If you have an iPhone, MacBook, or iMac, you may want to check your space from time to take and determine if you need to buy some iCloud storage. I’ve made some videos and a guide that should help.

First, we will start with a video that shows you how to check iPhone storage, and then you can keep reading to see if you need to buy iCloud storage as a remedy for low space availability.

I have created a short video you can watch, or if you would instead, read below the video following the steps to get going.

To check the storage on each iPhone, you will want to open settings>General>About>iPhone Storage. To do this, I pulled down from the home screen and searched for settings, but you can find the settings icon.

On the resulting screen, you will need to wait for your iPhone to calculate all the storage and write down the total used space for each phone you would like to put on the same family plan.

This process is the same for all iOS devices, and you will notice they made it very easy by clearly stating the “used” storage out of the total; in my video, we can see it says, “273 GB of 512 GB Used.” You generally want half or more of your storage to be available. If you have less than half of your storage available, you should consider buying iCloud storage and turning on optimized iPhone storage in the settings.

Next, we will look at the Mac devices to get total storage.

Finding the Space Used on Your Mac Device

Now we will look at the process covering MacBooks and iMac computers to determine if you need to buy iCloud space. Since this works for macOS, we are going to check mac storage.

I have made another short video to help you calculate the used space on your Mac device. I’m looking at my iMac in this video, but this same process will work for any Mac device running OSX, which is now called macOS.

This process is a little easier than the iPhone or iOS versions because there are fewer steps to follow. Start by clicking the Apple icon in the top left of the OS and then clicking on the “About This Mac” link.

Once that loads, you should see an option for storage, and you will want to click on that. The layout can be slightly more confusing than the iOS version because the listed size will say what is free instead of used.

So you will see above the bar graph of space something like 40 GB available of 256 GB; in my example video, we saw “757.59 GB available of 1 TB,” the right of the bar graph shows the open space, and the left shows the used. If you wait for the Mac to calculate all the space used, you must add up the different sections of used space or subtract the total free space from the available space.

While this seems complicated, the differing ways of calling this out make sense to me as an IT person. On the computer, I’m constantly looking at free space to make judgments about what things I can do and decide when I need to clear things off my machine to render a new video or download pictures from my phone.

Coincidentally my phone shows me the amount of space used, so it makes for easy mental math when I want to decide if I have enough free space on my Mac for what I’m downloading from my phone.

So if this is a happy accident or a well-planned design now, you know what little difference to look out for when calculating the total space for buying cloud storage.

Notes on Storage Size

Cloud-based 2 TB and disk-based 2 TB are entirely different and will differ from company to company.

This is one of those things you either learn the hard way or read the fine print to find out. However, on many disks, the method used for calculating space is such that you only get about 960 GB out of every 1 TB of space. For my current windows machine, this is a bit worse as Windows used some of the room for system things. So each 1 TB of disk space only gives me 930 GB of usable space.

However, most cloud solutions will give you the full 1 TB of space. This is important to realize and consider when you buy cloud storage and later decide you want to download your data to pull it off the cloud maybe or back it up.

You can’t look at your cloud storage and decide that you have 950 GB used, so purchasing a 1 TB hard drive will be enough to get you fully downloaded.

Not only is it bad practice to use all of your disk space, but it won’t work due to the odd sizing I have described above. This is a technicality, and technically you are getting 1 TB of space even though you can only see and use 930ish GB of it, but I’m not going to go into that here.

Just know if you have a phone that says you are using 950 GB of data on your phone and don’t want to pay for 2 TB of space, you can get away with that.

Last Things To Consider For Cloud

This article is about getting iCloud storage and using the family plan to share the warehouse across the entire group or family. I have not described how to do that here because I will make a linking article with an instructional video.

Some nice things to consider about cloud storage:

  1. Someone else manages the hardware, and therefore, the problems
  2. Someone else is making sure the power stays on
  3. Your cloud storage provider is responsible for the connection, which is good and bad
  4. Your cloud storage provider is responsible for the security

Honestly, you could put each point I just mentioned in a negative or positive light. The important thing is to take the time and try to work out what works best for you.

I use pCloud, and you can find information on their lifetime plan by clicking here.

Thanks for checking out my article; please feel free to ask any questions in the comments.