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How Do I Ensure That All My Files Are Downloaded On My Mac When Also Using iCloud?

On a recent Mac Power Users podcast, they said when using iCloud to store your files, you should right click on a folder and select “Download All” to ensure that the files in folder are all downloaded to the Mac as well as also being in iCloud. But when I right click on any folder I do not get this option. And my understanding of iCloud is that the full files would always be on my Mac and iCloud just syncs them. Can you please clarify? I want to ensure that my files all exist fully on my Mac so that may back up capture them as well.
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David

Comments: One Response to “How Do I Ensure That All My Files Are Downloaded On My Mac When Also Using iCloud?”

    8 months ago

    Go to System Preferences, Apple ID, iCloud (on the left) and then look for the checkbox “Optimize Mac Storage.” If you want all of your files to be on your Mac at all times, then they box should be unchecked.

    I’m guessing that you already have this unchecked, like I do, so that’s why you don’t have a Download option for your files.

    Here’s what I do. On my desktop Mac, which has plenty of storage, I have this unchecked. So all of my files are local, and they are mirrored on my desktop Mac. But my MacBook Pro has a much smaller drive. I have this “Optimize Mac Storage” turned off. So only some of the files (recent and frequently used) are local. The rest are downloaded if I try to access them. This means when I back up my desktop Mac to Time Machine (and also BackBlaze online) I get all of my files that are on iCloud in my backups.

    See https://macmost.com/understanding-icloud-drive-and-the-optimize-mac-storage-option.html

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