Get The Most Out Of iCloud With These 3 Tips

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iCloud is more than just a place to back up your iPhone or iPad. iCloud is Apple’s way of making all of your data available to you no matter where you are. This means email, contacts, pictures, and just about everything else stored on your computer or devices can always be available wherever you are.

With 5 GB of storage and the ability to sync documents, passwords, and even credit card information, iCloud is becoming a real powerhouse of data. Even with these features, there are a few lesser-known features in iCloud that most people overlook.

Check out how to get the most out of iCloud with these 3 tips.

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Note: All the features below are set up by logging into your account at iCloud.com on your Mac or PC. Log in using your Apple ID and you’re good to go. Make sure iCloud is also turned on in your iPhone or iPad to get the most use out of these tips as well. You can do this in Settings > iCloud and turn Mail on.

Use iCloud Aliases

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With your iCloud account you get three email aliases to use. These are email addresses with an @iCloud.com domain that you can send and receive from. This is great for avoiding spam in your main account and gives you the ability to use a unique email address for specific purposes like shopping sites, social media, or forums. If you use your full name in your iCloud account, using an alias can also be a big step in protecting your privacy.

To set up a new email alias, first log into iCloud.com on your Mac or PC. Once there, click on the Mail icon.

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Next, click on the Gear icon in the bottom left corner of the Mail window and select Preferences.

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In the menu that appears, you will see your main iCloud account and any previous email addresses that are linked to it. Click on the Accounts tab and click Add an alias to continue.

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Enter the name you want for the alias email account and select how you want your name to appear. If you are using this alias for something specific, give it a fitting label. Select a color if you want, and click OK. If the name you chose isn’t taken you will get a success message. If the name you picked is already in use, you will have to choose a new one.

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You will now see the new email alias listed. iCloud gives you three aliases, so use them wisely. You can delete aliases at any time, and as long as no one else used it, you can re-add it again.

These emails will show up in your main iCloud inbox and display addressed to the new alias.

Two-Step Verification

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Two-step verification is also known as two-factor verification, and is a way to better protect your iCloud account. This isn’t anything new with iCloud, but since your Apple ID is your iCloud email address, using two-step verification is a must.

Two-step verification gives you an additional layer of security to stop someone from accessing your account by guessing password reset questions or getting tech support to do it for them.

To set this up, first head on over to AppleID.Apple.com and log in. Once in, click on Password and Security in the side bar. You’ll need to answer a few security questions to continue.

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Next, click Get started under the Two-Step Verification heading. The next screen explains two-step verification. If you want to add it to your account, click the Continue button.

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Once you sign up, you must wait three days to complete the setup. This is done for security in case someone else accessed your account and set the verification up. Once the two-step verification is completely set up, the only way you will be able to reset your password is with one of the following:

  • Your Apple password
  • Trusted device
  • Security code

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Apple will no longer be able to reset your password, but this level of security is great when you have all of your data, email, and contacts syncing to one place.

You can read more about Apple’s two-step verification process here.

Share Contacts and Calendars Like A Pro

One of the great features of iCloud is being able to share contacts and calendars. To share a contact with anyone, first log into the iCloud.com website and click on Contacts.

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Next, select the contact you wish to share. With the contact selected, click the Gear icon in the bottom left of the window and select Export vCard. This will download the contact to your computer. Now, with the VCF file on your machine, you can email the file to whomever you wish to share the contact with.

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To share a calendar with someone, click on the Calendar icon on iCloud.com either on the main page or in the iCloud menu in the top left corner.

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Once in the Calendar, you can either make a new calendar to share or share an already existing one. To add a calendar click the Edit link at the bottom of the sidebar, then click the + sign. Once you have the calendar you want to share, click the radio signal icon that is greyed out next to a calendar. If you wish to keep the calendar private and share it with a fellow iCloud member, click the Private Calendar check box and enter the iCloud email address of the person you wish to share it with.

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Once added, you can adjust the person’s rights to the calendar which include:

  • View & Edit
  • View Only

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To share the calendar with anyone as read-only check the Public Calendar box. This will give you a link that you can share that will direct people to see your calendar. No one with this link will be able to edit the calendar. As you can see from the screen shot below, you can check both boxes at the same time if you like.

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Wrap-Up

iCloud is a pretty amazing service, especially for one that is totally free. Make sure you’re using iCloud to its fullest and getting everything you can out of it. iCloud can do a lot more than the few tips listed here, but if you’re new to iCloud or just want to become more of a pro, these are a great place to start.

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