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Question: icloud deleted my files from my desktop

At my wits end trying to figure this out for almost 20 solid hours.

Basically I've had my mac for around 6 months (my second mac). I've never used icloud before and i didn't really know what it was, and it kept telling me it was almost full and it was taking up loads of storage. So I logged out. Turns out if you log out it not only deletes the files from icloud but also the actual files themselves from the laptop. I am currently backpacking through Central America and most of the files that have gone are from my travels. I had them backed up on 2 separate external hard drives just in case i lost one of them. I plugged them in one after the other to just get the files back on my laptop and, I have no idea how but I think maybe icloud synced with them and then removed the files from both drives, too.

I recently cleared my sd card in my camera to free up the space, so basically, they're all gone. I've tried everything I can think of and everything others have suggested on forums. Some files are there, but they're xml files and when i click on them I get re-directed to a web page that doesnt do anything. I'm at a complete loss in every sense.

I just can't understand why icloud is so invasive and deletes the actual hard copies of the photos and videos too. Doesn't make any sense.

Anyway I guess I'm asking for any help and suggestions. I'm sure i would have already tried most of them, but I don't know what else to do.

Thanks is advance,


MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)

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Dec 17, 2017 5:20 PM in response to lankywhale In response to lankywhale

iCloud is a dangerous place, as I too am finding. Perhaps until you are across the Apple iCloud confusion, subscribe to a non-Apple cloud service to isolate files and images from the Apple syncing world. In the meantime, try this (below); and failing that, contact Apple Support for their advice if you haven't already. They are easy to find on the Support tab of their website, and from anywhere in the world where there's an internet connection, you can access their online chat service. Good luck!

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Dec 17, 2017 5:20 PM

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Dec 18, 2017 11:31 AM in response to lankywhale In response to lankywhale

You posted you signed out of iCloud. Did you ever sign back in? If you did, were the files available?

What OS version are you using? If Sierra or High Sierra, in System Preferences/iCloud/iCloud Drive/Options, do you have Documents and Desktop syncing checked? Is Optimization checked?

If you go to iCloud.com, do you see the documents there?

Dec 18, 2017 11:31 AM

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Question: icloud deleted my files from my desktop