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Question: icloud is holding my $20k shoot hostage- Macbook Pro

Sorry for the dramatic title, I mean it's true but mostly I'm just dying to get as much help/attention on here as possible. Thank you in advance for any ideas!!!

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016), Processor 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3, Radeon Pro 460 4096 MB Intel HD Graphics 530 1536 MB, 1 TB of storage.

I purchased this crazy expensive (couldn't really afford) computer to take with me on a huge photo shoot project I was doing in Greece. I did days of shooting and then downloaded 400GB of the shoot to my desktop with hopes of then backing up on an external hard drive the next day. Within a day icloud had uploaded my files to the cloud drive. Taking up an additional 400GB of space on my icloud drive on my computer. In hindsight I wish I had understood how the icloud drive worked. Now 800GB of space of my 1 TB hard drive is occupied. Add all my applications my hard drive is 900GB full and incapable of allowing me to work in Final Cut.

Here’s where things get bad. The ONLY WAY to get these files at this point to my external drive now is to download them from icloud. When I try to do that, it says I don’t have space on my computer to download. And I can't download directly to another hard drive.

All I need is to get this huge 400GB photo shoot off my icloud drive so that I can actually finish editing everything. Over and over I am told by Mac support to delete the file off my computer to download. Once I screen share they realize that icloud doesn't allow me to do that. Then they suggest deleting off icloud to clear storage. DON'T EVER DO THIS, luckily I knew better as this would also remove it off my desktop and would lose a $20k project.

The only thing I am advised is to download to my computer, where there is no space. Downloading to an external drive is not an option, even straight from the icloud account itself. Support sees that via screen share, creates an engineer ticket. Over and over engineer gives same redundant advice. You must remove from your computer to clear up space to download. I am at a total standstill here for months. I have spoken with multiple supervisors. All are kind but not helpful.

I’ve had a Genius Bar appointment where nothing was resolved and my genius was not helpful. I have had 3 phone conversations with apple support. All were not helpful. All 3 people I have talked to were knowledgeable but have admitted they were stumped with this problem. A ticket was sent to an engineer and I got the response that I need to download

At this point I have missed deadlines for clients. I have been struggling with this problem for 4 months now unable to work on any other video projects (which was the entire reason I got this computer). I seriously need help. I can’t work on the images/video in this big file, because the files are uploaded to the cloud, and I can’t get the images/video from the cloud, because there is no space to put them on my computer.

Has anyone else had this issue? I can't be the only one.

To recap

- I can't download from my icloud account to an external drive.

- I think I need an apple engineer to actually listen to my problem. Anyone know one? Can you forward them this post!?

- My "Greece" shoot is 400gb, duplicated on my icloud drive making it 800gb therefore not allowing me to download another 400gb to to delete from icloud (am I the only one that thinks this is crazy!?)

- I have tried to go through and grab one small part of the big file one file at a time. Download it then move to external. All the smaller files have been downloaded and moved and I am only left with big files that get the attached "there is no room" response.

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MacBook Pro, iOS 10.3.2, null

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Nov 13, 2017 1:59 PM in response to MarissaB11 In response to MarissaB11

Okay have you tried to move those files you have saved on the computer to another drive to make some space? And then maybe since you have space available you can download the remaining file you have in cloud..

Nov 13, 2017 1:59 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 1:59 PM in response to D4RKST4R In response to D4RKST4R

Besides my apps everything else is also on the icloud. So there is nothing that is allowing me to move it. I've moved everything possible. I would delete all my apps but I don't think that would even clear up enough space to allow me to download the huge files.

Nov 13, 2017 1:59 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 2:18 PM in response to MarissaB11 In response to MarissaB11

you have a 900+ GB HD and a 400+GB folder, you have approximately 500GB of data that is not your photo-shoot or OS and you need to move some of that elsewhere or delete it you have ample space to get this on your HD but you need to do the work and remove what you can to make it happen. If you had a budget of $20K you could spend $100 of that on a 2TB external drive and problem solved. Additionally if you are doing this kind of work you should have a backup. A cloud solution should be a second consideration.

How to use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac - Apple Support


It does not matter if you have a $400 computer, a $4,000 computer or a $4,000,000 data center - you ran out of space which falls to you to manage or not.


this is a volunteer forum. You are not speaking with Apple here and Apple does not respond to posts made here.

call 1-800-MY-APPLE in North America or go to apple.com/contact for a list of international phone numbers. If you want a developer to go over this with you then you need to submit a request to the developers who do not use this forum, developer.apple.com, or contact Apple computer directly, apple.com/feedback

neither of these methods are a guarantee anyone from Apple will respond after reading your request.

Nov 13, 2017 2:18 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 2:15 PM in response to JimmyCMPIT In response to JimmyCMPIT

No I appreciate your response but you are misunderstanding. The icloud drive duplicates on your computer. That icloud drive (according to every Apple support person I have talked) to is on my computer. I have backup drive and everytime I try to move something on there I get the response that's on the attachment. The problem seems to be a glitch.


It was uploaded to icloud drive before I could back it up. Then I couldn't download it to back it up. I'm not a novice, I 100% understand back up systems. I just somehow got myself in a strange jam here.

Nov 13, 2017 2:15 PM

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Question: icloud is holding my $20k shoot hostage- Macbook Pro