Storing Local Documents When Using iCloud Drive

If you are using iCloud Drive Documents & Desktop, then all of the files you put in those folders are uploaded to iCloud. If you have projects that you would like to only be stored locally, you can create your own folders in your Home folder for these projects. It is a good idea to create one Local Documents folder and arrange those files in there. This can come in handy for those that use large files where uploading to iCloud for those files is an issue.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Storing Local Documents When Using iCloud Drive.

As more and more people use the iCloud Drive to store their documents and folders in iCloud the problem comes up pretty often where people want to store something just locally. Like for instance maybe you have some large video files that you're working on for a project. You don't need them in iCloud. You're just going to use them for a little while and you just want them on your local Mac only. Besides it would take a long time to upload them. So you want to avoid that.

Well here I've got my Mac setup and under System Preferences if I go to iCloud, you can see that I have iCloud Drive one and under Options I have Desktop and Document Folders turned on. So here's my Documents folder. It's an iCloud folder. So is my Desktop folder but there is nothing in it now. Under iCloud Drive I can see my Desktop and Documents. So anything that I put in there is going to get uploaded to iCloud. This is great for most of my stuff because then it's available on all my devices.

But I want to create a space where I can have things that aren't going to go to iCloud. Well you can do that by going to your Home folder. The way you go to your Home folder is, you could have here under Favorites on the left side. I do here. You can see the little Home icon and it says MacMost. If you don't see it there you can still very easily go to the Go menu. Home. Under there you can see that I've got the folders that used to be all of them in the Home folder. But now the Desktop and Documents folders are missing, of course, because they're in iCloud. But I still see Music, Pictures, Shared, Downloads, and things like that.

I can create my own folder in here. So I can create a new folder and I'm going to call that one Local Documents. You can call it whatever you want. I like this name because if I needed documents which would work because this is a different place than iCloud. Then it gets confusing. Local documents is very clear when I lookup a file's path that it's here in my Home folder in the Local Documents folder which is not an iCloud folder.

Now I can put whatever I want in this folder. I can create folders and subfolders and things like that and arrange things as I would in my Documents folder. But this will be specifically for things that are just going to be on this Mac. They're not going to go to iCloud and be shared with my other Apple devices.

What I would do at this point is I would probably put a shortcut to it in the left side bar here and I can put it right there under Favorites. So under iCloud I do have my Documents folder and also here under Favorites is my Local Documents folder. So I have easy access to either one of those not only here in the Finder but in Open and Saved dialogues as well.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Storing Local Documents When Using iCloud Drive”

    George Rubin
    2 years ago

    Just what I need to do with my major video projects.

    Bruce Bailey
    2 years ago

    As one who has been using computers since 1980, I find some irony that there is a need to train people how to use local storage. Oh for the days when speed was not limited by internet?

    Bob Gerard
    2 years ago

    If on your Mac you go to Sys Prefs/iCloud you can click on the box next to, for example, Mail.

    If on your Mac you now go to Sys Prefs/iCloud/iCloud Drive/Options, you once again find Mail with a box you may either check or not.

    Right now, the box for Mail is checked in iCloud but not in iCloud Drive and Mail is syncing nicely among my two Mac computers, an iPhone, and an iPad.

    What does checking the box for Mail in iCloud Drive actually accomplish?

    It’s stumped me!

    2 years ago

    Bob: SP/iCloud Mail refers to your email address. SP/iCloud/iCloud Drive/Mail refers to the Mail “app” — its settings, preferences, etc.

    Bill braun
    2 years ago

    I have An iMac at home, another at my office and a MacBook Pro. What will happen if I put the desktop and document from each Mac on iCloud? Will they all appear as different desktops/documents or will they all merge together to be one big mess. I bought 200 gig of iCloud storage so there is plenty of room.

    2 years ago

    All of the files from each Desktop and each Documents folder will merge so all files are there. Isn’t that what you want? Would you rather files be deleted? No, of course not. If you like, you can move and organize all files to one Desktop and one Document folder on one Mac before you do this (the other Mac being empty). Get organized. Then turn it on so those folders are seen in both places. But you could also just turn it on and then get organized.

Comments Closed.