How to Open and Use Snow Leopard’s iDisk - dummies

How to Open and Use Snow Leopard’s iDisk

By Mark L. Chambers

With a MobileMe account active, iDisk is available and provides you with extra storage. To see how much storage you’re using and to configure access to your Public folder, open System Preferences, click the MobileMe icon, and then click the iDisk button to display the settings.

Your iDisk settings are available from System Preferences.
Your iDisk settings are available from System Preferences.

The iDisk Disk Space bar graph illustrates how much of your current iDisk territory you’re using.

You can specify the access privilege level for other MobileMe users from this pane as well. Select the Read Only radio button to prevent any other MobileMe user from copying files to your Public folder, or select the Read & Write radio button to allow others to save files there.

No matter which privilege level you choose, you can also set a password that other MobileMe users must type before they’re allowed access to your Public folder. If you’ve already set a password, you can change it by clicking the Set Password button and typing the new word in the Password box. Retype the word in the Confirm box to verify it; then click OK to save the change and return to the MobileMe System Preferences pane.

In contrast to the physical hard drive in your Mac, your iDisk never needs formatting or defragmenting, and you never have to check it for errors. However, the structure of an iDisk is fixed, so you can’t just go crazy creating your own folders. In fact, you can’t create new folders at the root of your iDisk at all, but you can create new folders inside most of the root folders.

Here are the folders that you find hanging out in your iDisk:

  • Backup: This read-only folder contains the backup files created with the MobileMe Backup application. You can copy the files in this folder to a removable drive on your system for an additional level of safekeeping.

  • Documents: This folder holds any application documents that you want to store. No one but you can access these items.

  • Groups: This folder holds files that you want to share with others in any MobileMe Groups you joined.

  • Library: Another read-only folder. This spot contains the configuration data and custom settings that you’ve created for other MobileMe features.

  • Movies: QuickTime movies go here. You can add the movies stored here to your Web pages.

  • Music: This is the repository for all your iTunes music and playlists, and the contents can be added to your Web pages.

  • Pictures: This folder is the vault for your JPEG and GIF images, including those that you want to use with your Web pages.

  • Public: This is the spot to place files that you specifically want to share with others, either directly through iDisk or with your Web pages. If you’ve allowed write access, others can copy files to your Public folder as well.

  • Sites: The Web pages that you store here can be created with iWeb. In fact, you can even use your own Web page design application and copy the completed site files here.

  • Software: Apple provides this read-only folder as a service to MobileMe members; it contains a selection of the latest freeware, shareware, and commercial demos for you to enjoy. To try something out, open the Software folder and copy whatever you like to your Mac OS X Desktop. Then you can install and run the application from the local copy of the files.

  • Web: This folder holds your MobileMe Galleries created from within iPhoto, as well as other media used by iWeb.

When you’re connected to the Internet, you can open your iDisk in one of the following ways:

  • From the Finder menu, choose Go→iDisk and then choose My iDisk from the submenu or use the Command+Shift+I keyboard shortcut.

  • Click the iDisk icon in the Finder Sidebar.

  • Add an iDisk button to your Finder window toolbar by choosing View→Customize Toolbar.

Your iDisk opens in a new Finder window. After you use one of these methods in a Mac OS X session, your iDisk icon appears on the Mac OS X Desktop. The iDisk volume icon remains until you shut down or restart your Mac.

After you add the button, you can click it to connect to your iDisk from anywhere in the Finder.
After you add the button, you can click it to connect to your iDisk from anywhere in the Finder.