What's the Big Difference Between iCloud and iCloud Drive?

By Gina Barrow, Last updated: October 21, 2020

Is iCloud and iCloud Drive the same thing? A lot of users are often confused with iCloud and iCloud Drive. They often interchangeably use both; but how do they really differ? In this article, you will clearly understand the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

You are not alone in tiring to find the answer about what is the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive because a lot of users including myself often mistakenly relates one to the other. To set the records straight, we'll find out together what is the real difference between the two and why should we use them. Read along.

Part 1. All About iCloudPart 2. What is iCloud DrivePart 3. iCloud Backup and iCloud Drive RestorationPart 4. Selectively Restore iPhone/iPad Contents without Data LossPart 5. SummaryVideo Guide: How to Selectively Recover Data from iCloud

Part 1.Difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive: What is iCloud

Getting in the trend of wireless services, Apple has launched iCloud as an alternative to iTunes. iTunes seems to be quite complicated to some because you need to connect it with a cable and computer. Most people don't have the time to do this, which is a great hole for possible data loss.

As we know, iCloud is Apple's online storage. Well, it does pretty much like backup but of course, the space is so limited compared to iTunes. The only benefit with iCloud is the ability to automatically backup the device wirelessly. It is a collection of information across the synced iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac

Apple Icloud

What can you do with iCloud???What Emotion

  • Sync important files like contacts, calendars, photos and more across iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac)
  • Creates an automatic backup for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
  • Track Find My iPhone location history
  • Share music, apps, books, and more via Family Sharing

ICloud provides 5 GB of free space wherein you can upgrade it at any time whenever you need.

Part 2. Difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive: What is iCloud Drive

If you are familiar with how Dropbox and Google Drive to work, well you can say that iCloud Drive works similar to these apps. It acts like a storage box wherein you can place a lot of information and other files like documents and many more.

But remember that since iCloud Drive works just like a box, the table where it is placed is called the iCloud. ICloud Drive is an optional component of iCloud service. ICloud Drive also best works in sharing files across devices.

Accessing iCloud Drive is quite different from iCloud too, you can open it anywhere in the apps. Like for example, you can open photos from iCloud Drive using the Photos app. So to speak, iCloud Drive is more on document storing and sharing rather than a backup

Icloud Drive Device

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ICloud Drive works best in sharing and co-working. This feature is best for those on the go people who don't want to miss any of their work deadlines.

Show iCloud Drive on Home screen:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap iCloud
  • Tap iCloud Drive and toggle on
  • Turn on the Show on Home screen toggle bar

Part 3.Difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive: Restoration

iCloud Backup Restore

Restoring iCloud backup is so easy and can be done in just a few minutes. This process is usually done when you have lost or deleted important files that you needed to take a copy from the backup. Apparently, you cannot selectively restore a single file from iCloud, you have to restore the entire backup contents.

To Restore from iCloud due to Data Loss, follow these:

  • Go to Settings
  • Find and tap General
  • Tap Reset
  • Tap Erase all Content and Settings
  • Enter the passcode and confirm Erase iPhone
  • Set up the iOS device
  • On the Apps & Data screen, choose Restore from iCloud Backup
  • Sign in with your iCloud account
  • Tap Choose backup among the options

Factory Reset Iphone

To verify if the entire iCloud backup contents were successfully restored on the device, go to Settings> find and tap iCloud>tap Storage. All purchased music, TV series, and other downloadables from AppStore and iTunes, your sign in details might be required. iCloud backup is a good choice but then, you might tend to lose more data upon restoring because you cannot perform selective recovery only.

People also ask:

iCloud Photos Recovery - How Can I do it?

What is The Best iCloud Backup Extractor in 2018

iCloud Drive Restore

Many users are asking if you are able to restore files that were accidentally deleted from the iCloud Drive. The answer is a big YES, as long as you fit in the 30 days window. All you need is to simply open iCloud.com

  • Open iCloud.com
  • Go to Settings, and click Advanced
  • Click Restore Files
  • Find the desired files to restore by ticking on the box beside each file
  • Click Done

Restore From Icloud Drive

When you need to restore files that are more than 30 days, then consider using a data recovery software. This will further help you get back files selectively; otherwise, you can restore the entire iCloud or iTunes backup.

Part 4. Selectively Restore iPhone/iPad Contents without Data Loss

Everyone is looking for a safe and convenient way to recover phone data without the gruesome damage data loss brings. Good thing, there are programs dedicated to iOS recovery without enduring any forms of data loss. Just like FoneDog Toolkit- iOS Data Recovery, it helps you get back any file types.

FoneDog Toolkit- iOS Data Recovery is able to recover the following:

  • Contacts
  • Call Logs
  • Text Messages
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • And many more

Login Icloud

It has the following standout features:

  • No Data Loss
  • File Preview Option
  • Selective Recovery

It has 3 effective recovery methods:

  • Recover from iOS Device
  • Recover from iTunes backup file
  • Recover from iCloud backup file

FoneDog Toolkit- iOS Data Recovery is compatible with the latest iOS devices such as iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus. You can download the Free Version and use it to restore data from iPhone devices.

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How to Use FoneDog Toolkit- iOS Data Recovery?

  1. Download and install FoneDog Toolkit- iOS Data Recovery
  2. Launch program
  3. Connect iPhone/iPad
  4. Select the desired recovery method
  5. Choose Files to Recover and Scan
  6. Preview Files
  7. Recover Selectively

Select File Type Icloud

Part 5. Summary

Well, I hope you have been clearer about the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive. Both just aim to make sure we will never lose any files from our devices. All we need is to enable the apps and back them up properly.

In case of a data loss, restore from your iCloud backup or from iCloud.com. If more than that, no worries, you can always trust FoneDog Toolkit- iOS Data Recovery. This program certainly does the job for you! Download the free version today and share it with friends.

Video Guide: How to Selectively Recover Data from iCloud

This is a video guide you can follow to retrieve data from iCloud selectively what you like.

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Gina Barrow

Technical/Creative Writer

Kitchen, my safe space; black, my favorite color

Was a Technical Specialist for a while, troubleshooting Smartphone and Software-related issues until a writing stint caught my attention.

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