Why You Might Want to Give the Free ‘iCloud for Windows’ App Another Look

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Apple’s iCloud for Windows app had a troubled past, but Apple and Microsoft worked together to give it an overhaul. Find out what the revamped app can do for you and where you can find it.

Apple’s iCloud for Windows app had a troubled past. This free app was created to give people a way to access their iCloud files on Windows 10 computers. However, the app suffered from slow synchronization speeds, incompatibility issues, and other problems.

Despite its not-so-great track record, it might be time to give the iCloud for Windows app another look. Working together, Apple and Microsoft overhauled the app. The most notable change is the inclusion of the technology behind the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature in Windows 10. Since 2017, this feature has given Windows 10 users the ability to view, open, and edit their OneDrive files in File Explorer, without having to save them on the local drive.

 

What the App Can Do for You

Thanks to the new Files On-Demand technology, the overhauled iCloud for Windows app gives you a quick and easy way to work with your files on Windows 10 computers and Apple devices. For example, you can:

  • Use File Explorer to view the files you have stored on iCloud. The files will even be visible when the computer is offline.
  • Open an iCloud Drive file by double-clicking it in File Explorer or opening it from within an app.
  • Edit iCloud Drive files on your Windows 10 computer, without having to save the files on your local drive. This saves time and storage space.
  • Store files in iCloud by dragging them into the iCloud Drive folder on your Windows 10 computer. You can then access these files with Apple devices that been set up to work with iCloud.
  • Share files from File Explorer with other people.
  • Collaborate on a file by sending a link to the people you want to review it. The edits they make will be made on your file, and the file will be synchronized across all your devices.
  • Synchronize iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders between your Windows 10 computer and Apple devices.
  • Synchronize Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari bookmarks between your Windows 10 computer and iOS devices. Microsoft Edge is not supported yet.

 

Where to Get the App

You can download the iCloud for Windows app from the Microsoft Store or Apple Support. Your computer must be running Windows 10 build 18362.145 or higher. If you plan to synchronize iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendars, you need Outlook 2016 or later. If you plan to synchronize bookmarks, you need Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 57, or Google Chrome 73 or later versions of these browsers.

Before installing the iCloud for Windows app on your computer, it is a good idea to make sure your Apple devices are set up with iCloud. The app does not support Managed Apple IDs.

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