Share your iCloud plan’s storage
Free iCloud accounts aren’t exactly generous, so thank goodness for shared storage
We’ve found that there are two kinds of iCloud storage.
There’s not enough iCloud storage, which tends to apply to the 5GB that comes free with every iCloud account, and there’s too much iCloud storage, which is what you tend to see when you’ve upgraded to a paid-for plan. Family Sharing can spare your family the former by taking advantage of the latter.
Sharing storage doesn’t mean sharing files. Everybody’s documents, photos and files remain private and associated with only their own iCloud accounts. All you’re pooling here is the storage plan.
Before you start, the organiser needs to have the correct storage plan. Family Sharing can take advantage of a 200GB or 2TB plan, and requires you to have iOS 11 or macOS 10.13 High Sierra or later.
How to share
Actually, sharing your iCloud storage plan couldn’t be simpler. On your Mac, go to > System Preferences > iCloud > Manage Family > My Apps & Services > iCloud Storage and click Start Sharing. On your iPhone or iPad, the place to go is Settings > Family Sharing > iCloud Storage and tap Share Storage Plan.
Any family member who is paying for more iCloud storage can keep that if they want. If your objective is to save money by using a combined quota, make sure they stop paying for a separate plan; it’s only the family organiser who really needs to pay. When sharing storage, use this page in System Prefs or Settings to track how much each person is using.
Family Sharing is a great reason to pay for one of the largest two iCloud account tiers. You can share storage with family, but they can’t combine that and their own paid-for storage.