How to Easily Cancel Your iCloud Storage Subscription

Have you ever felt frustrated about paying for iCloud storage you don‘t really need? I‘ve been there too! In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through how to smoothly cancel your paid iCloud storage subscription and discuss some alternative options to consider.

What Exactly is iCloud Storage?

Essentially, iCloud storage allows you to store your files and data on Apple‘s cloud servers rather than solely on your devices. This means you can securely access things like photos, documents, emails, notes, app data etc. from your iPhone, iPad, Mac or even PC via the internet.

Some of the key features iCloud storage enables are:

  • Sync data seamlessly across Apple devices
  • Access latest files from any device with internet
  • Protect important documents, photos etc. through cloud backups
  • Utilize Apple services like Mail, Calendar, Music etc.
  • Share files or collaborate with others

iCloud offers every Apple ID 5GB of storage for free. If you need more space, paid subscription plans are offered:

Storage AmountPrice
50 GB$0.99 per month
200 GB$2.99 per month
2 TB$9.99 per month

However, if you aren‘t actively using iCloud or frequently accessing stored data, paying for extra storage may not be necessary. That‘s when cancelling your subscription to avoid recurring charges makes sense.

How iCloud Storage Compares to Alternatives

Before cancelling iCloud storage, it‘s useful to see how it stacks up against some popular alternative personal cloud storage options:

FeaturesiCloudGoogle DriveDropbox
Free Storage5GB15GB2GB
File AccessAcross Apple devicesAny deviceAny device
Photo StorageVia iCloud PhotosUnlimited with Google PhotosLimited space
Collaboration ToolsiWork suiteGoogle WorkspaceDropbox Paper
Sync & BackupSeamless iOS/Mac syncSelective manual syncAutomatic file sync
Pricing for 2TB$9.99 per month$9.99 per month$16.58 per month

Now that you know what sets iCloud storage apart, let‘s get into the steps of actually cancelling your current paid iCloud subscription!

Step-by-Step Guide to Cancel iCloud Storage

I‘ll provide detailed instructions to downgrade from paid iCloud storage to the free 5GB individual plan on both iPhone and Mac.

Cancel Paid iCloud Storage on Your iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app and tap on your Apple ID banner at the top

    Apple ID in settings

  2. Next, select iCloud option

    iCloud option

  3. Scroll down and tap on Manage Storage

    Manage storage

  4. Now tap on Change Storage Plan

    Change storage plan

  5. Under Downgrade Options, select the 5GB Free plan

    Select free plan

  6. Finally, tap Done in top right corner

    Tap done

With these 6 simple steps, you have successfully cancelled paid iCloud storage on your iPhone!

Important: Remember to disable and turn off iCloud Drive so any new files don‘t automatically get added to storage. Additionally, I advise creating a backup of your important iCloud data like Photos before cancellation.

How to Cancel iCloud Storage on Your Mac

You can also easily unsubscribe from paid iCloud storage for your Mac computer:

  1. Click Apple menu and choose System Preferences

  2. Select your Apple ID

  3. Go to the iCloud section

    iCloud in preferences

  4. Click on Manage

  5. Tap on Change Storage Plan

    Change storage plan

  6. Pick the 5GB Free option under downgrade choices

    Select 5GB free

  7. Enter password to confirm

With these steps, you‘ve cancelled paid iCloud storage on your Mac as well!

Key Considerations Before Cancellation

While the above instructions make it fairly straightforward to cancel paid iCloud storage, ask yourself these questions before doing so:

  • Do I actively use iCloud sync and backups across my Apple devices?
  • Have I downloaded a backup of my important iCloud data including Photos?
  • Can my storage needs be met with the free 5GB individual plan?
  • Am I comfortable shifting data to another cloud storage provider?

Additionally, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Create comprehensive backups before cancelling iCloud storage
  • Research alternative services like Google One or Dropbox
  • Understand what happens to music, books and other purchases if you leave
  • You can resume paid plans anytime if you change mind

Ultimately, assess your personal usage and storage requirements before deciding whether to downgrade or cancel iCloud.

Top iCloud Storage Alternatives to Consider

If you wish to move away from iCloud entirely, here are some of the best alternative personal cloud storage services:

1. Google Drive

With seamless integration across Google services and 15GB of free storage, Google Drive is likely the top contender to replace iCloud.

Key Features:

  • Access files easily from any device
  • Unlimited storage for photos with Google Photos
  • Robust online office suite via Google Workspace
  • Time-saving sync across documents
  • Option for extended storage up to 30TB


  • 100GB for $1.99 per month
  • 2TB for $9.99 per month

2. Dropbox

Dropbox is excellent for sync, backup and collaboration with advanced sharing controls.

Key Features:

  • Automatic file backup and sync
  • Share docs or folders securely with anyone
  • Robust mobile apps and integrations
  • Rewind feature to restore past versions
  • Paper online docs and spreadsheets


  • 2TB for $16.58 per month ($9.99 with annual plan)

3. Microsoft OneDrive

Personal OneDrive works great if you use Microsoft 365 apps and services.

Key Features:

  • Create and edit Office docs from cloud
  • Share files while managing access
  • Easy Windows and Mac sync
  • Personal vault for sensitive data
  • Photo enhancements with video tagging


  • 100GB for $1.99 per month
  • 1TB for $6.99 per month

4. Amazon Photos

Amazon Photos focuses specifically on storing your precious memories and photos safely.

Key Features:

  • Free unlimited full-resolution photo storage with Prime
  • Automatic backups from smartphones
  • Facial recognition and search AI
  • Create personalized home decor with prints

FAQs About Cancelling iCloud Storage

Here I‘ll try to answer some frequently asked questions about the process of cancelling paid iCloud storage:

Will my existing iCloud data be deleted if I cancel storage?

No, downgrading from paid to free iCloud storage will not lead to any data deletion. Your existing data and files will continue to be available up to the 5GB free allocation.

Can I resume my paid iCloud storage subscription later?

Absolutely! You can choose to reactivate paid iCloud storage plans at any time seamlessly from the Settings app on your Apple device. Just upgrade storage via the same process outlined earlier.

What specific steps should I take before cancelling storage?

I highly recommend creating backups of important iCloud data such as Photos, Notes, Voice Memos etc. You may also want to save a copy of certain files to your Mac or an external hard drive before cancelling paid iCloud plans.

What happens to my Apple media purchases if I leave iCloud?

Media purchases like music, movies, TV shows or books that you bought using your Apple ID will still be available after cancelling iCloud storage. You just access them directly via apps like Music, Podcasts, Apple TV etc. rather than through iCloud.

My Personal Experience

I personally switched from 200GB paid iCloud storage to the free 5GB individual plan last year without losing any data.

Here were my key steps before taking the plunge:

  1. Ensured I had a backup of all photos and videos on an external hard drive
  2. Disabled and turned off iCloud Drive
  3. Downloaded important documents like PDFs to my MacBook
  4. Made sure major apps had cloud backup disabled

Additionally, I opted to shift my photo storage to Google Photos which offers unlimited high-quality storage for free. So I didn‘t have to worry about capacity limitations after cancelling iCloud.

The downgrade process was quick and smooth sailing thanks to the clear Apple interface. Within minutes I was on the free plan!

One thing I didn‘t anticipate was…

Troubleshooting Common iCloud Cancellation Issues

Through my first-hand experience and researching user accounts, here are some hiccups you may encounter:

Issue: Receiving storage limit notifications after cancellation
Fix: This is expected after moving to the free 5GB tier. You can either ignore the alerts if unused to data or delete files manually.

Issue: Some data remains synced across devices
Fix:Turn off sync individually for Contacts, Calendars and other data that may be mirrored.

Issue: Certain files re-upload to iCloud
Fix: Double check you have disabled iCloud Drive on all connected Apple gadgets.

Getting through these minor glitches is easy. Just use the handy fixes outlined here in case you run into any trouble.

Let‘s Recap…

In this detailed guide, we covered step-by-step instructions to:

  • Understand iCloud storage and whether you still need a paid subscription
  • Cancel and downgrade from paid plans to free storage both on iPhone and Mac
  • Compare iCloud to viable alternative cloud storage services
  • Back up and download important data before taking the cancellation plunge!

I hope walking through this entire process of cancelling iCloud storage (with photos!) has given you clarity. Now you can confidently downgrade plans and even switch to another provider without losing access to your precious data.

Have any other questions? Let me know in the comments!

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