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Question: Stop Desktop uploading to iCloud

I've searched for answers in the message boards but can't find a simple explanation for what I want to do.


My Desktop icons appear to have been transferred to iCloud. I would like to keep them on the Desktop without having to download them first. I already have everything backed up by Time Machine so I don't need them taking up space on my free iCloud storage.


One answer said to uncheck the Desktop & Documents option on my iCloud account (or whatever it is), but when I tried to do it, this popped up:

If you continue, items will be removed from the Desktop and the Documents folder on this Mac and will remain available in iCloud Drive.

New items added to your Desktop or your Documents folder on this Mac will no longer be stored in iCloud Drive.

I actually did it but all my Desktop items vanished so I unchecked the option and they reappeared.

Thanks for any suggestions

Mac mini, iOS 11.2.6, 2012 (Apple: We need a new model)

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Mar 15, 2018 8:18 AM in response to critters911 In response to critters911

Add your Desktop and Documents files to iCloud Drive - Apple Support


To turn off Desktop & Document:

  1. From your Mac, go to Apple menu User uploaded file > System Preferences > iCloud.
  2. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.
  3. Deselect Desktop & Documents Folders.
  4. Click Done.

The language in this support topic is confusing but following the steps listed above should return your Desktop & Documents folder to your Mac.

Mar 15, 2018 8:18 AM

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Mar 15, 2018 2:45 PM in response to critters911 In response to critters911

You can either turn off syncing and then access iCloud Drive in the Finder Sidebar to copy the files back to their desired location or copy the files to a new temporary folder, then turn off syncing. Rearrange the files as desired.

Mar 15, 2018 2:45 PM

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Mar 15, 2018 4:06 PM in response to macjack In response to macjack

Hi, macjack. Actually, that's exactly what I tried, as mentioned in my original question. When I deselect Desktop & Documents Folders, the message (see below) comes up. I did deselect the folder but the icons completely disappeared from my desktop so I couldn't see them at all.

I had to recheck the folder so they appeared.

If you continue, items will be removed from the Desktop and the Documents folder on this Mac and will remain available in iCloud Drive.

New items added to your Desktop or your Documents folder on this Mac will no longer be stored in iCloud Drive.

Mar 15, 2018 4:06 PM

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Mar 15, 2018 8:22 PM in response to critters911 In response to critters911

This is the critical part you need to be aware of when you turn off Desktop & Documents (and you DO want to turn that off):


Turn off Desktop and Documents

When you turn off Desktop & Documents Folders, your files stay in iCloud Drive and a new Desktop and Documents folder is created on your Mac in the home folder. You can move files from iCloud Drive to your Mac as you need them, or select all of your files and drag them to the place you want to keep them.

  1. From your Mac, go to Apple menu User uploaded file > System Preferences > iCloud.
  2. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.
  3. Deselect Desktop & Documents Folders.
  4. Click Done.

If you turn off iCloud Drive or sign out of iCloud, you have the option to keep a local copy of your files that are in iCloud Drive. Whether you decide to keep a local copy or not, a new Desktop and Documents folder is created in your home folder. If you choose to keep a local copy, your files in iCloud Drive are copied to a folder called iCloud Drive (Archive) in your home folder. Then you have the option to move any files that were in your iCloud Desktop and Documents, back to your new local Desktop and Documents.

User uploaded file



That last section is the part you want to follow to get those items that were moved to iCloud Drive back onto your local hard drive.


Best of luck,


GB

Mar 15, 2018 8:22 PM

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Question: Stop Desktop uploading to iCloud