How To Disable iCloud On Your iPhone, iPad, Or Other iDevice

Image courtesy of Adam Fagen

iCloud can be a very convenient way to back up, sync, and archive a whole lot of digital data, and it’s easy to set up. But once you’ve got an account, you may someday want to disable it — say if, for example, you don’t particularly want Apple collecting all your call logs. Luckily, that’s easy to do in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Archive, back-up, or otherwise secure anything in your iCloud storage that you want to be sure to keep.

Apple has instructions on its support site for how to do exactly that. But the process isn’t universal; you’ll need to your Calendar separately from your Photos, your Documents, your Notes, and so on. Apple provides instructions for copying your Documents, Contacts, photos and videos, Mail, Calendars, Reminders, Notes, iTunes Store purchases, and Safari data.

You’ll have to save information from each of those nine categories separately, if you want to back it up, and you can do so to basically any device — computer, phone, whatever — as long as it has enough storage room.

Step 2: Go sign out of iCloud.

On an iOS portable device, that’s as easy as opening the settings menu, scrolling down to “iCloud,” and then scrolling down to “sign out.” Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like on an iPad:

A screenshot of the relevant settings menu on an iPad.

A screenshot of the relevant settings menu on an iPad.

It’s pretty much the same on a Mac: you go to System Preferences, then choose iCloud and look for the “sign out” option there.

On a Windows computer using iCloud, you’ll have to open the iCloud interface and then hunt for the “sign out” button there. If you’ve been syncing iCloud to Outlook or non-Safari browsers like Chrome or Firefox

Apple Support has a guide to disabling iCloud on all those devices, including some settings on iCloud for Windows that may be different depending what other software you use.

If you want to be completely disconnected from iCloud, you’ll have to repeat the process on every device you use it on.

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