macOS Sierra: iCloud Drive Syncs Desktop Files and Documents Across Devices

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With macOS Sierra, Apple is aiming to make it easier to access all of your content across multiple devices, expanding iCloud Drive to encompass the desktop and documents folder of every Mac.

This feature puts all of the files stored either on the desktop or in the documents folder in iCloud, making them available on iOS devices, Macs, and iCloud.com for easy access to your most recent files wherever you are.

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Turning on the new iCloud feature is done when setting up macOS Sierra. When you install the new operating system, Apple will ask if you want to enable iCloud storage for the desktop and documents folder and will let you know how much iCloud storage space it will take up.

If you have a lot of files on your desktop or in the documents folder, it can take up a significant amount of space, so you might need to do some file cleanup before enabling it.

If you want to enable the feature later or turn it off at some point, you can do so by going to System Preferences --> iCloud --> iCloud Drive --> Options ---> and checking or unchecking "Desktop & Documents Folders" in the list of apps allowed to upload data to iCloud Drive.

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On Macs and iOS devices, the contents of the desktop and documents folder can be accessed through the iCloud Drive app. On iCloud.com, the files can be accessed through the iCloud Drive folder that's available once you're signed in. If you have a Windows machine, your Mac files will be able to be downloaded through the iCloud for Windows app.

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The new iCloud storage options in Sierra bring Macs more in line with iOS devices, which use iCloud Drive for all file storage purposes. macOS Sierra is available for free starting today.

Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
55 months ago
I strongly suggest NOT using the optimize storage feature! Not only will this remove the files from your Mac, but it'll keep the files from being backed up with Time Machine.

You will literally be trusting iCloud *completely* to store your important files. Definitely NOT a good idea!

Keep Optimize Storage off. Back up your data. It's only a matter of time before someone gets bitten by this.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CamiMR Avatar
55 months ago
How about an option to sync Desktop only, and not Documents, does that exist?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ILuvEggplant Avatar
55 months ago
Need more macOS articles
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jpn Avatar
55 months ago
i find it incredibly pushy on apple's part to have Optimization turned on by default (see original post screen shot bottom).
installing macOS Sierra has this on by default.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4God Avatar
55 months ago

Need more macOS articles

Need more Macs.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gim Avatar
55 months ago

The darn Developer Beta deleted my local files once they were uploaded though, and then it was a total pain to redownload them. literally took a couple days.. What a pain. hope they fixed that for the public version, but be careful all.

Haha, the release version still does that, so be careful. Thing is, I lost all my files because the iCloud upload wasn't finished when I turned the feature off again. Great.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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