Like many of you, I have used Apple’s cloud services for a number of years. First .Mac, then MobileMe, and now iCloud.

Upon the transition from MobileMe to iCloud in 2011, Apple offered existing MobileMe subscribers a complimentary 20GB of storage, on top of the free 5GB, thereby bringing the total allocation to 25GB of storage. It was subsequently continued for two years, but as of today Apple has started sending out email notifications to these subscribers.

Below you will see a copy of the email I received today. It outlines that if you are using less than 5GB of storage, you will not need to intervene as you will simply be moved to the free account. If you exceed this usage, then you will need to take action.

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At the moment you can immediately upgrade or downgrade your iCloud account, via your Mac, but you can only request to pay for another year of the 20GB plan on your iOS device – information on how to do this appears later in this article.

We recommended you take a look at your current iCloud usage and make any relevant  changes before the September 30th cut off date.

From your Mac, proceed to System Preferences > iCloud.

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At the bottom of the window your current iCloud Storage, and associated usage, is shown. As you can see by mine, I am using approximately half of the available storage. If you press the Manage button next to this information, you will be able to see exactly what type of content is being stored on the service.

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In this window you are able to browse the current content that is being stored for specific services such as Backups, Mail, or iWork Suite documents.

When you select an area, you can micro-manage, and delete, some of the content if you wish.

Please remember that if you use iCloud as your only backup option, for your iOS device,  then it is not advised to delete these backups.

In-fact, we suggest that you still backup via iTunes as it is faster and allows for the option of multiple backups for a single device. Whereas, the iCloud backup is merely a single backup. Remember, iTunes also has a Manual backup option on the Summary page when your device is connected. Before deleting any backup, or performing an upgrade to your device, we suggest you utilize this option.

As a result of this micro-management, you may find that you don’t need such a large storage option for iCloud. Perhaps you could reduce your account to the paid 10GB option, or even the free 5GB plan. The 10GB plan actually gives you 15GB of available storage because you also get the complementary 5GB.

We know that not all iCloud users will own a Mac, therefore you can undertake similar micro-management of your iCloud account via your iOS device. Simply proceed to Settings > iCloud. Scroll to the bottom of the settings that are presented and you will see Storage & Backup. Select this option and then proceed to Manage Storage.

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This area presents all the information relating to the apps and devices that are currently being backed up to your iCloud account, along with their current storage demands.

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Depending on the device your are using to view this content, you can select it from the list and manage the specific apps that are storing content on the iCloud service.

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With a touch of a button you can turn certain apps On or Off, thereby changing the amount of storage that will be used on your iCloud account.

At the very bottom of this area, you also have the ability to change your plan by tapping on Change Storage Plan. Whilst the Mac currently does not allow you to purchase the current plan, you will note your iOS device is more than happy to comply.

photo 1Simply tap on Purchase Current Plan and the following information will be presented.

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To proceed, simply press OK. As with all subscriptions plans, you will need to ensure you have the available funds on the date of processing which in this case is the 30/09/13.

For more information about iCloud, and this transition, you can see Apple’s knowledge base article by clicking here. Via this link you will also find additional information for users of Windows 8, 7, and Vista.

If you need any assistance, please feel free to drop into the store and one of our staff will be more than happy to help you.