The Incredible New iCloud Drive for OS X Yosemite

By Bob LeVitus

iCloud has been around in various forms for years, but iCloud Drive is an all-new way to take advantage of Apple’s remote storage service. iCloud Drive stores files of any type in iCloud. It’s built into Yosemite and works like any other folder on your Mac.

In other words, you can drag documents of any type into it, organize them with folders and tags if you care to, and find them with Spotlight.

The best part is that the files are not only available on your Mac, but on your iPhone, iPad, or Windows PC as well. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you need more than 5GB of storage space, it’s going to cost you. You get up to 5GB at no cost; if you need more it’s, 99 cents per month for 20GB, or $3.99 per month for 200GB.

Before Yosemite, iCloud was much more expensive: $40 per year for 25GB, or $100 per year for 55GB. Compare that to the current pricing of $12 per year for 20GB or $48 per year for 200GB. Kudos to Apple for making iCloud Drive not just convenient, but affordable.

Although iCloud Drive should be enabled by default, if yours isn’t (you don’t see it in the Sidebar), launch System Preferences (Apple→System Preferences), click the iCloud icon, and then enable the check box for iCloud Drive.

If you still don’t see it in your Sidebar, open Finder Preferences (Finder→Finder Preferences), click the Sidebar icon, and then enable the check box to Show iCloud Drive in the Sidebar.

One last thing for iDevice users only: iCloud-savvy apps on your Mac save files in an eponymous folder on iCloud Drive by default (for example, Pages saves files in an iCloud folder named Pages). The thing is, apps on iDevices can only see files in this iCloud Drive folder. If you save a Pages file to an iCloud Drive folder other than the Pages folder, you won’t be able to use it on your iDevices.