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Guide to setting up iCloud

You might not have heard of iCloud - but you should have, because it's a free and very useful service. Basically, iCloud keeps all your data backed up and in sync across any Apple desktop or laptop - so long as you're running OSX Lion 10.7.5 or Windows Vista or later.

iCloudHow to get started

First you need an iCloud account - and Windows Vista users please note, you'll have to set this up from a device running an Apple operating system before you can then access it via your Vista device.

If you have an Apple ID (and you will have one if you've ever bought anything from iTunes, the App Store or iBookstore) then this is what your iCloud account will be based on.

Just go to your iCloud preferences and from there you can log in to iCloud as you normally would to iTunes or the other two services. That's it!

No Apple ID?

If you don't have an Apple ID, then you'll need to go to 'Settings > iCloud' and click 'Get a Free Apple ID'; input your name and date of birth and decide whether you want to use your current email address or create a new email for use with this service. Either way, you'll need to set a password and security question, plus agree to some Ts&Cs, and then you're done.

By the way, if you already have an Apple ID and still want an email address, these are available on demand: just go to 'Settings > iCloud' and follow the instructions.

Once you have your account set up, you'll need to go to your 'System Preferences' and look for 'iCloud Settings'; it should start working automatically. If you have email set up that will be automatically synchronised (including your contacts, calendar etc); so will your Safari bookmarks and any documents from iCloud-compatible software; in fact the only option that is not enabled by default is 'Back to My Mac'.

Limited Space

iCloud was really developed for mobile devices and has susequently been rolled out to laptops and desktops; as a consequence you can't backup your entire hard drive because there just isn't enough storage space. If you're interested in more extensive data backup services then talk to us!

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