iCloud Plus: What It Is and How to Use It

Upgrade your iCloud with more storage and new features

Apple's iCloud+ is a paid upgrade to the free iCloud service that adds several useful features. The key features delivered by iCloud+ are upgraded storage limited, privacy-centric features like iCloud Private Relay and Hide My Email, and support for storing the video from HomeKit-compatible security cameras.

iCloud+ Features and Plans

While the basic iCloud service is free, you can get iCloud+ by upgrading to any paid iCloud plan (including Apple One, as we'll cover later in this article). Here's how the iCloud+ plans compare to each other:

with 50GB
with 200GB
with 2TB
Storage  50GB 200GB  2TB
iCloud Private Relay   yes   yes  yes 
Hide My Email  yes  yes  yes
Custom Email Domain  yes  yes  yes
HomeKit Secure Video Support 1 camera 5 cameras unlimited cameras
Family Sharing Support 5 people 5 people 5 people

Most aspects of iCloud+ are pretty self-explanatory, but there are two that need a little explanation:

  • iCloud Private Relay: This is a VPN-style feature that routes all of your web browsing traffic through an Apple server and a third-party server. By adding two additional steps between you and the websites you're visiting, Apple can partially anonymize your traffic, protect user privacy, and prevent tracking and data gathering. Check out our full article on iCloud Private Relay.
  • Hide My Email: This feature generates disposable, anonymous email addresses that you can use to sign up for services and accounts without providing your actual, personally identifiable, trackable email address. It's another way that Apple is helping users stop themselves from being tracked and monitored. Apple delivers the anonymized emails to your actual email address without sharing your information.

Like other Apple subscriptions, the cost of iCloud+ is billed each month to the payment method you have on file in your Apple ID. The price of iCloud+ varies depending on your country, but the lowest-cost plan costs US$0.99/month in the United States. Apple has a complete list of iCloud+ prices in countries around the world.

Is iCloud Plus Available?

Yes. ICloud+ is available now in dozens of countries around the world.

How Do I Update iCloud+?

Updating to iCloud+ is easy. All you need to do is upgrade your free iCloud account to any paid account. You can do that on an iPhone or iPad, a Mac, or even on Windows.

Update to iCloud+ on iPhone

Use the steps below to update iCloud+ using your iPhone.

  1. Tap Settings > [your name].

  2. Tap iCloud.

    iPhone settings with name and iCloud highlighted
  3. Tap Manage Storage (or iCloud Storage, on some devices).

  4. Choose the plan you want to upgrade to and follow the on-screen prompts.

    iPhone settings with Manage Storage and storage plans highlighted

Update to iCloud+ on Mac

Updating iCloud+ is slightly different when you're using a Mac, so follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the top left corner and click System Preferences.

    Mac desktop with apple menu and System Preferences highlighted
  2. Click Apple ID > iCloud > Manage.

    Mac desktop with apple menu and System Preferences highlighted
  3. Click Buy More Storage and select the plan you want.

  4. Click Next and enter your Apple ID password.

Update to iCloud+ on Windows

In Windows, you'll need to update your iCloud+ account using iCloud for Windows. Here's how.

  1. Open iCloud for Windows.

  2. Click Storage.

  3. Click Change Storage Plan.

  4. Select the plan you want to upgrade to and click Next.

  5. Enter your Apple ID password and click Buy.

Does Apple One Include iCloud+?

Yes. To get iCloud+, you need any paid iCloud plan. Apple One—Apple's bundle that includes all of its subscription services, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade—provides an upgraded iCloud account with 50GB of storage (or 200GB for family plans and 2TB for Premier plans). So, if you've got Apple One, you automatically get iCloud+, too.

What Is the iCloud Plus Release Date?

Apple officially released iCloud+ along with iOS 15 in Sept. 2021. Some features of iCloud+ were available in beta versions of iOS 15 that were released before the official rollout.

Apple announced iCloud+ at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2021.

  • How do I back up my iPhone to iCloud?

    On your iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup, and then turn on iCloud backup. To perform a manual backup, tap Back Up Now. Otherwise, your iPhone will automatically back up to iCloud when it's connected to power, locked, or connected to Wi-Fi.

  • How do I access iCloud photos?

    To access your iCloud photos from an iOS device, you'll need to enable iCloud Photos in Settings. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos and toggle on the feature. Then, launch the Photos app and tap the Photos tab. On an Android device, open a browser, and go iCloud.com, sign in, and then tap Photos.

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