How To Use iCloud Drive For Multiple Users On a Single Mac

By 3 weeks ago

If you’ve had a Mac for a while, you’ve probably already connected your iCloud Drive account to it. It simplifies the process of storing and sharing data on the cloud. Because it’s an Apple feature, it integrates seamlessly with your Mac’s built-in utilities.

If you have two or more users on your Mac, you might want to add their iCloud Drives as well. There is, however, a restriction that stops you from adding two iCloud Drives to a single machine account. In your Mac user account, you can only have one active iCloud Drive account at a time.

So how do you deal with the restriction and have multiple iCloud Drives running at the same time on your Mac?

Use Fast User Switching To Use Multiple iCloud Drive Accounts

Your Mac has a function that allows you to quickly switch between two accounts on the machine. It’s called Fast User Switching, and it allows you to switch to another account on your Mac with a single click.

What’s fantastic about this is that your other account will still be signed in and processes will continue to run on it even if your main account is in the foreground and you’re using it.

This means you can create a new user on your Mac with your other iCloud Drive account and sync files from both accounts at the same time. It’s quite simple to set everything up.

Create a New User Account

If you haven’t already, you need to create a new account on your Mac that you’ll use to integrate with your other iCloud Drive account.

  • Click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner of your screen and select System Preferences.
  • Select Users & Groups on the following screen to open the user settings menu.
  • Click on the + (plus) sign at the bottom of the users list and it’ll let you add a new account. Enter the required information on your screen and then click on Create User to add the account to your system.

Enable Fast User Switching

Now that a new account is created to let you use your other iCloud Drive account, you’ll need to enable the Fast User Switching feature to allow quick switching between two accounts.

  • Click on the Apple logo at the top and select System Preferences.
  • Select the Users & Groups option on the following screen.
  • Click on the Login Options button at the bottom of the user list.
  • The following screen lets you modify several settings related to user accounts. Find the option that says Show fast user switching menu as and tick-mark the box for it. It’ll enable the feature on your Mac.

On your Mac, you’ll notice a new option in the menu bar (top screen region). It should say your account’s complete name, and clicking on it will display any other user accounts you have on your computer.

Log-in to the New Account and Add iCloud Drive

Let’s log into your new account now that it’s ready to use and add your iCloud Drive to it.

Make a note of your iCloud login credentials because you’ll need them in one of the subsequent steps.

  • Click on the newly added icon in your menu bar for Fast User Switching and choose the new account you created.
  • You’ll be asked for the password of your new account. Enter the password and it’ll then likely launch the setup wizard. Set the options as how you’d like them. You may also be asked to enter your iCloud login details but skip that for now as you’ll be doing that later in this guide.
  • Click on the Apple logo at the top and select System Preferences.
  • Choose iCloud on the following screen as you wish to add an iCloud account to your new account.
  • On the following screen, it’ll ask you to enter your Apple ID. Enter in your Apple/iCloud ID and click on Next at the bottom.
  • Enter your iCloud ID password on the following screen and click on Next.
  • If you haven’t already enabled it, it’ll ask you to set up two factor authentication. It’s up to you to decide whether you should do it or not, but it is highly recommended.
  • You’ll now have a screen with two options on it. You can checkmark the first one and click on Next. The second option, Find My Mac, can only be used by one user per Mac and if the other account has it enabled, it won’t let you turn it on for your account.
  • You’ll now be on the screen where all iCloud features are listed. Make sure the iCloud Drive option is tick-marked. It ensures the Drive is available to use on your machine.
  • Launch a Finder window by clicking on Finder in the Dock. You’ll see a new item labeled as iCloud Drive in the left sidebar. That’s what allows you to use your other iCloud Drive account on your machine.

You can now use this newly added iCloud Drive account to upload and download files. It’ll also keep syncing even if you use Fast User Switching to move to your main user account.

How To Remove Multiple iCloud Drive Accounts On a Mac

If you no longer wants to use multiple iCloud Drives on your Mac, you can have them removed in a few steps.

  • Log into the account you want to remove the Drive from.
  • Launch System Preferences and click on iCloud.
  • If you don’t want to use any of the iCloud features in your account, click on the Sign Out button.
  • If you only want to disable iCloud Drive, untick the box for it on your screen.
  • iCloud Drive will no longer appear in the Finder.
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