Setting up iCloud

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Setting up iCloud

iCloud, Apple's online syncing and storage service, is an integral part of Mountain Lion, allowing you to sync contacts, calendars, notes, bookmarks, documents, reminders, and photos between devices associated with your Apple ID. Here's how to set it up. Go to System Preferences, choose iCloud and you'll be prompted for your Apple ID. Now if you haven't created one already, and it's hard to imagine that you haven't but perhaps that hasn't happened. Simply click on create an Apple ID and you'll be walked through the process to obtain one.

We already have one so I'll on Cancel and click on Sign In. You have a couple of options. You can use iCloud for contacts, calendars, reminders, notes, and Safari. And this means that when you create one of these items on your Mac, it will also be added to iCloud and then sync to your devices. That's perfectly okay with me. And then the other is Use Find My Mac. Now let's suppose that you have a laptop and you take it around with you and you're in the back of a cab and you've left it in the cab.

You get back to your hotel and realize, "Oh! I forgot to write down the cab number, I don't know how to find this thing." Well all you have to do is you would jump on the hotel's computer, and if you've turned on Use Find My Mac, through your web browser you can locate your Mac's position as long as it's turned on. I think this is a great option and so I'm going to leave that on as well, and I'll click on next. Yes, you can use location because if you don't, you won't work, turn that on. Now we have a series of options that we can use with iCloud. Mail is the first one, turn that on and your mail will be synced between iCloud and your other devices.

Same idea with your Contacts, so if you add contacts to the Contacts app they will be synced, calendars, reminders, same idea, the notes you create will be synced. Safari, in this case, it means using something called iCloud tabs, which I'll explain in another movie as well as your bookmarks. Photo Stream is an option that if you add pictures to iPhoto, for example, they will be automatically synced to your other devices. It's really more helpful on an iOS device. So if I take a picture with my iPhone, for instance, that picture will then be automatically synced through iCloud to my computer.

So I can take a picture on my iPhone at the beach, I get home, and I can see that picture on my computer. Documents and data are for supported applications. So for instance, Pages is supported, Keynote is supported, Preview is supported, and TextEdit is supported. And this means that I can automatically have my document saved to the cloud and then open them on another device and then work on those. Back to My Mac is an option so that if I happen to be away somewhere, staying in a hotel, and I've left my Mac on at home, ideally I can then communicate and control my Mac at home and perhaps retrieve documents from it and send them via email to the Mac that I'm currently working on.

I'll be honest with you, it doesn't always work and most of the time it's because a router in a hotel has blocked that option. So I think it's a worthwhile option to have if you have a couple of Mac and you take one with you, but again, it may not always work. And then we have Find My Mac, and it tells me that location services are off. To fix that, I click on more and then open security and privacy. You have to unlock this preference. And then I would enable location services. We'll go back to iCloud and you see when I do that, Find My Mac is then enabled.

Now let's click on Manage to see what happens. One thing, along the left side, it will tell you how much of your storage you've used. By default you're given five gigabytes of storage. So if I click on Keynote, I can see that I have a couple of Keynote file stored there. If I wanted to, to save space, I can select one and then click on delete to get rid of it, or if I want to, I can click on Delete All. I have backups for some of my other devices, again, if I wanted to save some storage space, I can select that back up and I can choose to delete it.

If I want more information about my account, I click on View Account. I need to enter my password. Once you have this view, account information, you can then alter it if you like by clicking on the Change or the Edit buttons, but this gives you an idea of what Apple knows about you. We'll click on Done. And then finally, again you have five gigabytes of storage but you can get more if you want by clicking on Change Storage Plan. Apple would be more than happy to sell you more storage. So, for $20 a year you can get ten gigabytes additional storage so that you'd have 15 total.

$40 buys you 20 gigabytes more, and $100 buys you 50 gigabytes more of storage. I'm pretty happy with my storage, so I'll click on cancel and then we'll click on done. And that's the basics of setting up iCloud on your Mac. If you need more information, I've completed an Up and Running with iCloud course right here at, where you can learn lots more about this service.

Setting up iCloud
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Setting up iCloud provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Christopher Breen as part of the Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

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