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Does Time Machine Back Up Files In iCloud Drive?

In Finder, under iCloud, there are three sub groups…iCloud Drive, Desktop and Documents. On my son’s Mac he has put all his document folders directly in “iCloud drive” as the root, rather than using Documents as the root.

So my question is, would all his documents folders under “iCloud Drive” be backed up to Time Machine or must they be moved under “Documents” as the root to be backed up?

thanks
—–
David

Comments: 6 Responses to “Does Time Machine Back Up Files In iCloud Drive?”

    1 year ago

    If you have the option “Optimize Mac Storage” turned OFF under System Preferences, Apple ID, then yes. If you have that option ON, then some of your files will be on your local drive, and some not. Time Machine can only back up files that are available, so it can’t back up ones that are not on the drive.

    It doesn’t matter where they are on iCloud Drive. The folders are just for organization. But it is considered best practice to put all of your files in the Documents folder. That’s what it is for. That’s what I do.

    David
    1 year ago

    Thanks for the fast response Gary. I’m a Patreon supporter….thanks for all you do!

    Harold Wood
    8 months ago

    I have been told that one should also backup your icloud files, not just your local drive “Documents” folder. Two copies is not safe enough – you need 3. So, storing Word Processing files in “icloud drive” instead of “Documents” would seem to be preferable to if you have a Time Machine backup to an external hard drive and Optimize mac Storage settings are “off.” That way you have 3 copies – on your Mac’s main hard drive, on the iCoud drive, and via Time Machine, on your external disk. Agree?

    8 months ago

    Harold: If you are not using the “Optimize” function in iCloud Drive then all of your iCloud Drive files are also on your Mac, so a Time Machine backup is backing up everything. As for how many backups you need, that depends on a lot of factors. I know people who have virtual no files at all. And others have many files that are critical to their work. There is no one-size-fits-all advice for that. For some, a single Time Machine backup is fine. It really depends.

    Brian
    6 months ago

    It is possible to partition my internal 1TB drive to say a separate drive with 256GB and utilize that as my Time Machine back up drive?

    6 months ago

    Brian: No, DON’T do that. That’s not a valid backup. If you back up your data to the same drive, then if that drive fails you lose both the data and the backup of the data. Get an external drive and use that.

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