What is iCloud Plus?

Apple offers everyone who owns their products (and frankly anyone who doesn’t own Apple products) a free cloud storage service solution called iCloud. Every second of every day, pictures, messages, contacts, documents, emails, and other files are transferred by millions to and from iCloud.

If you look to the screenshot included in this section, you will see an email sent by Apple regarding the storage capacity of a free iCloud account.

gillware-data-recovery-upgrade-to-icloud-plus-email

Breaking from a steadfast trend of forcing users to be either all-in or all-out of the Apple ecosystem, iCloud is available to everyone. While enticing a larger target market for a service that operates under the freemium pricing model, it also presents drawbacks as well. For example, a dishonest individual could continue creating new iCloud accounts to subvert the 5GB restriction placed on free iCloud users.

While unlimited storage for free would be the ideal arrangement for most people. The previously mentioned concept is strongly discouraged. Not only is it dishonest, but doing something like that would also violate Apple’s terms of service. Keep in mind that when you play too many games with Apple ToS all of your accounts are laid open to lifetime bans, account deletion, or other penalties.

iCloud Plus Pricing

iCloud Plus has a somewhat reasonable, straightforward, pricing model. There are essentially three tiers for the iCloud account’s maximum storage capacity. As of December 2022, these tiers are priced as follows.


iCloud Plus Tier 1

$0.99 a month – 50 GB Storage – $0.0198 per GB


iCloud Plus Tier 2

$2.99 a month – iCloud + 200 GB Storage – $0.01495 per GB


iCloud Plus Tier 3

$9.99 a month – iCloud + 2 TB Storage – $0.004995 per GB


Why Do I Need to Upgrade to iCloud+?

Before you get too worked up by one of Apple’s email warnings to upgrade to iCloud +, stop to consider you may not even need iCloud+. Some people prefer to store data locally than with cloud storage services like iCloud. Others are put off by the financial commitment. While the $0.99 / month price tag may seem attractive at first, it’s only 50 GB of additional storage…

So, personally, if I were to upgrade to iCloud +, I would need at least the 200 GB monthly plan. Spending $36 a year on cloud data storage is not overly expensive, but it also is not free. Despite only 0.003 % of my iCloud drive storage space being available, I also use Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft One Drive. Additionally, I have accumulated a wide variety of data storage hardware over my ~20 years of being a technologist. While I have been a fan of technology for roughly the last 20 years, the Data Recovery professionals at Gillware have been restoring deleted, destroyed, or misplaced files for that same time.

As such, it stands to reason that if you have lost files due to an iCloud misunderstanding, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Data Recovery experts at Gillware!

iCloud Plus Free Plan

Free iCloud plus plans do not exist. If anyone you know finds someone on the internet claiming to offer a free iCloud plus plan, you should report them to whatever social media platform you first connected on, and then stop talking to them. An old saying that almost always proves true is “if it seems too good to be true than it probably is”.

JB Larson
JB Larson

JB Larson is technologist passionate about researching data storage devices, educating clients about technology, and playing the piano when he's not working.

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