How to Make iCloud Drive Available Offline

Can you access iCloud Drive files offline? You can get an answer to this question. You are also given effective solutions to make iCloud Drive files available offline in this guide.

Demi by Demi Updated April 19, 2024
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Offline access to iCloud Drive

I have in some cases found myself in situations where I have no internet connection, Sometimes I need access to important files, such as copies of my travel documents. I have searched to find out if such an option is available on iCloud Drive, but I have not been able to find anything about it. Is there a workaround?

- Question from iMore

iCloud Drive serves as a seamless and convenient cloud storage solution for Apple users, enabling the synchronization and accessibility of files across various devices. However, one common question that users often ask is whether it's possible to access iCloud Drive offline.

icloud drive

In this comprehensive guide, we will address this question and explore effective methods on how to make iCloud Drive available offline, ensuring that your important files are accessible even without an internet connection.

Can you access iCloud Drive offline?

The native design of iCloud Drive primarily relies on an internet connection for synchronization and real-time access to files. When you're online, changes made to files on one device are instantly reflected across all connected devices.

Therefore, generally speaking, you cannot access iCloud Drive offline. However, you can still download files from iCloud Drive when you can access the internet, and access iCloud Drive files offline.

Even if it has its limitations due to this reliance on internet connectivity, it is the only way you can make iCloud Drive files available offline.

Limitations of Offline Access to iCloud Drive:
⛔ Read-Only Mode: While you can view files offline, editing or making changes to documents may not be possible without an internet connection.
⛔ Delayed Sync: Any changes made to files offline will sync with other devices once an internet connection is re-established.
⛔ Document Types: The offline access capability may vary based on the type of document. Some files may be viewable offline, while others may require an internet connection.

How to download and access iCloud Drive files offline on iPhone

iCloud Drive is built into the Files app on your iPhone. You can rely on it to access iCloud Drive directly. Make sure your iPhone is connected to a stable network, and follow the steps below to download iCloud Drive files to your iPhone, so that you can make iCloud files available offline on iPhone.

Step 1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Tap your name > Choose iCloud > Make sure the iCloud Drive option is enabled.

enable icloud drive

Step 2. Go to the Files app > Tap Browse > Choose iCloud Drive from the Locations section.

Step 3. Locate and long-press the files you’d like to browse offline > In the contextual menu, tap Save to Files to choose a desired location to save it.

download icloud drive files on iphone

Repeat the steps above to save all wanted files locally on your iPhone. Now, you are able to access iCloud Drive files offline on your iPhone.

How to make iCloud Drive files available offline on Mac

Likewise, you can download iCloud Drive files to your Mac, and the downloaded iCloud Drive files will be stored locally on your Mac, providing access without an internet connection. Follow the steps below to download iCloud Drive files and make files in iCloud Drive available offline.

Step 1. From the Go menu, select iCloud Drive to open the iCloud Drive app.

Step 2. Locate and right-click the file you’d like to check offline > Click Download Now from the drop-down menu.

icloud drive download now

The file will be saved to your designated downloads folder. Download all wanted files by repeating the steps, and you can make iCloud Drive files available offline on Mac.

How to access iCloud Drive files on PC

To access iCloud Drive on a Windows PC, you are given kinds of methods to make it. Here in this guide, we’d like to recommend an all-in-one iCloud data management app - FoneTool to do you a favor.

Free download FoneTool to your computer, and follow the simple steps below to know how to access iCloud Drive files on PC and download wanted files to access them offline.

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Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Go to My iCloud > Log in with your Apple ID > Click Manage iCloud.

choose manage icloud

Step 2. Click iCloud Drive to view your files > You can choose the wanted files and tap the Download button to save them on your Windows PC.

download icloud drive files

Step 3. Finally, choose a destination to save these files, and click the Download button to start.

start download icloud drive files


Can files in iCloud Drive available offline? This step-by-step guide provided for iPhone, Mac, and PC demonstrate the versatility of iCloud Drive and how you can optimize its capabilities to suit your needs, even without an active internet connection.

Understanding the limitations and benefits of iCloud Drive offline access empowers users to work seamlessly across devices, fostering a more efficient and productive digital experience. Whether you're on the go with your iPhone, working on your Mac, or accessing files on a PC, iCloud Drive offers a versatile solution for managing your documents both online and offline.

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