to iCloud, use the Mail app on your iPhone:
- Open the Mail app
- Tap on the mailbox account using iCloud
This will display the inbox for that email account, including all messages stored in iCloud. You can browse other folders like Sent to also access messages stored in iCloud.
View iCloud Contacts
Your iCloud contacts are accessed through the standard Contacts app:
- Open the Contacts app
- Tap Groups
- Tap iCloud
This will show a list of all contacts synced to your iCloud account that you can browse through.
View iCloud Calendars
To see your iCloud calendars:
- Open the Calendar app
- Tap Calendars at the bottom
- Enable any iCloud calendars you want to view
The calendars from iCloud will then appear when viewing your calendar events. Tap on a calendar while viewing events to only see its events.
Check iCloud Reminders
Your iCloud reminders can be accessed in the Reminders app:
- Open the Reminders app
- Tap on the iCloud list
This will display all Reminder lists synced from iCloud. Tap on a list to view the reminders inside it.
View iCloud Notes
To access your iCloud notes:
- Open the Notes app
- Tap on the note account using iCloud
This will show all notes synced from iCloud that you can browse through.
Check Other iCloud App Data
Many other apps like Messages, Health, Wallet and more also sync data to iCloud. View the content by simply opening the app on your iPhone and viewing the content inside. The data you see came from your iCloud storage.
See iCloud Storage Usage
In addition to accessing your iCloud content, you can also check your current iCloud storage usage from your iPhone. This lets you see how much space you have used up and manage your storage if needed:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud
- Scroll down and tap Manage Storage
This will display a detailed breakdown of how much space each app is using in iCloud. You can tap on any app to see what types of data are taking up space, and delete items if needed.
This is useful for freeing up room if you are getting close to your storage limit.
Free Up iCloud Storage Space
If you’re running out of your free 5GB of iCloud storage, here are some tips for freeing up space:
- Delete old email attachments
- Remove photos and videos already saved elsewhere
- Turn off apps’ access to iCloud if not needed
- Export notes to another app then delete from iCloud
- Move iOS backups to Mac/PC storage and delete from iCloud
- Delete unused documents stored in iCloud Drive
You can purchase more iCloud storage if needed, starting at $0.99 per month for 50GB.
Transfer iCloud Content to a New iPhone
When you get a new iPhone, you’ll want to transfer your existing iCloud content like photos, contacts, calendars and more. There are a couple options to do this:
- Restore from iCloud Backup – This restores everything from your iCloud backup during device setup
- Use Quick Start in iOS – Transfers iCloud content like photos and emails specifically
With both options, be sure you sign in with the same Apple ID on your new iPhone to transfer the iCloud data.
Back Up Your iPhone to iCloud
It’s always a smart idea to regularly back up your iPhone. Backing up to iCloud allows you to restore all your data if you ever need to wipe or replace your iPhone.
To enable iCloud backups:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud
- Tap iCloud Backup
- Turn on iCloud Backup
Your iPhone will now automatically backup daily when locked, charging and connected to WiFi. You can also manually trigger a backup anytime by going to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now.
Restore iCloud Backup to an iPhone
If you get a new iPhone, or need to reset your current one, you can restore your iCloud backup during device setup. This will re-download all your data like photos, messages, device settings and more.
To restore an iCloud backup to an iPhone:
- Turn on new iPhone and proceed to Quick Start
- On the Apps & Data screen, tap Restore from iCloud Backup
- Sign in with your Apple ID and select the backup to restore
Your iPhone will restore the selected iCloud backup and restart like new with your data.
View iCloud Content on a Mac
While this article covers how to view iCloud content on an iPhone, you can also access iCloud on your Mac computer:
- In System Preferences > Apple ID, manage your iCloud features
- In the iCloud Drive folder, access documents, notes and more
- In the Photos app, view your iCloud Photo Library
- Use the iCloud web interface at icloud.com to access files
The process works very similarly to iPhone. Just be sure to use the same Apple ID as you do on your iPhone.
Troubleshooting Unable to View iCloud Content
If you can’t view content you know is stored in iCloud, here are some troubleshooting tips:
- Make sure you’re logged into the correct Apple ID – Check in Settings
- Double check the app accessing iCloud is up to date
- Verify the app has iCloud enabled in Settings
- Restart your iPhone to clear any bugs
- Toggle iCloud Drive off and on under Settings
- Update your iPhone software in case of a bug
In most cases, this should help surface the missing data. If not, contact Apple support for further help accessing iCloud.
iCloud provides a convenient way to store your content and keep it synced across devices. By using the Settings app, Photos, Mail, and other apps, you can view a summary or detailed files of what’s in your iCloud storage from your iPhone.
Regularly backing up your iPhone to iCloud ensures your data is saved, and makes it easy to transfer when getting a new device. With a few taps, you can manage your iCloud storage, access important content, and ensure your data is always available on your iPhone.