How to Turn Off Your ICloud Storage

Apple first added iCloud to iOS in version 5.
... Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Apple's iCloud system stores and synchronizes data between all your iOS devices, as well as your computer, if desired. Data also syncs to Apple's servers, acting as a backup. If you no longer want to use iCloud for some or all data storage, you can disable individual items in iCloud's settings, sign out of iCloud to stop using it entirely or delete your iCloud account from an iOS device.

1 Disabling ICloud on IOS

Open the Settings app to the iCloud page to access storage options. If you want to completely erase your iCloud data, tap "Delete Account." Otherwise, switch the slider off by each item you want to disable, such as "Mail" or "Contacts." To see non-Apple apps in the list, tap "Documents & Data." If you want to stop storing your device's backups online, tap "Storage & Backup" and turn off "iCloud Backup." Alternatively, you can make manual local backups without disabling iCloud by clicking "Back Up Now" in iTunes.

2 Turning Off ICloud on Mac

To access the iCloud preferences on Mac OS X, open the Apple menu, click "System Preferences" and then click "iCloud." Uncheck the box by each item you want to turn off. To stop using iCloud entirely, click "Sign Out."

3 Removing ICloud from Windows

Press the "Windows" key, type "iCloud" (without quotes) and click "iCloud" in the search results to see the iCloud Control Panel. Uncheck any items you want to turn off, or press "Sign Out" to stop using iCloud storage on your computer. Neither Windows nor iTunes for PC require the iCloud Control Panel, so you can also uninstall it entirely using the Programs and Features control panel -- click "iCloud Control Panel" and press "Uninstall."

4 Hiding ICloud Items in ITunes

ITunes automatically keeps a copy of all store purchases in the cloud. You can't disable this feature, but you can hide library items that aren't currently downloaded. Open the "Store" tab in the iTunes preferences and uncheck "Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases." Even with this option off, you won't be charged again if you re-download an old purchase.

5 Effects of Disabling ICloud

When you turn off storage for an individual type of data on iOS, your device enables you to choose whether to keep a copy of the information locally or delete it. This does not apply to non-Apple apps, which automatically keep their data, or to backups, which revert to syncing to iTunes. On a Mac running OS X 10.7.5, signing out of iCloud or turning off "Calendars & Reminders" erases that data from iCal. Other versions and other programs are not affected. Removing iCloud from Windows does not erase any local data, but will remove iCloud from Outlook, if you have that program installed.

6 Version Notice

Some information in this article applies to iTunes 11 and iOS 7. It may vary slightly or significantly in other versions.

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.