Forum Question: How Do I Move Documents & Desktop Back To My Mac?

I have a number of students that didn’t understand during installing Sierra that if they clicked on the option to move Documents & Desktop to iCloud would remove the contents from their Macs. Is there an easy way to reverse this?

Comments: 7 Responses to “How Do I Move Documents & Desktop Back To My Mac?”

    2/23/17 @ 12:34 pm

    Moving your documents and desktop to iCloud does not remove them from your Mac. It means they are on your Mac, and also in iCloud and your other iCloud-enabled devices.
    If you want, you can simply turn this option off. I believe it then puts the items in a special folder where you can easily find them and put them back onto your local desktop and documents folder.
    But there is no need to do this if the idea is to “get the items back onto your Mac” — they are still there. It just makes getting to them on other devices seamless. And it also creates more security as the documents won’t be lost if your Mac’s drive fails.

    2/23/17 @ 9:06 pm

    Thanks, What is the special folder and where can they find it?

    2/24/17 @ 12:54 am

    Shirley: They just appear in the iCloud Drive folder with names like “iCloud Desktop” and “iCloud Documents” or something similar.

    3/2/17 @ 9:56 am

    I need more space in my cloud storage, can I pick and choose which files to Store in the cloud which files to store locally?

    3/2/17 @ 10:30 am

    Peter: You can’t pick or choose the files, but you can simply set up another folder (for example “Local Documents”) in your user folder for local-only files. Or, just buy a bigger iCloud storage plan.

    Constance Brennan
    3/2/17 @ 10:31 am

    Gary, I think that the documents do indeed exist only on iCloud Drive. When I save docs there, they are no longer in my finder, nor can I find them on a Search. When I go to iCloud to export a file back into my Documents Folder on my Mac, a box asks if I’m sure I want to do this as they will be removed from iCloud, implying to me that they are in only one place. Can you help me figure this out?

    3/2/17 @ 10:34 am

    If they are in iCloud Drive, then they are both in iCloud and on your local drive — think of it as a single location, really. What you see as the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac is really a representation of a folder that is synced between both places. If you try to drag a file out of iCloud Drive to a folder that is only local to your Mac, then naturally it will only then be available on your Mac, and not other Macs or iOS devices using your iCloud account. Thus, the message.

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