With macOS Catalina, Apple changed the location and appearance of your iCloud settings in System Preferences. If you are logging in after updating your Mac to macOS Catalina and you are not sure how to sign in or sign out of your iCloud account, read on!
Follow these quick tips to sign in or out of iCloud with your Mac using macOS Catalina and above!
- Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences and click your Apple ID. Choose Overview, then Sign Out…
- If you haven’t signed in to your Apple ID on your Mac, tap Sign In and enter your Apple ID information. Follow the on-screen instructions to verify
- Once you sign in to your Apple ID, select the iCloud and choose which features you want to use
- To turn off specific iCloud features, go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Apple ID and choose iCloud from the left sidebar. Then untick the features you no longer wish to sync in iCloud
- iCloud in macOS Catalina, an overview of the key changes
- Need to run 32-bit apps on macOS Catalina? Use a Mojave virtual machine
- Everything new in Mail for macOS Catalina
- iCloud Backup Won’t Complete and other Backup Related Issues, Troubleshooting Guide
How to access iCloud in macOS Catalina
The old iCloud icon in the System Preferences is now gone in macOS Catalina. But you still use System Preferences to access your iCloud account–but via your Apple ID instead.
In order to access your iCloud credentials on macOS Catalina, follow the steps below:
- Click on > System Preferences
- Choose Apple ID (the iCloud icon is no longer available in macOS Catalina)
- Select Overview on the left panel
- Click on ‘Sign Out’ at the bottom to log out of your Apple ID and iCloud
- Choose ‘Keep a copy’ in order to create a local copy of the data
For logging back again into your account, you will have to follow the same path of going to > System Preferences > Apple ID
If you want to obtain a detailed view of the apps that are using your iCloud account, you can sign in into your iCloud account via the ‘Internet Accounts’ section in System Preferences.
Click on Internet Accounts and then click on iCloud on the left panel. Enter your credentials here to log into your iCloud account.
Turn off only some iCloud features
- Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID
- Tap iCloud from the sidebar
- Untick the box for each iCloud features you no longer want to use
- For iCloud features with additional settings like iCloud Drive and Find My Mac, tap the Options or Details button and uncheck any boxes for things no longer wanted
iCloud Accounts issues on macOS Catalina
Sometimes, when you try to log back in using your Apple ID via the system preferences, you may encounter an error that says ‘An Unknown error occured” even though your credentials are right.
If you encounter such error messages while accessing iCloud via System preferences on macOS Catalina, restart your MacBook and then try again.
If you are using iCloud Drive on your Mac with your main Apple ID, you can easily verify the account that you are signed into by opening up the Finder App.
- Once in Finder, click on iCloud Drive on the left-hand column, and you will be able to verify the contents of your iCloud drive to confirm the iCloud account you are using.
- After upgrading to macOS Catalina, if your iCloud drive shows an empty folder or weird files, disable the iCloud drive from System preferences, restart and then re-enable iCloud drive.
We encountered this issue on several Catalina Betas and were able to work around the issue.
Unable to Accept iCloud Terms and Conditions on macOS Catalina
Several users have found that after updating to macOS Catalina, they are unable to use iCloud. This is primarily happening for users who use multiple Apple Ids. (particularly in their Mail settings)
If you have multiple accounts, check the steps here to get this issue sorted.
- Tap Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and then tap on the first iCloud account. You should see a Terms and Conditions link near the top in blue.
- Tap the link, scroll to the bottom and tap the Accept link.
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 for any other iCloud accounts you have showing in the list of accounts.
Using Multiple Apple IDs on macOS Catalina?
Generally, most users operate their Apple devices using a single Apple ID, however, there are many users who use a general id for their iCloud but use a different ID to purchase music or other media from respective App stores.
In this case, you have to use your main Apple ID in the System Preferences on macOS Catalina and for the individual apps, you can use the different Apple ID by accessing the account settings for these apps.
For Apple Music on macOS Catalina, you can access the Sign-in process by clicking on ‘Account’ from the Apple Music menu.
In the case of the App Store, click on the Sign-in button at the bottom left corner to sign in using your Apple ID.
You can also access App Store credentials by clicking on ‘Store’ at the top menu and access ‘Sign in’ and ‘Sign out’ from here.
On the new TV app on macOS Catalina, you can access your credentials by clicking on ‘Account’ from the top menu.
The same is true for the new Podcasts app as well. You can access your credentials from the top ‘Account’ menu.
We hope you found this short article helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.