What Is The Difference Between iCloud and iCloud Drive

So, what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive? iCloud comes with so many parts, including Backups, Family Sharing, Keychain, and many more. It becomes quite tough to remember which tool does what. Now, there is iCloud Drive, which is not another name for iCloud. If not, then what’s the difference between the two?

iCloud and iCloud Drive are two cloud-based services offered by Apple. Both of these services are free. They are both employed for storing the data online securely. However, they are not the same tool.

When it comes to iCloud, most Apple users get confused. Plus, the kind of files that you can back up on this platform. Now, there is another tool called iCloud Drive! This service is important for lots of users who like to protect their data. Also, for people who like to know what they exactly use. Now, we will discuss what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive

Part 1: Introduction to iCloud


Basically, iCloud is the storage service offered by Apple. This is not a sharing storage platform, such as Dropbox. However, iCloud is very useful to store some of your data on the phone. While switched on, iCloud backs up all the data on your iOS device, such as photos, documents, calendars, contacts, and much more.

In addition, iCloud also backs up all the purchases made on the iTunes store. However, it does not save any videos, TV shows, or music that you have not purchased on iTunes. With this cloud service, users can save all types of data, which can be synced to other iOS devices effortlessly. Anything backed up on iCloud is available to you and protected for accessing online.

For instance, if you add a note on your phone, it will also appear on your iPad. Not just that, you can also edit an event on the calendar from your MacBook. This will even reflect on your Apple Watch. So, iCloud lets you manage your data from any iOS device.

Now, let’s see what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

PS: Here are the top iCloud removers for your reference. And click to find out How to Recover Deleted or Lost Photos from iCloud Backup easily.

Part 2: Introduction to iCloud Drive

While iCloud is the storage service, iCloud Drive refers to the Dropbox version of Apple. This service is also cloud-based, which lets you share all kinds of data on the Drive effortlessly. iCloud Drive even enables users to sync the content between iOS devices.

iCloud Drive seems a bit different in comparison to Google Drive or Dropbox when it comes to operation. Here, you do not access your file collection through the iCloud Drive application. Users have to do this via different corresponding applications. For instance, if you like to access photos in iCloud Drive, then you need to use the Photos application.

Introduction to iCloud Drive

Now, let’s check what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

Why do you need to employ iCloud Drive?

Users do not require to employ iCloud Drive. Like other iCloud services, it is an optional feature. When you turn off this feature, all of your files are saved locally on your device. This means that they are always available, even when there is no internet connection. So, you get what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive!

Is it free to use?

Yes, it is. When you create an Apple account, you receive 5GB of storage space online for free. If this is enough storage space for everything that you like to keep in iCloud Drive and iCloud, you do not have to pay a penny.

For most iOS users, 5GB is not enough. This is because of all the services of iCloud use this space, such as Drive, Photos, Backups, and others. On running out of iCloud storage, users can buy more space from Apple. It comes in three storage subscriptions:

  • 50GB – $0.99 a month
  • 200GB – $2.99 a month
  • 2TB – $9.99 a month
Is it free to use

How to turn on the iCloud Drive service

Before you switch on iCloud Drive, it is recommended to update all your iOS devices to the recent iOS version. Users also have to make sure that they are signed in using the same Apple account on every device. If not, your iOS devices would not sync with each other. So, switch this service on from all devices that you like to access your data from.

Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch:

1. Visit ‘Settings‘ and then click on your name. Next, choose ‘iCloud.’

2. Keep scrolling down and switch on ‘iCloud Drive.’

Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch

Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on Windows PC:

1. Download iCloud on your Windows PC. Install and run it.

2. Sign in with your Apple ID credentials.

3. Tick the box present against ‘iCloud Drive.’

Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on Windows PC

Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on Mac:

1. Choose ‘System Preferences‘ and then click on ‘Apple ID.’ Users who use macOS Mojave or below need to choose ‘iCloud.’

2. Tick the box present against ‘iCloud Drive.’

Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on Mac

3. Choose the tab ‘Options

  • i) Switch on ‘Desktop & Documents Folders‘ for storing them in iCloud Drive.
Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on Mac
  • ii) Check everything else that you like to store in iCloud
  • iii) On macOS Mojave or below, switch on ‘Optimize Storage‘ for creating more space on the system. On macOS Catalina+, look for the ‘Optimize Storage‘ option on the home page of the Apple ID.
Steps to switch on iCloud Drive on Mac

After getting introduced to iCloud and iCloud Drive separately, it is time to see what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

Besides, let’s learn more about how to get iCloud security code and how to hack iCloud account with ease.

Part 3: What is the Difference Between iCloud and iCloud Drive?

So, what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive? iCloud Drive isn’t different from iCloud, but a part of it. Whatever you save in iCloud Drive, it gets stored in iCloud. Generally, iCloud aids to back up the phone and sync restricted types of data among other iOS devices. On the other hand, iCloud Drive focuses more on sharing between Apple devices and allows seamless co-working and interaction among these devices.

This means that users can share the data saved on one device, among other devices, without transferring, sending, or copying. For instance, you have a fresh Pages document on the MacBook Air, type in some lines, and move it to your iCloud Drive. After that, you can keep working on that file whenever and wherever you like, given that you can access the file through your iPad or iPhone.

So, this is what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive!

Also, let’s figure out How to delete contacts from iCloud and How to Activate iCloud IMEI Unlock effortlessly.

Part 4: How to Check Your iCloud Backup

Sometimes, iCloud might fail to create a backup of all the data present on your phone. So, if users like to see the data that has been there in the recent iCloud backup, they may require a professional third-party program. One such professional tool is iMyFone D-Back.

iMyFone D-Back lets users enjoy access to the latest backup and examine what is inside. This tool is an amazing data recovery program. Have a glance at its special features below!

Key Features of iMyFone D-Back iCloud Backup Viewer & Extractor:

  • Users can extract and recover data directly from their iOS devices, iTunes, or iCloud backup files.
  • This tool is extremely useful in recovering data on iPhones. It allows them to recover around 22 different kinds of data, such as videos, notes, photos, messages, contacts, call logs, voice memos, and much more.
  • iMyFone D-Back supports almost all the iOS models, including iPhone 4/4s/5c/5s/6 (Plus)/6s(Plus)/7/8/X/XR/XS Max/XS/11 running on iOS 13/12/11/10/9/8/7.
  • This tool features a preview option that lets users recover data selectively.

Get iMyFone D-Back

After understanding what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive, learn how to check your data backup.

How to View the Backup Data via iMyFone D-Back:

To view the backed-up data in iCloud through iMyFone D-Back, follow the instructions listed below. Before you move further, download and install this program on the system.

Step 1: Install iMyFone D-Back

In the first place, you need to download iMyFone D-Back and install it on the system. After that, tap on ‘Start‘ present under the tab ‘Recover from iCloud.’ Log into the iCloud account next.

iMyFone D-Back
iMyFone D-Back

Step 2: Select from iCloud Backup and iCloud Kit

Here, you have two options – iCloud Backup and iCloud Kit. Choose the one you like and click on the tab ‘Scan.’

iMyFone D-Back
iMyFone D-Back

Step 3: Begin the scanning process

Now, the program will start the scanning process automatically. This process is going to take some time, depending on the file size present.

iMyFone D-Back

Step 4: Recover your data

Now, you will be able to see the backed-up data. You can preview the data by choosing the file you like to see. Not just that, but you can also recover your data. For this, choose some of your data files and tap on ‘Recover‘ for saving it to the system.

iMyFone D-Back

Now, you know how to see the backup data along with understanding what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

Tip: Best Backup Option for iOS Devices

It is not complicated at all to manually enable iCloud to perform the auto backup. However, it comes with certain limitations. iCloud cannot back up all types of data on your iOS device. That’s why a few iOS users select iCloud Drive. If you do not know, iCloud Drive just comes with a 5GB storage space for free. If you want to expand the space, you need to pay for that.

For users who are looking for free methods to backup data, it is better to use iTunes. It is just too simple to connect your iOS device to Mac or Windows PC and just sync hassle-free. Meanwhile, you can back up everything on the device without any limitations. Additionally, restoring your data from iTunes is pretty fast.


Now, you know what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive! So, it is important that you backup your data regularly for not worrying about data loss. However, there is no need to panic if you delete something important accidentally while there is no backup. In that situation, you can use iMyFone D-Back. This tool performs its best for retrieving the deleted, missing, or lost data on your device.

Try iMyFone D-Back