FAQ - Plex Cloud

General Questions

Do I need a separate subscription?

Plex Cloud is a premium feature and is included with a Plex Pass subscription from Plex. You may also need a subscription from your chosen cloud storage provider. To be very clear, Plex does not provide cloud storage space ourselves.

How is Plex Cloud different than Cloud Sync?

Cloud Sync was designed to have selected media from your local Plex Media Server synced to the Cloud so that you could access the content even when your local server was offline or otherwise unavailable. As a sync service, this required original files to remain on your local storage. Plex Cloud is a full-fledged Plex Media Server located in the Cloud. Your media is hosted independently of your local storage. Plex Cloud also includes the ability to transcode content for compatibility with your Plex player apps when needed.

Which cloud storage providers are supported?

The following cloud storage providers are currently supported for Plex Cloud:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive ("personal" accounts, not OneDrive for Business)

What players/apps support connecting to Plex Cloud?

Plex player apps must support "secure connections". The list of those players can be found in our How to Use Secure Connections article.

Related Page: How to Use Secure Connections

Plex Cloud Service Questions

Can I have multiple Plex Cloud servers?

Each Plex account can have a single Plex Cloud server. You cannot create more than one Plex Cloud for the same account.

Where do I see the status of my Plex Cloud server and restart it?

You can see if your Plex Cloud server is "Sleeping" or "Active" and manually wake it in the Plex Cloud account settings page.

Related Page: Plex Web App: Plex Cloud settings

How do I update libraries with Plex Cloud?

Your Plex Cloud server sleeps when it is not in use. It starts dynamically when someone signs in or an app accesses it and stops after a time of not being used. Libraries will automatically check for new or changed content when Plex Cloud starts. You can also initiate a regular manual library update, if desired.

Related Page: Updating vs Refreshing a Library

Can I backup and restore my database and watch status?

No. You can download the database and logs, but they are only for issue investigation.

Related Page: Plex Media Server Log Files

Are there any feature limitations with Plex Cloud?

Generally speaking, using Plex Cloud will be very similar to using a regular, local Plex Media Server. There are, however, a few feature limitations when it comes to Plex Cloud.

How many simultaneous streams can I have?

Each Plex Cloud server is limited to 3 concurrent transcode streams. If a stream is fully "Direct Play" it will not count against that limit, however "Direct Stream" will. 

Are Local Media Assets supported?

Some, but not all local media assets are supported.

Supported

  • External (sidecar) subtitle files
  • ID3 or similar supported embedded metadata in music files

Unsupported

  • Local artwork files (posters, backgrounds, episode images, etc.)
  • Local lyrics
  • Local trailers and extras
  • Local TV theme music

Custom artwork can be added when editing library items, if desired.

Related Page: Local Media Assets - Movies
Related Page: Local Media Assets - TV Shows
Related Page: Identifying Music Media Using Embedded Metadata
Related Page: Adding Local Subtitles to Your Media

What other features are not supported?

The following Plex features are not currently available with (or simply do not apply to) Plex Cloud:

  • Alexa Voice Control
  • Camera Upload
  • Channels (and other plugins)
  • Cloud Sync
  • DLNA
  • DVR
  • Media Optimizer
  • Mobile Sync
  • Scheduled Tasks
  • Server-side settings for Streaming Brain
  • Transcoder server settings
  • Video Preview Thumbnail generation
  • WebHooks

Some of these features may be brought to Plex Cloud in the future, but we don't have any details to share on that.

Why are music scans so slow?

Music scans are significantly slower than those from local installs of PMS. This is for a number of reasons:

  • Music scans need to read the file many times (in different places). It collects local tags, file metadata & we do some fingerprinting to better identify tracks (the grace note stuff)
  • Cloud providers add significant overhead. Each time we need to request things we have to make a few network requests (which all have latency) and then get the data back
  • Cloud providers do rate limit us a little (like they do for every app - even with our high quotas), but we see bursts get smoothed by exponential backoff
  • 497 albums can mean more than 10000 items, and thus > 30000 reads. It takes time

A few things:

  • We wait until the first full scan has succeeded before marking the folders as complete
  • On subsequent scans we skip over the complete folders (thats why some library scans can be near instant)

Cloud Storage Provider Questions

Where will my media be stored?

Plex Cloud links with your existing Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive Cloud storage accounts. That's where you'll upload/store your media.

Can I add more than one Cloud storage provider?

Yes, absolutely! You can link multiple Cloud storage providers (only one of each) and you can point libraries to content on any of them.

Can I have a different Cloud storage provider for Plex Cloud and Cloud Sync?

Yes. Plex Cloud and Cloud Sync treat links to any of our supported cloud storage providers separately.

How do I upload my files to a cloud storage provider?

Desktop and mobile apps are available directly from each supported cloud storage provider.

  • Dropbox: The desktop app supports mounting Dropbox as a drive and you can also upload via the web browser to Dropbox's website.
  • Google Drive: The desktop app supports mounting Google as a drive and you can also upload via the web browser to Google Drive's website.
  • OneDrive: Microsoft provides OneDrive integration for Windows. For Mac, the desktop app supports mounting OneDrive as a drive. You can also upload via the web browser to OneDrive's website.

Related Page: Dropbox: Add files to your Dropbox
Related Page: Google Drive: Upload files and folders to Google Drive
Related Page: OneDrive: Upload photos and files to OneDrive

Are there file size limitations?

Each supported cloud storage provider has their own file size limitations, which can vary depending on the method used for uploading. Use this as a guide and resort to each provider's own information (links providers) for the most current specifications.

  • Dropbox: Files uploaded via Dropbox's desktop or mobile apps have no file size limit, beyond your storage quota. Files uploaded through the web browser to Dropbox's site must be 20GB or smaller. (source)
  • Google Drive: Files can be up to 5TB in size. (source)
  • OneDrive: Files can be up to 10GB in size. (source)

How do I get Plex Cloud to see my Google Photos content?

Enable Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive in your Google Drive settings. (To be clear, this is not a Plex setting. It is a setting in your regular Google Drive management area.)

Related Page: Google Drive settings