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Can ‘Hollow Files’ Be Considered an Alias To the Optimized iCloud File?

MBPro -2010 -High Sierra latest upgrades-1TB HD with iCloud 200GB and optimization for Desktop and Documents folder ON, had to reformat due to software malfunction (unfixable Genius Bar tried).
AFTERWARDS cloud stored files (using same AppleID) appear on MBPro. 1. Are these actually back on the 1TB drive using space (and still on cloud server as well) 2. The little cloud icon next to these files is either there (with the down arrow) or no icon at all. Clicking on a file without the icon will open it – I assume that it stays stored in Cloud and downloads to the 1TB drive?
Karen Frazer

Comments: 3 Responses to “Can ‘Hollow Files’ Be Considered an Alias To the Optimized iCloud File?”

    5 years ago

    An Alias file is a different thing from an iCloud "hollow" file. Don't confuse the two. I won't go into what an alias is right here, since you are mainly interested in the iCloud files.

    If you see a cloud icon with a down arrow, that means the file is located on the server, but would need to be downloaded to be opened. If you try to open these files it should download.

    If a file is already completely present on your drive, you don't see this icon. That means it is local and also on the server.

    Karen Frazer
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the quick reply - hollow it shall be. Soooo- if I am looking in finder and iCloud Drive on the MBPro shows the Documents with its files listed; and I do a manual backup with Time Machine- what happens? 1. The TM backup shows the Finder with the drive files and their icons or 2. the TM backup doesn't capture that view of the finder. (--I know TM will bu the hard drive files, been using it for years).

    5 years ago

    Karen: Not sure what it will show. It definitely won't contain these "hollow" files, at least not the contents. If you want to have everything present and backed-up, you definitely want the "optimize" option turned off.
    You could always experiment. Try to restore one of these files and see what you see, and what happens.

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