In macOS, you can sync any files on your Mac desktop and in your documents folder to iCloud so that you can access them on any other devices signed in to ‌iCloud‌ with the same Apple ID.

Mac-iphone-icloud
In other words, you can start a document on your Desktop, and you'll be able to work on it later on your iPhone or iPad, or even through a browser on another computer via the ‌iCloud‌ website.

Here's how to turn on Desktop and documents folder syncing in macOS Big Sur.

  1. On your Mac, click the Apple symbol () in your menu bar and select System Preferences....
    sys prefs

  2. Click Apple ID.sys prefs

  3. Select iCloud in the side column, and make sure iCloud Drive is turned on (the tick box should be checked), then click Options....
    iCloud

  4. Check the box next to Desktop & Documents Folders to enable it.
    iCloud Drive

  5. Click Done.

If you decide you don't like Desktop and Documents folder syncing in ‌iCloud‌, you can easily stop syncing by following the above steps and unchecking the box next to Desktop & Documents Folder (step 5).

Note that if you disable syncing, Desktop files will no longer appear on the desktop of any other Macs you own, but they'll remain available in a folder on your iCloud Drive, and a new Desktop and Documents folder is created on your Mac in the home folder. You can move files from ‌iCloud Drive‌ to your Mac as you need them, or select all of your files and drag them to the place you want to keep them.

Top Stories

ios 13 iphone ipad duo

How to Back Up Your iPhone or iPad Using iCloud

Tuesday April 6, 2021 3:50 pm PDT by
Creating an iPhone or iPad backup should be routine for most users, as it's a simple procedure and the easiest way to recover your data if your device is replaced, lost, or stolen. There are two types of backup available to iOS users. iCloud backups are encrypted automatically and stored in the cloud, and you can create and use them anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. By contrast, computer-base...
photos icon

How to Back Up Your iPhone Photos

Wednesday May 12, 2021 9:26 am PDT by
Backing up the photos you take on your iPhone might not sound like a thrilling prospect, but it's far from a thankless task. On the contrary, it's a crucial step in ensuring that your most precious pictures are never lost. Plus, once you have a system for backing up your photos in place, you can get on with enjoying taking pictures with your smartphone in the confidence that they're safe. You...
icloud drive icon ios

How to Enable or Disable Optimize Mac Storage

Wednesday March 10, 2021 3:34 pm PST by
In macOS, Apple includes a feature that can optimize the storage on your Mac by reducing the amount of space that data takes up on your Mac's internal drive. It does this by offloading certain files, data, and documents to iCloud and iCloud Drive when space on your Mac is running low. If you have a lot of iCloud storage space and a high-speed internet connection, Optimize Mac Storage is a...
iphone x macbook hero imessage how to

How to Free Up Space on iPhone and iPad By Storing Messages in iCloud

Thursday April 8, 2021 4:52 pm PDT by
Messages in iCloud, as the name suggests, stores your iMessages in Apple's cloud servers rather than on each of your individual devices, which has a number of benefits. When you receive a message on one device, it shows up on all devices logged into the same iCloud account. Likewise, when you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices. Another...
siri remote 2 clickpad settings feature

Apple TV: How to Customize the Clickpad on the New Siri Remote (2nd Gen)

Monday May 24, 2021 7:18 am PDT by
Apple's second-generation redesigned Siri Remote features a touch-sensitive clickpad that can be used to navigate menus as well as fast-forward and rewind video. When you first start using the Siri Remote, touch surface tracking is on by default, but if you can't get on with the sensitivity or you're just not comfortable using touch controls on a remote, you can always customize it or turn...
big sur battery feature blue

How to Check Your Mac's Battery Cycles

Wednesday May 12, 2021 9:22 am PDT by
Apple's latest MacBooks offer some of the most impressive battery life seen on any notebook, with the company's adoption of Apple silicon taking power efficiency to a whole new level. But like all rechargeable batteries, the actual lifespan of a battery is dictated by the number of charge cycles it's been through. Keep reading to learn how to check the battery cycle count on your MacBook. ...
mail ios app icon

How to Prevent Emails From Tracking You in Apple Mail

Thursday May 13, 2021 11:25 am PDT by
Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature is designed to allow users to opt out of the surreptitious tracking that third-party apps have traditionally relied on for ad targeting purposes. But tracking can go on in your email inbox, too. Unsolicited marketing emails will sometimes know whether you've opened their email, and if so, when you did so. They can even know where you were at the...
mozilla firefox banner

How to Clear Cookies in Firefox on Mac and iOS

Monday April 19, 2021 11:24 am PDT by
Whenever you browse the web in Firefox, the browser stores website data including cookies so that it doesn't have to do so again each time you revisit a site. In theory this should speed up your browsing experience, but there are some scenarios where you might want to clear the cache and start anew. Keep reading to learn how it's done on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. There are a couple of...
m1 mac family

How to Check Your Mac's Warranty and AppleCare+ Status

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:35 pm PDT by
In macOS Big Sur 11.3 and later, it's easy to find up-to-date information about your Mac's warranty or AppleCare plan. You can check whether your device is covered and see what kinds of repair and support are included with your cover. You can also find your agreement number, proof of purchase and expiry date. To get information on your Mac's warranty status and/or AppleCare+ plan, first...
macos big sur ios 14 iphone 12 pro macbook air icloud drive desktop documents hero

How to Wirelessly Sync iPhone or iPad to Mac

Thursday April 8, 2021 4:24 pm PDT by
When you connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, you can sync a range of media to your device, including albums, songs, playlists, movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, audiobooks, photos and videos, contacts and calendars. This article shows you how it's done. It used to be the case that you could only sync an iPhone and iPad to a Mac using a physical cable, but these days you can sync your...