Many Apple device users are confused about iCloud, the type of data that can be backed up on iCloud and the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive. The service has been very important for users who want to ensure the safety of their data and for those who want a clear picture of exactly what they are getting, this article will describe the difference between iCloud and iCloud Drive.

To do that, we need to take a look at both these services individually. Let's do that.

lost iphone messages without backup

Part 1. What is iCloud?

iCloud is basically Apple's storage service. It is not a sharing platform like Dropbox but it is very useful for storing some of the data on your device. When turned on, iCloud will back up the data on your device including documents, photos, contacts, calendars and the like. It will also backup all your iTunes store purchases although any music, videos or TV shows that you didn't purchase on iTunes will not be included in the backup.

Part 2. What is iCloud Drive?

While iCloud is a storage service, the iCloud Drive is Apple's version of Dropbox. It is cloud-based, making sharing of all the data on the drive much easier. It also allows users to sync contents between devices.

It is slightly different in operation as compared to Dropbox or Google Drive. Instead of accessing your collection of the files via the iCloud Drive app, you do so through the different corresponding apps. For example, you access photos in the iCloud drive via the photos app.

Part 3. What's the Difference between iCloud & iCloud Drive?

iCloud Drive is part of iCloud. What you saved on iCloud Drive will be saved in iCloud. iCloud mostly serves to back up your device and sync limited kinds of data to other Apple devices, while iCloud Drive more focuses on sharing among devices and seamless interaction and co-working among devices, which means that data in one device can be shared among other devices without copying, sending or transferring. For example, you create a new Pages file on your MacBook Air, put a few lines on it, and then throw it into iCloud Drive. Then you may continue working on it wherever you go as long as you have access to it via your iPhone or iPad.

Part 4. How to View What's Backed up in iCloud?

Sometimes iCloud may fail to backup all of your data so if you want to view the data that has been included in your latest iCloud backup, you may need the services of a third-party tool. This third-party tool, iMyFone D-Back iCloud backup viewer allows users to gain access to the backup and see what's inside. It is also a very powerful data recovery tool and the following are some of its features.

iMyFone D-Back iCloud Backup Viewer and Extractor

iMyFone D Back

1,000,000+ Downloads

Key Features:

  • You can recover and extract data directly from the iOS device, an iCloud or iTunes backup file.
  • It is highly useful in iPhone data recovery, allowing users to recover up to 22 different types of data including photos, videos, messages, notes, voice memos, contacts, call logs and many more.
  • Almost all iOS devices are supported such as iPhone 11/XS/XS Max/XR/X/8/7/6s (Plus)/6 (Plus)/5s/5c/5/4s/4 running iOS 7/8/9/10/11/12/13, even the newest iOS 11/12/13.
  • It comes with a preview function that allows users to selectively recover data.

Windows version Mac version

Here's how to use iMyFone D-Back to View the data backed up in iCloud. Begin by downloading and installing the program on your computer and then follow these very simple steps.

Step 1: Download and launch iMyFone D-Back.

Click "Start" at the "Recover from iCloud" tab, and log in to your iCloud account.

choose recover from icloud mode

sign in icloud

Step 2: Choose from iCloud Kit and iCloud Backup.

There are two options iCloud Kit and iCloud backup. Select one as you want and tap "Scan" button.

icloud kit

icloud backup

Step 3: Automatically starts to scan.

It will take some time to scan (depends on the file size).

scanning processing

Step 4: Preview and recover data.

Then the data will be displayed on the next page. Select the data you want to view and you should be able to see the files. You can also select some of the data and click "Recover" to save it to your computer.

Select the files you wish to recover

Bonus Tip. The Best Backup Option for iDevices

Though manually enabling iCloud to let it perform auto backup is not complicated for sure, there are still limitations as it can't backup all kinds of data in your device. So quite a few iDevice users choose iCloud Drive. As we know, iCloud Drive only comes with a standard 5GB of dara for free, but beyond that you're going to pay. For those who want free ways to backup data, we suggest they use iTunes.

Connecting your iDevice to PC or Mac and syncing won't be a hassle. In the mean time, you are able to backup everything on your iDevice without limitation. In addition, restoring them from iTunes is utlra fast.


Regularly backup your data and worry-free for data loss. Yet do not panic when you accidentally delete something important while there's no backup, iMyFone D-Back always does its best to help you retrieve the lost/missing/deleted data.

Windows version Mac version