iCloud storage limits

Sam Radford talks about Apple’s 5GB of iCloud storage space and how the company has to increase the limit. I agree with Sam. Years ago 5GB was a lot of space, but if Apple wants users to utilize iCloud and all of its services, they are going to have to increase the limits.



  • tylernol

    I am in a similar situation, Apple should definitely bump that stuff up. Storage is cheap, and the photo limit is silly. Photo storage should be unlimited, and the Photos app should be a little more upfront and simple in its social hooks. I have to tutor everyone I know on how to create photo groups and share photos.

  • http://duma.ws/ Duma Studetto

    5GB is more than adequate for the vast majority of consumers. Those who want more to take full of advantage of the power of iCloud, they can pay a tiny fee for a huge upgrade in storage capacity.

    • gjgustav

      Not really, especially with Apple encouraging device backup to iCloud. Every iOS device should come with enough storage to back it up.

      • http://blog.nicholasmodesto.com/ DigitizedSociety

        Photostream and Media from the iTunes ecosystem don’t count against the iCloud storage.

        I would be interested in seeing what it would take for a user’s device backup to fill up iCloud.

        • gjgustav

          Yes, we know. What about camera roll? App data? Media not from the iTunes eco system. Garageband songs, movies shot with iMovie, graphics files from drawing, apps, etc.

          I’ve already seen lots of users run into their limit. And their email stopped working because of it. That’s not acceptable.

        • http://evq.tumblr.com Eric

          I’m only able to back up my iPhone or my iPad with iCloud. The backups are too big otherwise. They run around 2.5-3 GB a piece.

    • Benny

      I own 3 apple iphone/tablet devices all sharing only 5GB of iCloud. This is ridiculous. I’ve paid more than my fair share for apple’s products. The least they can do is bump my storage up for every device I purchase…

  • Larry Davis

    Even years ago the 5GB limit was impractical to anyone with more than one iOS device. Many consumers have an iPhone and an iPad, for example. 5GB doesn’t do much for those users (like myself).

    • http://blog.nicholasmodesto.com/ DigitizedSociety

      I have (2) iPhones and an iPad backed up to a single 5GB iCloud account with 2GB to spare.

      I will admit that I keep the camera roll pretty clean. I don’t accumulate thousands of pictures because thats what Photostream and the integration with iPhoto is for.

  • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

    Yup, I paid for 10 GB more, because I have three devices backing up data to iCloud.

    5 GB is measly, especially when you use a lot of apps that store large amounts of user data.

    • David Fabian

      Apple should bump up the storage offered to paying iCloud users every year, but keep the price for the upgrade the same; this would help keep pace with growing storage demands of increasing amounts of photos, apps and data. Also, the size of available iCloud backup space should relate in some way to the number and capacity of iOS devices that a user owns, at the very least offer 5GB of backup space per device. They should also completely rethink photostream, because it’s just not an effective way to manage photos anymore.

      • Meaux

        At the very least it should be 5GB per device. A person with an iPhone and an iPad has sent more money to Apple than a person with just one of those things.

  • nutmac

    Each iOS device should come with 2-year storage upgrade. Each 16GB iOS device should add 10GB for 2 years ($40 opportunity cost to Apple), 32GB iOS device 20GB ($80), and 64GB iOS device 50GB ($200). And Apple needs to implement data deduplication and not count photos in Photo Stream toward storage limit.

  • Phil

    Just had my free iCloud storage upgrade expire (nice of Apple to give it me as loyal iTools –> .mac —> MobileMe —> iCloud customer) and ran into this limit as well. Spent nearly a day deleting old email and trying to reduce my iCloud back up sizes.

    I had 1.8 GB of email alone (I tend to never delete email…just file it..hey it’s come in handy when I can dig up a 2 year old email to prove something). I had two iPhone back-ups weighing in at 1.5 and 2.4 GB each and and an iPad back up at 0.9 GB. Didn’t even realize I was using 6+ GB of storage. My solution ended up being to do a “Manual back-up” of one of my iPhones in iTunes and then disable and delete iCloud back-up of that iPhone. That freed up 2.4 GB and got me back under the 5 GB limit.

    While I think Apple should offer 10GB free, the one thing I think has to be changed is coupling email to the storage limit. I found it quite unnerving that my email was effectively shutoff because I was over the limit. I simply can’t be without my e-mail. I do everything through my mac.com email. One solution could be still only offer 5 GB but do not count the email storage against it.

    Otherwise, I’ve been very happy with iCloud and what it does for me. I just purchased a new iPhone 5s and did a “Restore from iCloud back-up and VOILA, like magic, my 5s was restored like I hadn’t even changed phones. All this for the low, low price of $0.

    • Zepfhyr

      What I don’t understand is, if you were a MobileMe subscriber (which cost $99/yr unless you bought retail, for ~$66), why didn’t you just pay for a storage upgrade at $20/yr for an extra 15GB? Surely that would have covered your storage needs, or come very, very close.

      • Phil

        I considered it Zepfhyr but I feel like I’ve already done my part for AAPLs share price over the last 30 years. ;-) I may still upgrade, if it comes to that but I loved the idea Apple adding incredible value to the device with the free iCloud service and think that they should up the free storage to at least 10 GB. We’ll see.

  • Mikey

    I agree with most here that Apple “should” upgrade storage if they want iOS users to also use iCloud. But frankly, the state of their existing services isn’t where it needs to be to attract a large number of people, especially the less tech savvy. When they finally get their heads wrapped around what it takes to be a services company, my bet is they will offer 50 or maybe even 100 gb of storage to attract users. iTunes radio holds promise that Apple is getting better at services, but they still have miles to go before they sleep.

  • The White Tiger

    Seeing as SkyDrive is the most direct competitor to iCloud (being Windows 8′s heavily-integrated cloud solution) and it offers 7GB of storage these days, 10GB of iCloud storage would be applaudable– for now. In a few years time, it’ll probably be prudent to upgrade it again.

  • http://blog.nicholasmodesto.com/ DigitizedSociety

    I would imagine the #1 offender is Photos and Videos. It would be great to see Apple build or buy something like Everpix and just give its users free cloud backup of their images and videos that are on their iDevice or iPhoto/Aperature library. At that point 5GB for email, app data, and app documents will be more that sufficient.

    • gjgustav

      They don’t have to buy Everpix to do that. Photostream should be the opposite. Apple could back up all of your photos, and only store recent ones on your device.

      But two things they should never do that they do now: 1. Not back up your device because of storage limits. 2. Stop email when you hit your limit.

    • nutmac

      iCloud backup should resemble that of Time Machine backup. Reserve 15% buffer for non-backup related data (Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Notes, Passbook, Document & Data). Use the rest for backup, but delete data as needed, starting with least used apps.

  • http://blog.ikrug.com/ Dave Krug

    It would be nice if Apple at least gave you 5GB per device. I have an iPhone and an iPad and I’m under the 5GB limit only because I’m not using iCloud as much as I would with a bigger limit and going with Dropbox instead.

  • Tom

    Agree completely. I was even surprised Apple didn’t announce at the last iPhone event.

  • http://geekfun.com/ Erik S.

    I was just thinking about this earlier today.

    Apple should include iCloud storage equivalent to device storage, particularly since they charge such a healthy premium on flash storage these days.

    The iCloud brand is way to complicated. They need to start simplifying.

  • MichaelQ

    Pay for what you use. Shut up.

  • Erik

    I have one iOS device and I’m close to my 5GB limit.