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iCloud Drive FAQ

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Question: Can i keep files on mac as well as on icloud drive?

I currently use Dropbox, which allows me to keep my files on my Mac, but also store them in the cloud so that other devices can use them. Can I do that with the Icloud drive? It seems that if I move them to Icloud, they are taken off my Mac.


Thank you.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.5)

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Files in the iCloud Drive folder that haven't synced have a small cloud icon at the right end of the file Name column in that folder. I normally don't notice that as they usually sync very quickly.

The files are normally in both places but there can be an exception to that -- see my previous answer repeated below:


For the most part, any file on iCloud Drive also has a local copy on your Mac if you have Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive turned on. You can access the local copies in Finder (Finder Go menu > iCloud Drive and you can also put the iCloud Drive folder in the Finder sidebar via Finder Preferences)


The exception would be if you also turn on Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive - Options > Optimize Mac Storage. In that case, if your Mac is low on storage space some files might only be on iCloud. If you don't turn that option on then you would always have a local copy.

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Mar 10, 2018 6:05 PM in response to Morriehr In response to Morriehr

For the most part, any file on iCloud Drive also has a local copy on your Mac if you have Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive turned on. You can access the local copies in Finder (Finder Go menu > iCloud Drive and you can also put the iCloud Drive folder in the Finder sidebar via Finder Preferences)


The exception would be if you also turn on Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive - Options > Optimize Mac Storage. In that case, if your Mac is low on storage space some files might only be on iCloud. If you don't turn that option on then you would always have a local copy.

Mar 10, 2018 6:05 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 7:36 AM in response to FoxFifth In response to FoxFifth

Thank you so much for prompt and very helpful reply. I do have one follow-up question, just to clarify since I am not very knowledgeable. Do I access my local documents in Finder under ICloud Drive, or will they be separate in Finder under Dropbox?


Thank you.

Mar 11, 2018 7:36 AM

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Mar 11, 2018 8:36 AM in response to Morriehr In response to Morriehr

DropBox and iCloud Drive are two separate services from different companies. Both of them allow you to sync files between devices. If you are using DropBox you would find your local copy in your Dropbox folder. If you are using iCloud Drive you would find your local copy in the iCloud Drive folder. If you have been using Dropbox and want to use iCloud Drive instead, you can move your files from the DropBox folder to the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac.

Mar 11, 2018 8:36 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 7:19 AM in response to FoxFifth In response to FoxFifth

What I meant to ask is whether my files listed under Icloud are also on my computer (similarly to Dropbox files being both on my computer and in the cloud). It's not clear whether they are in both places. Also, if they are in both places, is there a way to tell if they have been synced?


Thank you again.

Mar 12, 2018 7:19 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 3:37 PM in response to Morriehr In response to Morriehr

Files in the iCloud Drive folder that haven't synced have a small cloud icon at the right end of the file Name column in that folder. I normally don't notice that as they usually sync very quickly.

The files are normally in both places but there can be an exception to that -- see my previous answer repeated below:


For the most part, any file on iCloud Drive also has a local copy on your Mac if you have Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive turned on. You can access the local copies in Finder (Finder Go menu > iCloud Drive and you can also put the iCloud Drive folder in the Finder sidebar via Finder Preferences)


The exception would be if you also turn on Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive - Options > Optimize Mac Storage. In that case, if your Mac is low on storage space some files might only be on iCloud. If you don't turn that option on then you would always have a local copy.

Mar 12, 2018 3:37 PM

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Question: Can i keep files on mac as well as on icloud drive?