migrate from Dropbox to iCloud
iCloud accounts come bundled with 5GB of storage – more than twice as much as you get with Dropbox. Better yet, its intimate connection not only to OS X but also to iOS means that in many cases it’s easier to access your files stored there on an iPhone or iPad than it is with Dropbox, for which you need to use the dedicated Dropbox app or a thirdparty tool like Readdle’s Documents. For both of these reasons, it’s a good idea to consider migrating from Dropbox to iCloud.
2 Tidy things up
Start with a little spring cleaning. Dropbox’s free-form filing system is so flexible that it’s easy to clutter it up with old documents that you don’t need – particularly if you’ve been using it as a dumping ground to share large files with other people! Spend some time going through your files and copying off any you don’t need to access remotely anymore. The more you remove, the less time the transfer will take and the less of your limited iCloud storage you’ll use up.
3 Drag and drop
Open two Finder windows and position them side by side. Navigate to your Dropbox folder in one and your iCloud Drive in the other, then select the files you want to move across and drag them from Dropbox to iCloud. Bear in mind that you’re not dragging directly from one cloud service to the other, but between two synchronised local folders, so although the initial transfer may seem to complete quite quickly it won’t be reflected on iCloud Drive on all your devices right away.
4 Finalise your filing
As we said earlier, some (not all) iCloud-aware apps on iOS can see no further than their own dedicated folder. So, you’ll need to check how far you can browse iCloud Drive from within your iOS apps and, if they are limited in this way, you’ll need to re-sort them into the respective folders within iCloud Drive for them to be visible in those apps. OS X apps don’t have this problem as you can navigate Drive’s folder structure in the Finder to open files directly in any compatible app.
5 Upgrade your account
One of the benefits of migrating your online storage from Dropbox to iCloud Drive is that you can take advantage of more granular upgrade options. Dropbox is the cheaper option if you need to go to the maximum 1TB (it costs £7.99 a month, compared to iCloud Drive’s £14.99). However, that is Dropbox’s only upgrade option, and for many users it’s too much. In that case, Apple’s 20GB, 200GB or 500GB options may be more appropriate – and they start at 79p a month.
6 Share without Dropbox
Part of Dropbox’s appeal is the ease with which it lets you share files. It integrates with the Finder, so you can right-click a file to share a link to the online copy. iCloud Drive doesn’t do this, and lacks the public file stores of its predecessor, iDisk, so most of the time files need to be shared by email, using Mail Drop if necessary. In some apps, such as Apple’s iWork suite, the Share menu lets you send a link to a file for collaborative or review purposes, and with password protection.