MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum QuestionsAsk a Question

What Is the Difference Between the Folder iCloud Drive and Documents?

Gary, In reply to a question about Time Machine you said “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.”

In iCloud Drive > Options I can find a list of apps that store documents and data in iCloud.

Are you saying that if I have create a folder then it I should do so inside Documents? Is why that in the folder iCloud Drive I can see some folders that are Kind:Folder and some Kind:App Library.

Other than best practice is there a problem with creating your own folders directly in iCloud Drive? I have quite a few.

Could I please ask you to expand on this a little further please?

Thank you for your help.
—–
Ian

Comments: 6 Responses to “What Is the Difference Between the Folder iCloud Drive and Documents?”

    4 months ago

    Yes, I would consider it best practice to create all of your organizational folders inside of the Documents. There isn’t necessarily a problem with creating your own folders at the same level as Documents instead of inside of them, but the Documents folder is for you Documents, that’s what it is there for. It is its purpose.

    One reason is searching. If you want to search for something among your files, being able to start at the Documents folder and know all of your files are under that is useful. Otherwise, you have to start at the top level of iCloud Drive which would include those app-create storage spaces.

    Another reason is browsing. If you want to start somewhere with a new Finder window, starting at the Documents folder level and seeing a list of your organized folders is useful. If you start at the top level of iCloud Drive you will see your stuff mixed with those app folders and other things.

    But mostly I recommend doing it because it is “standard practice.” I mean you could put Pages documents inside the Pictures folder and videos inside the Music folder if you want. You can clutter your Desktop with a bunch of stuff and put other things in the Documents folder without any rhyme or reason. But if someone asks me how to “get organized” on their Mac, I start with: Put all of your files in folders in the Documents folder.

    Ian
    4 months ago

    Gary, thank you. One further question is about using apps like Numbers, Pages & Keynote. Would you allow these apps to use their own folders or save files in Documents along with other files. I know it’s personal choice but one example is that I use Excel and Numbers and often want to store files for a project or theme together, how\where you would you recommend storing these together. Are Tags, Smart Folders the way forward, but this requireS an amount of organisation and discipline. Thank You

    4 months ago

    I see those app-specific folders as a relic of the days where iOS apps had to store documents from an app in its own specific folder. I don’t use them. If you have a Numbers document, a Pages document, a bunch of PDFs and so on, all part of one project, I put those all in one folder in my Documents folder, or a subfolder even deeper down in an organized structure.

    Michael
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary
    I currently have all my files under a Dropbox folder. Is there a way to have my files sync to both Dropbox and to the iCloud Documents Folder? If so I could get “double protection” of my data
    Thanks
    Michael

    4 months ago

    Michael: That’s a big no. You don’t want to try that. Having two cloud services control a single folder is a bad idea. It will lead to things getting confused between the services and you could easily end up losing files entirely. If you want double protection, backup with Time Machine or an online backup service.

    Michael
    4 months ago

    Many thanks for the swift response Gary. Understood. I already use Time Machine so I’m all good
    Cheers
    Michael

Comments Closed.