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Can I Use iCloud And OneDrive At The Same Time?

Can I Use iCloud And OneDrive At The Same Time?

Apple iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive are two of the most used cloud storage services to access and backup files. Can you use iCloud and OneDrive at the same time across different devices?

You can set up and use iCloud and OneDrive at the same time on devices including your computer. On an iPhone, for example, you can use OneDrive for storing your photos and files while your other content syncs with iCloud. You can’t auto-syncing OneDrive and iCloud but you can move files between them.

Let’s find out which cloud service is better and whether you need one or both. 

How do I add OneDrive to iCloud?

You can’t directly add OneDrive to iCloud through the respective desktop and mobile apps or the web interface. You can transfer files between the two cloud services handily via your Windows and Mac computers in two ways as follows:

Transfer files via local folder

Once you have set up iCloud and OneDrive on your computer, you can drag and drop files or copy-paste them from one cloud service folder to a local folder on your computer’s disk, and next transfer them to another cloud folder using the same drag and drop or copy-paste functions.

  1. Set up iCloud and OneDrive on your computer.
  2. Drag and drop files or copy-paste them from one cloud service folder to a local folder on your computer’s disk.
  3. Transfer them to another cloud folder using the same drag and drop or copy-paste functions. 

Transfer files via a third-party application

Transferring files from iCloud to OneDrive can also be done through a third-party application called AnyTrans.

UDPATE: it seems AnyTrans no longer supports cloud-to-cloud transfers

Keep reading to learn about the exact steps for these methods to transfer OneDrive files to iCloud and vice versa. 

Is it possible to auto-sync iCloud with OneDrive?

It’s not possible to automatically sync iCloud with OneDrive through either desktop or mobile apps. These services are owned by Apple and Microsoft respectively. Products from these two giants are rarely made to interact with each other easily.

However, you can certainly sync iCloud with OneDrive manually through your computer as described above. 

You can also utilize third-party syncing software such as AOMEI Backupper Professional on Windows PC to sync local folders to OneDrive after you have moved your files from iCloud manually. 

Is OneDrive connected to iCloud?

OneDrive is not connected to iCloud directly, they are two separate cloud storage solutions from Apple and Microsoft.

OneDrive is a secure cloud service that lets you store and share your files along with providing access from any device anywhere.

iCloud is a secure cloud storage solution primarily targeted towards Apple users. It’s built-in into Apple devices including iPhones and lets you store all your content such as photos and documents across them. 

Can I sync iCloud with Google Drive?

You can’t sync iCloud with Google Drive directly. However, you can sync iCloud with Google Drive indirectly via your computer: 

  1. PC users need to have both the iCloud and Google Drive desktop apps installed and set up on the computer.
  2. Mac users need to have the Google Drive desktop app installed and set up on the computer.
  3. Open Two File Explorer windows on PC or two Finder Windows on Mac.
  4. Click on iCloud Drive in one window and Google Drive in the other window.
  5. Select all the files that you want to transfer from iCloud Drive.
  6. Copy and paste the files or drag and drop them to the Google Drive folder on your computer. 

Do I need both iCloud and OneDrive?

Whether you need both iCloud and OneDrive depends on your usage requirements, preferences, and the devices you use. Let’s look at situations when you need both and when you need only one. 

When you might need both iCloud and OneDrive

You may need both iCloud and OneDrive if you exclusively use Apple devices such as an iPhone and a Mac computer, as well as Microsoft Office products such as Outlook and Microsoft 365 with Office apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint. 

You can take advantage of the bundled 1TB OneDrive cloud storage if you use these apps as part of a Microsoft 365 Personal subscription on your iPhone and other devices.

You can use OneDrive for syncing Office documents, photos, and videos while the rest of the content on your iPhone syncs with iCloud.

This can be a good choice because it can prevent you from purchasing an iCloud storage plan if you exceed the free storage limit (5GB) of the service.

See also: Why Is Apple Taking Money From My Account?

When you might only need iCloud or OneDrive

You may stick to a single cloud service if it’s compatible with your device platform and offers enough storage for your needs. 

You might use OneDrive only e.g. if you only have Android and/or Windows devices as opposed to Apple devices.

If, on the other hand, you’re an iPhone/Mac person and don’t need a lot of storage (or you’re willing to pay for extra storage), you may choose to stick to iCloud.

Can I use OneDrive instead of iCloud on iPhone?

You can use OneDrive instead of iCloud on your iPhone. The files you save to OneDrive (including the iPhone camera roll) can be accessed via the web and from all the devices installed with OneDrive. 

This includes Mac computers, other iPhones, iPad, Windows PCs, and Android devices.  

You can’t sync features and content such as your Contacts, Notes, Reminders, Calendars, and Keychain automatically with OneDrive as you can do with iCloud. 

Also, if you use OneDrive for backing up photos and videos, you also need to modify your iCloud settings to prevent it from also backing up these same files.

Another thing to be aware is, when Optimize Storage is checked and turned on in iCloud, the original and full-sized versions of the photos are stored in iCloud while smaller versions of these photos are kept on the device. These photos can’t be uploaded to OneDrive unless you uncheck and turn off optimization:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings>iCloud>Photos
  2. Unchecking “Optimize Storage”

Can I backup my iPhone to OneDrive?

It’s not possible to back up your iPhone completely to OneDrive directly. You can back up some content on your iPhone to OneDrive such as documents, photos, and videos but not the entire content as iCloud and iTunes can do.

That said, you can do this indirectly through your computer: 

  1. Backup your iPhone using iTunes on Windows PC and Finder or iTunes on your Mac Computer.
  2. With OneDrive already set up on your computer, locate the backup data
  3. Copy it from the computer’s hard drive to the OneDrive folder.

How to replace iCloud with OneDrive?

You can follow the below steps to replace iCloud with OneDrive on your iPhone:

  1. Download and install the free OneDrive app from the Apple App Store.
  2. Once done, log in with your personal, work, or school email address and password that you use for OneDrive.
  3. You can now backup, access, view, and share files on OneDrive.   
  4. Upload your existing camera images and videos from your iPhone to OneDrive first.
  5. You can turn off iCloud Photos by going to Settings>[your name]>iCloud>Photos, and turn off iCloud Photos. You may choose to turn off iCloud entirely. 

Which is better iCloud or OneDrive?

Both iCloud and OneDrive are among the best and most reliable cloud storage options. Which is better depends on user preferences and the devices being used.

When iCloud is better

If you are into the Apple ecosystem and hardly ever use Microsoft services like Microsoft 365 along with devices like Windows PC, iCloud is probably a better option than OneDrive. 

This is because iCloud is tightly integrated into Apple devices and its monthly 50GB plan for $0.99 is ideal for users to get the most out of the service.  

iCloud is also helpful if your iPhone gets lost or stolen and aids in finding it.

When OneDrive is better

If you are a heavy user of Microsoft services as well as a multitude of devices like Android, Windows PC, and Apple products occasionally, then OneDrive may be a better option. 

OneDrive is known to function well on different platforms and has smooth working features that both professionals and personal users like.  

Which is better for backups, iCloud Drive or OneDrive?

In short, both iCloud and OneDrive are good solutions for backups.

For iOS devices such as an iPhone, iCloud is generally a better choice because it can back up your entire device through the built-in features. OneDrive, in contrast, can’t back up your iPhone entirely through the mobile app.

For Windows and Microsoft 365 users, OneDrive is integrated making it a much better option than iCloud. It can backup not just photos, videos, and music but also your Office documents and other files from different devices such as Android phones. 

Can I move files from iCloud to OneDrive?

It’s not possible to move files directly from iCloud to OneDrive. However, you can do it manually on your computer or through a third-party app called  AnyTrans on Windows and Mac computers.

UPDATE: it seems AnyTrans no longer supports cloud to cloud file transfers

Moving files manually from iCloud to OneDrive

Here is the general procedure for doing this on Windows 10:

  1. Install the iCloud app from the Microsoft Store. Restart your PC.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Make sure you enable iCloud Drive and iCloud Photos in the app for accessing their content in File Explorer.
  4. Provided you have done the setup of OneDrive on your PC, download the files you want to move from iCloud on your PC’s local folder using File Explorer. 
  5. Move the files into the OneDrive folder and allow them to sync.

You can do the same procedure on a Mac computer after you have installed the OneDrive app for it and logged into it. Sync files from iCloud on your Mac and then move them manually to OneDrive. 

Moving files through a third-party software

  1. Download and install AnyTrans.
  2. Open the application and head over to Phone Switcher>Choose Cloud to Cloud.
  3. Log in with your iCloud and OneDrive account. Choose iCloud as the source cloud and OneDrive as the target cloud.
  4. The data categories in iCloud will then be displayed. Select the data categories and click on Next. 

How do you move photos from OneDrive to iCloud?

Moving photos from OneDrive to iCloud directly is not practical if you attempt to do it on your phone or tablet. You need to have a PC or Mac computer to make the process more convenient:

  1. Sign in to OneDrive in a browser and select the photos you want to move. You can select individual photos or choose all the photos that you want to move.
  2. Click Download in the top navigation to download all the photos to a local folder on your computer’s disk.
  3. Sign in to iCloud with an Apple ID on the computer.
  4. Upload the photos you downloaded to the local folder to iCloud.

Your computer must have sufficient space to download and save the photos from OneDrive to a local folder. 

You can also make use of OneDrive and iCloud apps on Mac or Windows computers respectively.

Can I have two OneDrive accounts on my iPhone?

You can add two or more work or school OneDrive accounts on the OneDrive mobile app on your iPhone and sync their contents to your device.

While you can add multiple work or school OneDrive accounts on the app, only one personal OneDrive account can be synced to your iPhone.

If you have two personal OneDrive accounts, you will have to log out of the personal account you are using first and then log in to the second account.

To add another OneDrive account on your iPhone, you need to do the following in the OneDrive app:

  1. Tap on the Me icon on the screen’s upper-left corner.
  2. Tap on Add account.
  3. Input your email address and password that you have for the account. 

See also How do I unlink OneDrive from Android