So, you got an email notice from Apple saying your complementary 20GB iCloud storage upgrade will revert to the default allotment of 5GB on September, 30, now what? If you have less than 5GB stored there, then no problem. If you have more, you need to manage your iCloud storage by backing up needed data and deleting the rest.
First of all, you need to determine which apps and files are filling up that space. Go to System Preferences > iCloud > click Manage. You can see not only your overall usage (bottom of the above window), but also how much space each app is using by clicking on its icon.
The lowest hanging iCloud storage fruit ripe for pruning can be found in Mail and you can liberate a lot of space by deleting everything from your Junk and Trash folders — Go to Mail and click Trash in the left sidebar, press Command + A (Select All) and then hit Delete. Repeat to empty the Junk folder.
Going forward, you can limit how much Junk and Trash cruft accumulates on iCloud by automatically deleting items after a set period of time — I’ve configured Mail to automatically delete Junk and Trash items on iCloud after one month.
If for some reason you feel a need to back up Trash and Junk, you can store it on your Mac. In Mail, right click (two-finger tap) on Junk (or Trash), select Get Account Info and then Mailbox Behaviors. There you can choose to either store items on iCloud or locally on your Mac.
Managing iCloud Storage: More Clinging Cruft
The next item on the low-hanging fruit list is out-of-date iOS device backups. That said, before you delete anything, make sure you have a current/recent backup for each iPhone, iPad and/or iPod touch you manage — on your iThing, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > tap Back Up Now.
Rinse and repeat for each device you manage/own.
That done, on your Mac, go to System Prefs > iCloud > Manage and then individually select and delete old/unneeded iThing backups.
Of course, you can obviate iThing backup data by backing up to your Mac — Connect your iPhone, iPad and/or iPod touch to your Mac via USB and, once it appears in iTunes left sidebar, select it. Then click the Summary tab and then under Backups > Automatically Back Up, select This Computer and then Back Up Now to seal the deal.
Lastly, Apple details how to manage other of iCloud data types in this Support Article — iCloud: Archiving or making copies of your iCloud data. Yes, it’s all fairly hands on and will take some time to get done, so don’t dally because September 30 will be here before you know it…
What’s your take?