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How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

I’ve never turned on “sync documents and desktop to iCloud” but a friend says she never turned hers on but it’s on. When she tries to turn it off, the “are you sure” popup says that it will keep the documents on iCloud but delete them from the Mac. That makes absolutely no sense!

But iCloud is full, so she can’t save anything. Being a college student, that is a serious problem. And losing the documents, then having to log in to the web interface to get them back is equally ridiculous.

What is the easiest way to get the documents OFF of iCloud and keep them on the computer? She doesn’t have another computer to make the sync worthwhile. She does have an iPhone but no one wants to write research papers on an iPhone. (Especially someone who depends on VoiceOver)

I know we could make a backup, and restore after the delete. Or re-downlonad from the web interface. But it’s hard to believe Apple would make a process that user-hostile.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

/Library. When you stop syncing Documents and Desktop those folders in

/ are emptied/removed but they remain in

/Library/iCloud (or whatever) and are also visible on the iCloud drive (which mirrors

/Library/iCloud) so what you do when you turn of sync and want to restore Desktop and Documents is that you just drag the contents of each folder in iCloud to their local counterpart in

/. This moves the files from

/Documents. That is, even if the iCloud drive reports it is full nothing is lost because it is all stored locally and the transfer from

/ is immediate. But Apple are lying, the contents of

/Desktop has disappeared (it is in

/Library/iCloud/Desktop) but it is not deleted when you disable the sync. This UI, error message and whole process are the worst I have seen in a looong while. And why the f*** would like you to sync your Desktop to the cloud. At least I use it for temporary storage of sometimes very big files (tens of GBs). And why would you…

1 Answer 1

The wording of the warning is misleading. If you turn off this syncing, the files will not be gone or deleted, but they will not be on your

/Desktop or in your

/Documents folders. They will be in your “iCloud Drive” folder, which is a folder on your computer that is synced to iCloud, but is still available on your computer. To get things “back to normal” you will just have to move the files from the “iCloud Drive” folder back to the

Here is how to clean things up:

First go to Apple menu -> “System Preferences” -> iCloud

In iCloud preferences you should click the “Options” button beside the item “iCloud Drive” and if the “Desktop & Documents Folders” item is selected, then that is probably what is causing you to be using so much space on Apple’s computers. If you uncheck this box, you can recover a lot of space from your iCloud storage, but it will take a few more steps for it to be “back to normal”:

Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive > “Options” and UNcheck the “Desktop & Documents Folders” checkbox. You’ll get a pop-up warning you that these files will only be stored in iCloud Drive if you disable Desktop and Documents syncing. Go ahead and click “Turn Off”. Files on your desktop and in your Documents folder will seem to be removed but they are still within the “iCloud Drive” folder on your computer, which will automatically open after you click “Turn Off”, so these files aren’t actually disappearing and getting deleted, but are simply in iCloud Drive exclusively.

Next, open up the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac and you’ll see two folders called “Desktop” and “Documents”. If you cannot find the “iCloud Drive” folder (it is likely listed in a Finder window’s “sidebar” which can be displayed using the Finder menu item “View” -> “Show Sidebar” if the sidebar is hidden), you can have access to it by going to the Finder menu item “Finder” -> “Preferences” -> “Sidebar” and makeing sure the “iCloud Drive” item is checked. Alternatively you can use the Finder menu item “Go” -> “iCloud Drive” to open this folder.

The folder “iCloud Drive” is where your files are. You can now move the contents of “iCloud Drive”/Desktop and “iCloud Drive”/Documents back to your

/Desktop and your

You can leave the now empty “Desktop” and “Documents” folders in “iCloud Drive”. If you delete them, they might get recreated automagically, so don’t be surprised.

Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

A new feature in macOS Sierra allows you to sync files from your desktop and Documents folder to iCloud, so you can access them on all your device. However, if you went to disable this feature, it will delete them from your computer. Fear not, though: those files still exist. They were simply removed from the desktop and Documents folder and left in iCloud Drive.

These files are stored in two different locations: On your desktop (or in your Documents folder) and in iCloud Drive. Deleting a file from the desktop or Documents will also delete the copy that’s stored in iCloud Drive.

However, when you disable desktop and Documents iCloud Drive syncing, macOS will automatically remove the files from these two locations and only store them in iCloud Drive. This seems a little backwards to how it should work, so if you’re thinking about disabling this feature, here’s how to get your files back to the desktop and the Documents folder.

To access this setting, open up System Preferences and then click on “iCloud”.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

To the right of “iCloud Drive”, click on “Options”.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Uncheck the box next to “Desktop & Documents Folders”

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

You’ll get a pop-up warning you that these files will only be stored in iCloud Drive if you disable desktop and Documents syncing. Go ahead and click “Turn Off”.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Files on your desktop and in your Documents folder will be removed and placed in iCloud Drive, which will automatically open after you click “Turn Off”, so these files aren’t actually disappearing and getting deleted, but are simply being moved into iCloud Drive exclusively.

Next, open up the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac and you’ll see two folders called “Desktop” and “Documents”. There are where your files disappeared to.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Open each folder up and either drag-and-drop the files to your desktop while holding down the Command key, or copying and pasting them over and then deleting the ones still stored in iCloud Drive.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Again, it’s a little weird that macOS automatically removes the files from your desktop and Documents folder and puts them only in iCloud Drive. Most users would think that after disabling iCloud Drive syncing their files would actually get removed from iCloud Drive and moved to their desktop and Documents folder to be stored locally, but it’s actually the other way around…for some odd reason.

I’ve never turned on “sync documents and desktop to iCloud” but a friend says she never turned hers on but it’s on. When she tries to turn it off, the “are you sure” popup says that it will keep the documents on iCloud but delete them from the Mac. That makes absolutely no sense!

But iCloud is full, so she can’t save anything. Being a college student, that is a serious problem. And losing the documents, then having to log in to the web interface to get them back is equally ridiculous.

What is the easiest way to get the documents OFF of iCloud and keep them on the computer? She doesn’t have another computer to make the sync worthwhile. She does have an iPhone but no one wants to write research papers on an iPhone. (Especially someone who depends on VoiceOver)

I know we could make a backup, and restore after the delete. Or re-downlonad from the web interface. But it’s hard to believe Apple would make a process that user-hostile.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

/Library. When you stop syncing Documents and Desktop those folders in

/ are emptied/removed but they remain in

/Library/iCloud (or whatever) and are also visible on the iCloud drive (which mirrors

/Library/iCloud) so what you do when you turn of sync and want to restore Desktop and Documents is that you just drag the contents of each folder in iCloud to their local counterpart in

/. This moves the files from

/Documents. That is, even if the iCloud drive reports it is full nothing is lost because it is all stored locally and the transfer from

/ is immediate. But Apple are lying, the contents of

/Desktop has disappeared (it is in

/Library/iCloud/Desktop) but it is not deleted when you disable the sync. This UI, error message and whole process are the worst I have seen in a looong while. And why the f*** would like you to sync your Desktop to the cloud. At least I use it for temporary storage of sometimes very big files (tens of GBs). And why would you…

1 Answer 1

The wording of the warning is misleading. If you turn off this syncing, the files will not be gone or deleted, but they will not be on your

/Desktop or in your

/Documents folders. They will be in your “iCloud Drive” folder, which is a folder on your computer that is synced to iCloud, but is still available on your computer. To get things “back to normal” you will just have to move the files from the “iCloud Drive” folder back to the

Here is how to clean things up:

First go to Apple menu -> “System Preferences” -> iCloud

In iCloud preferences you should click the “Options” button beside the item “iCloud Drive” and if the “Desktop & Documents Folders” item is selected, then that is probably what is causing you to be using so much space on Apple’s computers. If you uncheck this box, you can recover a lot of space from your iCloud storage, but it will take a few more steps for it to be “back to normal”:

Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive > “Options” and UNcheck the “Desktop & Documents Folders” checkbox. You’ll get a pop-up warning you that these files will only be stored in iCloud Drive if you disable Desktop and Documents syncing. Go ahead and click “Turn Off”. Files on your desktop and in your Documents folder will seem to be removed but they are still within the “iCloud Drive” folder on your computer, which will automatically open after you click “Turn Off”, so these files aren’t actually disappearing and getting deleted, but are simply in iCloud Drive exclusively.

Next, open up the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac and you’ll see two folders called “Desktop” and “Documents”. If you cannot find the “iCloud Drive” folder (it is likely listed in a Finder window’s “sidebar” which can be displayed using the Finder menu item “View” -> “Show Sidebar” if the sidebar is hidden), you can have access to it by going to the Finder menu item “Finder” -> “Preferences” -> “Sidebar” and makeing sure the “iCloud Drive” item is checked. Alternatively you can use the Finder menu item “Go” -> “iCloud Drive” to open this folder.

The folder “iCloud Drive” is where your files are. You can now move the contents of “iCloud Drive”/Desktop and “iCloud Drive”/Documents back to your

/Desktop and your

You can leave the now empty “Desktop” and “Documents” folders in “iCloud Drive”. If you delete them, they might get recreated automagically, so don’t be surprised.

How to Restore Your Desktop and Documents After …

9 hours ago A new feature in macOS Sierra allows you to sync files from your desktop and Documents folder to iCloud, so you can access them on all your device. However, if you went to disable this feature, it will delete them from your computer. Fear not, though: those files still exist. They were simply removed from the desktop and Documents folder and left in iCloud

1. Author: Craig Lloyd

How to Restore Your Desktop and Documents After …

3 hours ago A new feature in macOS Sierra allows you to sync files from your desktop and Documents folder to iCloud, so you can access them on all your device. Howe

Restoring from iCloud to Desktop Apple Community

4 hours ago Answer: A: Add your Desktop and Documents files to iCloud Drive – Apple Support. Turn off Desktop and Documents. From your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options. Deselect Desktop & Documents Folders. Click Done. More Less.

Add your Desktop and Documents files to iCloud Drive

Just Now Turn on Desktop and Documents on every Mac that you want to use with iCloud Drive. From your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences. Click Apple ID, then click iCloud. In macOS Mojave or earlier, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud. Make sure that iCloud Drive is turned on. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.

How to Stop iCloud From Syncing Desktop Folders and …

8 hours ago All your documents remain available in iCloud but are removed from your Mac–so you’ll need to get them back; Step – 3 Transfer files. Now that you have chosen to remove desktop and documents from syncing to your iCloud drive, you need to transfer these files to their original locations on your Macbook.

Simple Steps to Sync and Restore Your iPhone with iCloud

3 hours ago 2. Following, you are supposed to select which type of the iCloud data you want to scan and restore from. iCloud data includes Camera Roll, Contacts, Notes, Reminders and Calendar. Choose the one you are going to recover files from and click on Next. 3. Syncios iOS Recovery will work as you operate to scan and download the iCloud data from your

7 ways to retrieve the missing desktop files on Mac

8 hours ago Since macOS Sierra and later, iCloud Drive uses the Desktop & Documents Folders to sync and store the desktop files on Mac. So we can access desktop files and folders from other iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices. But recently mac users feedback that their desktop files missed from the desktop for some reasons.

How to Recover Lost or Deleted iCloud Drive Files or Documents

4 hours ago Once you’re in the iCloud homepage, click on “Account Settings”. Now, simply click on “Restore Files” under the Advanced section located at the bottom of the page, as shown in the screenshot below. You’ll get a new pop-up window where iCloud will start searching for the files stored on the cloud. Give it a few seconds.

How to separate iCloud Drive from Desktop & Documents

Just Now First of all: after ticking off the iCloud Drive box in iCloud preferences in macOS, you should be presented with the option to either delete the copies from your Mac, OR leave a copy on your Mac. If not (which would be strange) you can, before disabling iCloud Drive, move you files from your Desktop and Documents folder to folders with the same names (to …

How to make iCloud stop syncing documents Ask Different

5 hours ago The files that appear to be stored in iCloud are actually stored locally, but in the synchronized folder somewhere in your

/Library. When you stop syncing Documents and Desktop those folders in

/ are emptied/removed but they remain in

/Library/iCloud (or whatever) and are also visible on the iCloud drive (which mirrors

/Library/iCloud) so what …

Fixing Problems with iCloud Desktop and Documents Syncing

7 hours ago If you’ve followed the launch of macOS Sierra, you may have heard that iCloud Desktop and Documents syncing is one of the OS’s new features. This feature syncs your Mac’s Desktop and Documents folders to iCloud, making the files available on all Macs and iOS devices connected to that iCloud account.

The trouble with Desktop and Documents enabled for iCloud

8 hours ago MacOS 10.12 Sierra introduced a feature that lets you sync your Mac’s Desktop and Documents folder to iCloud Drive. The upside of this is that if you’re not employing any other backup method

Apparently when I upgraded to Sierra I enabled iCloud drive storage for my documents.

Recently, when searching for some files which I’ve had for months/years now, I discovered that they were no longer on my computer, but instead “in the cloud”. Notice the devilish iCloud symbols in the screenshot:

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

This is extremely distressing – I was not aware that iCloud drive storage would actually DELETE my files from my computer. Honestly this is ludicrous that this would happen, and I suspect it’s probably screwing with my other syncing software (Sugarsync).

Now, I want to disable it, but it I’ve heard to that disabling it will delete all the local files from my computer. Thus, I’d like to back up all my files, but how can I tell which files actually exist on my computer and which files are “fake placeholders” for the real files which only exist now on iCloud?

Even if a particular file doesn’t have the little iCloud symbol as in the linked screenshot above, do I really have to examine every single file in every single subfolder of Documents/Desktop to ensure that it’s real? For the last hour I’ve been clicking that iCloud symbol, which appears to download the real files from iCloud, but I’m not sure if I’ve finally got them all. Is there a way to check file there are any files which haven’t been downloaded?

EDIT: Okay, even after clicking the iCloud button on all my documents, which I thought would download them to my computer, after disabling iCloud storage of Desktop+Documents folder in settings, it STILL DELETED ALL MY DOCUMENTS (Why in god’s name would Apple do this to their customers data?). Now I’m trying to move them from iCloud to my local drive, and for the last 9 minutes now I’ve had a dialog box saying “Preparing to move to ‘Documents’. ” with no sign of progress. At this point I’m too scared to cancel it, or even bring my computer to an Apple store for fear of losing everything.

EDIT 2: It’s been over 20 minutes now and the process seems to have hanged. It’s managed to move 3 small folders (even though it’s still saying “Preparing to move to ‘Documents'”), and a few files, but hasn’t moved anything in about 10 minutes.

Updated on 2022-04-29 15:54:45 to Mac Recovery Solutions

“Hey, I need urgent help! My files and folders have gone missing on my Mac. I have searched in the Desktop folder in my user folder, but I can’t find it there as well. I have even checked in Spotlight and Terminal, but I can’t see them anywhere. Moreover, I don’t have any backup of my files. Please tell me why did my folders disappeared from my mac desktop and how to get it.”

-From Apple Discussions

Does this situation sound like yours? If so, continue reading. Many macOS users have a common habit of storing frequently used or essential files on the desktop itself. But files on desktop disappeared on Mac due to a variety of reasons. If you are also experiencing Mac desktop disappeared or all the folders on my desktop disappeared Mac, then don’t fret.

In this article, we have mentioned all the possible reasons for missing desktop files and folders. Moreover, you’ll learn about some impeccable ways to figure out the issue. Let’s get started!

Part 1. Why Mac Desktop Files Disappeared?

If all folders disappeared from desktop Mac, then you may think why these files are even missing in the first place. But to be precise, there is not just a single reason behind this problem. You may get infuriated to know that even because of the macOS update leads to files disappeared from desktop Mac. Following is the list of other possible reasons which can lead you to this trouble:

  • Accidental deletion of the files from the desktop
  • Misplacing files from the desktop
  • Desktop files and folders could be hidden
  • Issues in iCloud drive syncing
  • Virus or malware infection in the Mac
  • Data loss due to power outage
  • Computer crash
  • Inability to save files

It is important to highlight that the above list doesn’t ensure that all the reasons for Mac desktop folders disappeared. Thus, there can be other unknown reasons as well. However, the good news is that you can recover folders and files missing from the desktop on Mac. Let’s check out how?

Part 2. 6 Tips to Recover Folders/Files Disappeared from Desktop on Mac

Now that you have a fair understanding of the major causes leading to desktop folders disappeared mac, here are some tips to help you recover folders or files that disappeared from Desktop on macOS. Ensure to follow all the steps carefully.

How do I separate iCloud Drive from Desktop and Documents?

I accidentally clicked on an option to have iCloud store all of the desktop files, then all of the sudden, iCloud ran out of storage.

I got rid of iCloud Drive but all my files disappeared off the desktop. Luckily, I was able to restore them through iCloud.

Now I am looking for a way to have iCloud and the Desktop back to default behavior (separate) – without deleting all my files. How do I do that?

Side question:
If I used TimeMachine with iCloud backing up my desktop, all files on the desktop would also be copied to TimeMachine, right?

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

2 Answers 2

To answer your first question:

Deactivate storing your Desktop & Document files in iCloud by doing the following:

Click Apple Menu (in the upper left corner of the menu bar) -> System Preferences -> iCloud -> Click Options (next to iCloud Drive) -> Uncheck Desktop & Documents Folders -> Turn Off -> Done.

What may seem counterintuitive is that your files are still stored in the iCloud ( which is perhaps why you thought you lost them).

To retrieve your files, you should open Finder and navigate to iCloud Drive, and then to the Documents folder within iCloud Drive. You should then manually transfer or copy the files from that directory to the local Documents directory on your computer. You should then do that same with your Desktop folder.

So I updated a machine with a bunch of files on the Desktop and in the Documents folder, and when I upgraded it asked me if I wanted to store these folders on iCloud as well. I hit YES and it began trying to upload everything. Now, I guess I had a large file in one of the folders because the total upload was almost 9GB (i have 200GB of available iCloud space). It failed the upload and has just been stuck on 57kb of 8.89GB uploaded for over a day. I’ve tried restarting and it hasn’t moved. I haven’t found a way to quit it either. This has been making my machine incredibly slow and has caused the fans to speed up like crazy. Anytime I try to access an Open or Save dialog, the app I’m using crashes, whether it’s Preview, Xcode, Photoshop, or even Safari.

So I went to the iCloud system preferences and unchecked the “Desktop and Documents” item. I figured it wouldn’t delete things that were still locally saved on my disk. But I was wrong and now every single file on both my Desktop and in my Documents is gone. Not in the trash, nowhere to be found. Gone.

Can any one help me with this? Has anyone experienced something similar? The iCloud upload is still there and still isn’t progressing at all (not sure what its trying to upload anyways since the files were all deleted). My computer is unusable and my files are all gone. I have a Time Machine backup from last week, but I will not have access to for almost 2 more weeks so if there’s a way to recover my files sooner and kill this upload task, that would be amazing.

Oliver Haslam is a professional freelance writer with nearly ten years of experience. His work has been published on Macworld, PCMag, 1Password’s blog, and other websites. He writes about all things Apple. Read more.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Losing files is gut-wrenching, especially if it’s an important work document or pictures of your kids. Online storage solutions usually offer a way to restore deleted files, and iCloud is no different. The process is convoluted, but we’ll hold your hand all the way.

Companies like Dropbox offer some extensive solutions for restoring deleted files for months after their deletion, and while iCloud comes close to that, it falls short in many ways.

If you deleted a file that you previously saved in iCloud Drive and now need to recover it, there are two caveats to keep in mind:

  • Files are only available for restoration up to 30 days after deletion. After that point, they’re gone forever.
  • Restoration can generally only take place on a computer, via iCloud.com. Starting with iOS 11 and macOS Sierra, developers can build a “recently deleted” feature into their apps, but your mileage will vary here.

The first of those two caveats mean that you’re unlikely to be able to use iCloud Drive file restoration as a reliable backup solution because the history doesn’t go back far enough. The second means that the chances are good that any file restoration will require a trip to a computer. Any iPad or iPhone owner visiting iCloud.com is unhelpfully directed to set up iCloud, open “Find My iPhone,” or access “Find My Friends.”

All this means that if file restoration is your last hope, you’re going to have to cross your fingers and head over to iCloud.com. Here are the steps you need to follow to get started.

Restoring Deleted Files from iCloud Drive

You may never have visited it before, but to start, open Safari and connect to the iCloud website. You’ll need to log in with your Apple ID; make sure you use the one associated with the iCloud Drive that hosted the file or files you want to restore.

Once signed into iCloud.com, click the “Settings” button.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Scroll to the bottom of the screen, below the “Advanced” section, and then click “Restore Files.”

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

The file restoration window will now appear. If you have a lot of files stored in iCloud and have deleted many within the last 30 days, the site will need some time to collate a list of files available for restoration. Once this is complete, a list of deleted files appears, and you’ll be able to see their previous location in iCloud Drive, size, and the time remaining until they expire.

To restore a file, click the tick box beside it and then click “Restore.” You can select multiple files at this point if you need to.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Once the file has been successfully restored, iCloud displays a message confirming it.

Режим восстановления macOS — это встроенная система восстановления Mac.

В режиме восстановления macOS на компьютере Mac с чипом Apple можно исправить внутренний диск, переустановить macOS, восстановить файлы из резервной копии Time Machine, настроить политику безопасности для различных задач, перенести файлы между двумя компьютерами Mac, выполнить загрузку в безопасном режиме и выполнить другие действия.

В режиме восстановления macOS на компьютере Mac с процессором Intel можно исправить внутренний диск, переустановить macOS, восстановить файлы из резервной копии Time Machine, настроить параметры безопасности и выполнить другие действия.

Для использования режима восстановления macOS нужно знать тип своего компьютера Mac.

На Mac выберите пункт меню «Apple»

Посмотрите на вкладку «Обзор» и определите, какой у Вас Mac:

У компьютера Mac с чипом Apple в списке будет пункт Чип и в нем будет указано название чипа.

У компьютера Mac с процессором Intel будет пункт Процессор и в нем будет указана модель процессора Intel.

Чтобы загрузить компьютер в режиме восстановления macOS и использовать его приложения и утилиты, см. инструкции в одном из следующих разделов в зависимости от типа процессора.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Here’s a funny thing about Apple: When they introduce new features—like Desktop and Documents syncing under Sierra, say—I think they’re not always the best at communicating what’s going to happen, especially considering that new options are often on by default. I’ve had a lot of users complain about being asked to buy extra iCloud storage because they didn’t understand what they were agreeing to when they clicked through Sierra’s installation screens and accidentally left the “Store files from Documents and Desktop in iCloud Drive” toggle on. Whoops.

If that’s the situation you find yourself in (or if you’re just not getting any use out of the feature!), you should know that there’s a simple way to turn this syncing off, but it’s a bit…weird…in how it works. To get started, you’ll click on the Apple Menu at the upper-left corner of your screen, pick “System Preferences” from that menu, and then click “iCloud.” When that opens, click on the “Options” button next to “iCloud Drive.”

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

On the next screen, you’ll see the choice we’re looking for right at the top.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

If you turn that checkbox off, you’ll get a warning:

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

Here’s what I think is pretty odd. As that dialog box explains, turning off Desktop and Documents syncing will remove those folders from your Mac, leaving them only in iCloud Drive. As you can imagine, that’ll mean that the contents of your Desktop and Documents folders will vanish, and if you didn’t read what you were agreeing to there, this could mean a moment of panic. Or many moments of panic! But it’s all OK, because after we turn this off, we can still download all of our stuff and put it right back where it came from. So let’s do it! Click on “Turn Off” on that box and watch your files disappear before your eyes. Helpfully, though, you’ll get a reassuring pop-up afterward:

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

If you click “Show in Finder” there, you’ll be taken to the place where all your files went—under the “iCloud Drive” section in Finder’s sidebar.

How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

From here, you can drag items out of those Desktop and Documents folders and back into their locations on your Mac (which will in turn remove them from iCloud Drive). Or if you’re regretting your decision, you can also go back to System Preferences > iCloud> iCloud Drive > Options and turn the feature back on, which’ll plop all the files right back into their original locations. (And just so you know, you can log in to iCloud.com to download your files as well if you’d rather do that for some reason.)

And now is a good time to point out that you should definitely have a backup or three before you attempt anything like this, right? Right. You should have a backup or three anyway, but I figure you all know how I feel about that by now.

In case you don’t, though: MAKE A BACKUP BECAUSE I SAID SO. RIGHT NOW. Okey-doke?

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chercm

macrumors member
  • Sep 21, 2016
  • #1
  • where is the local copy for the documents folder after i enabled the iCloud drive on sierra ?

    as iCloud drive does not have the previous copy feature , i plan to have another copy of the document folder but i do not seems to have it . i have accidentally enabled the optimise storage but since have disable it

    any kind soul can help ?

    shigatashway

    macrumors member
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #2
  • where is the local copy for the documents folder after i enabled the iCloud drive on sierra ?

    as iCloud drive does not have the previous copy feature , i plan to have another copy of the document folder but i do not seems to have it . i have accidentally enabled the optimise storage but since have disable it

    any kind soul can help ?

    stooovie

    macrumors 6502a
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #3
  • macrumors 6502
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #4
  • The Documents under iCloud are stored locally but you can’t access /User/iCloud Drive. I don’t know why, but even with the normal iCloud Drive you can’t. So there’s that.

    EDIT: Also to disable it you go to Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive and disable the sync Desktop and Documents. Your documents are going to still be in the iCloud Drive folder, but the Documents folder goes back to its old place. You then have to move everything from iCloud Drive folder to Documents. Its essentially the same as you would do if you want to uninstall Dropbox.

    chercm

    macrumors member
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #5
  • zorinlynx

    macrumors 604
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #6
  • From what I can see Documents and Desktop are where they’ve always been:

    They are still real directories, and not symlinks.

    If you drag “Desktop” or “Documents” in iCloud Drive to a terminal window, it will enter the above.

    Interesting, inside the local store for iCloud Drive:

    there is a symlink “Desktop” pointing to /Users/username/Desktop, same for Documents.

    So the data is where it’s always been; there’s just a symlink in your CloudDocs directory that makes it sync to iCloud.

    chercm

    macrumors member
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #7
  • From what I can see Documents and Desktop are where they’ve always been:

    They are still real directories, and not symlinks.

    If you drag “Desktop” or “Documents” in iCloud Drive to a terminal window, it will enter the above.

    Interesting, inside the local store for iCloud Drive:

    there is a symlink “Desktop” pointing to /Users/username/Desktop, same for Documents.

    So the data is where it’s always been; there’s just a symlink in your CloudDocs directory that makes it sync to iCloud.

    does it mean it will be backup to the time machine ?

    Feenician

    macrumors 603
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #8
  • chercm

    macrumors member
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #9
  • blackdogaudio

    macrumors regular
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #10
  • So how does a Time Machine document “roll back” work now with Documents and Desktop stored in iCloud?

    (Example: I enter Time Machine to restore and overwrite a Pages document modified today with the same document from 3 days ago but with different data in it, I should expect to see that document with the modified date of 09/18/16 in my iCloud Documents folder now instead of the 09/21 version presumably?)

    Feenician

    macrumors 603
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #11
  • So how does a Time Machine document “roll back” work now with Documents and Desktop stored in iCloud?

    (Example: I enter Time Machine to restore and overwrite a Pages document modified today with the same document from 3 days ago but with different data in it, I should expect to see that document with the modified date of 09/18/16 in my iCloud Documents folder now instead of the 09/21 version presumably?)

    blackdogaudio

    macrumors regular
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #12
  • Feenician

    macrumors 603
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #13
  • blackdogaudio

    macrumors regular
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #14
  • Feenician

    macrumors 603
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #15
  • I don’t really have anything bad to to say about Time Machine that isn’t more a function of the limited capabilities of HFS+. When AFPS matures and snapshots and so on are used in lieu of UNIX hard links I will almost certainly return.

    May your data be safe!

    blackdogaudio

    macrumors regular
    • Sep 21, 2016
  • #16
  • Yep, looking forward to its roll out next year!

    Gotta say TM hasn’t failed me yet the few times I’ve had to use it but I have those manual backups as well as an offsite and cloud backup just in case. (I suffered a major data loss *once* back in my college days and vowed it would never happen again;-)

    quaffa

    macrumors member
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • #17
  • I soon realised I’d made a mistake in opting for ‘Documents in iCloud’, and here’s what I did to sort it out. There may be better ways though.

    1. Go into System Preferences > iCloud and click on the ‘Options’ button against iCloud Drive.
    2. Un-tick ‘Desktop & Documents Folders’ (You will receive a warning at this stage that documents will ‘only be visible in iCloud’ or something, which is a bit scary, but apply it anyway.
    3. When I did the above a ‘local’ Documents folder reappeared in my Finder window sidebar.
    4. And then, I’m afraid, the only thing I found that I could do was laboriously copy & paste each of my Documents sub-folders from iCloud Documents into my local Documents. (And the Desktop too.)
    5. Having got all my documents back where they belong, I then trashed the iCloud versions of Documents and Desktop.

    While upgrading to macOS Sierra I accidentally enabled storage of my Desktop & Documents Folders in iCloud. I quickly reversed that by disabling the option, then moving my files back to their place on my local drive.

    Even though the option is now disabled on all my macOS account, I still cannot delete the Desktop and Documents folders from iCloud Drive. No matter what I do, they keep coming back moments after being deleted.

    I tried the following with no success:

    • Delete the folders from the affected macOS account;
    • Delete the folders from another macOS account connected to the same iCloud account (I never enabled the option on this account);
    • Turn off the MacBook and delete the folders from Files on iOS;
    • Delete the folders from icloud.com;

    No matter what I do, these two folders keep coming back moments later. This leads to the Dektop and Documents folders local to my MacBook being renamed to Desktop — Local and Documents — Local respectively, which is quite annoying.

    How can I delete these two folders from iCloud Drive?

    3 Answers 3

    From my MacBook’s Finder window, I deleted the empty Desktop folder from iCloud Drive and then immediately emptied the trash before the folder had time to reappear in iCloud Drive. The folder did not reappear.

    After a few seconds iCloud refreshed and the Documents folder was deleted from my iOS device as well!

    I then followed the same steps to delete the empty Documents folder.

    Using trash works for me as well.

    There is a delete immediately (in case you don’t want to empty trash, also easier than racing to beat the iCloud Drive restore of Desktop and Documents) option – click OPT+CMD+Delete

    There are prompts to answer to confirm the in place deletion you must answer for the delete to happen.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    2020: It’s still happening using macOS 11.1 Big Sur

    I had a small file on the Desktop that I deleted in Finder, it went in the bin as expected. Every time I emptied the bin then file would reappear in the bin after a few seconds.

    Delete using Finder

    I tried the methods mentioned here by Kevin R. & ROG:

    • Emptying trash immediately: nope
    • CMD + OPT + Delete: nope
    • Renaming the file, then deleting: nope
    • Moving the file out of an iCloud Drive folder: nope

    Also tried from Terminal using rm -f . The file reappeared every time.

    Online iCloud Drive

    The file was there in the Recently Deleted page so I deleted the file from there. It did disappear from my Mac’s bin and them promptly reappeared after a few seconds on the Recently Deleted page and on my Mac.

    I reasoned iCloud Drive identifies files by hashing their contents and that’s why the rename would not work. The file’s hash was stuck somewhere in the sync process.

    What worked for me:

    To remove the file, firstly alter it’s contents, in this case I renamed it to be a .txt file, then opened the renamed file in a text editor, added some extra random characters, then saved the file. As the contents changed, the hash used by iCloud also changed.

    After deleting the updated file, it no longer reappeared in the bin, or anywhere else. SUCCESS!

    So alter the contents of the file, then delete.

    iCloud settings lets you choose which apps on your device use iCloud to stay up to date. Learn how to change your iCloud settings, or turn off iCloud completely.

    When you turn on iCloud for an app, its information is safely stored in iCloud and automatically kept in sync across your devices. When you turn it off, the app will no longer connect with iCloud, so your data will exist only on your device. You can choose which apps on your device you’d like to use iCloud, or turn off iCloud completely.

    Choose which apps to use with iCloud

    Learn how to find your iCloud settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Mac, or PC.

    On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

    1. Go to Settings > your name.
    2. Tap iCloud.
    3. Tap to choose which apps you want to use iCloud.
      How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    On your Mac

    1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. If you’re using macOS Mojave or earlier, you don’t need to click Apple ID.
    2. Click iCloud.
    3. Select or deselect each app.
      How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Some features aren’t available or are listed differently in earlier macOS versions.

    On your Windows PC

    1. Open iCloud for Windows.
    2. Select or deselect each app. Learn more below.
      How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra
    3. Click Apply.

    Some features aren’t available on your PC, or are listed differently, depending on whether your computer has Microsoft Outlook 2016 or earlier installed.

    iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders

    If you have Outlook installed, use iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks in Outlook. If you turn off Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks, the iCloud information remains available in Microsoft Outlook, but it isn’t updated iCloud and your other devices.

    If you don’t have Outlook installed, use iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders in your web browser on iCloud.com.

    iCloud Reminders are called Tasks in Outlook 2016 or later.

    Bookmarks

    If you select Bookmarks, and your computer has Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installed, click Options. Here you can select the Windows browsers whose bookmarks you want to keep up to date with bookmarks in Safari on your iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices. Learn which browsers you can use with iCloud for Windows.

    Turn off iCloud

    If you sign out of iCloud (or delete iCloud), iCloud no longer backs up the information on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Learn more about what iCloud backs up. You can still back up your device from your computer.

    To stop using iCloud on your devices, learn how to sign out of iCloud.

    If you turned on automatic downloads for music, app, or book purchases, your purchases are still downloaded to your devices.

    Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

    I logged in and my desktop is missing. Desktop folder in iCloud is empty. After I logged in I downloaded and installed OSX Sierra, What can I do to restore it?

    iMac, OSX Sierra 10.12

    Posted on Nov 4, 2016 11:37 PM

    All replies

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    If you didn’t pay attention as you clicked through the Setup Assistant, you enabled Desktop and Documents in iCloud. That hides your home folder Desktop and Documents and shows it inside of iCloud Drive and it copies the contents into the cloud.

    If your Desktop folder in iCloud drive is empty, then that would be rather disconcerting if there should be documents in it.

    Is there another folder in the iCloud Drive Desktop folder? It will create one for each Mac you have enabled and that folder holds the contents of what was in your actual Desktop folder for that Mac.

    Until you determine what happened to your desktop files, I wouldn’t change anything, but here is how you disable Desktop and Documents.

    • In iCloud System Preferences click the Options… button next to iCloud Drive.
    • Uncheck Desktop & Documents folders.

    It will warn you that it is going to restore your empty Desktop and Documents folders in your home folder and the only place to find the files will be on iCloud Drive.

    Move the files out of iCloud Drive folders and into the folders in your Home folder–Desktop on iCloud Drive into Desktop in your Home folder; Documents on iCloud Drive into Documents in your Home folder.

    It will warn you that the files will no longer be available on iCloud Drive.

    Nov 5, 2016 5:37 AM

    Thanks. However, I don’t see iCloud System Preferences. There’s iCloud settings and signout, if you click it under my name that’s all I see.

    In iCloud the Desktop folder is empty, along with the Document Folder. I found a few files that where backed up, I created a folder on my desktop and moved them there. I would say that 98% of my folders and files are missing. Also missing is, my Bookmarks for Firefox, Safari is the same no bookmarks or backup bookmarks in iCloud. All my music in iTunes is gone too. 😐😠

    This is a completely different question. I’m sure I have backup on a external hard drive, mybook. How can I get to that, do you know?

    Hope you can help!

    Nov 5, 2016 10:55 AM

    Based on all of that, it sounds like you created a new user account when you installed Sierra. If so, you should see your old user folder in /Users.

    Double-click Macintosh HD

    Look for another user folder besides your own and Shared.

    If there is another user folder, Log Out of your account and try to log into your old account.

    Nov 5, 2016 1:22 PM

    Well, before I installed Sierra, I logged in and my desktop was gone. I then was looking for help when I noticed Sierra and installed it before I fixed the problem. But, I never set up an new user, I still logged in through my old user ID. I will say when I logged in this afternoon Macintosh HD is now on my desktop. I went into all my files, shows items that I found in iCloud nothing more.😟

    I’m sure I have backup on a external hard drive, mybook. How can I get to that, do you know?

    Thanks for your help Barney-15E.

    Nov 5, 2016 3:56 PM

    I have had an horrendous time with Apple just now; high stress at fearing losing data and Apple not helping at all.

    I was relying on iCloud to keep part of my recent data and iCloud to sync my desktop. It didn’t. It was an ignominious failure on Apple’s part.

    Now I am back into the swing of things and wonder why some of my files are not appearing under a folder in desktop iCloud and why am I am wasting my time at finding out how to fix etc.

    Thank you for considering this matter,

    Nov 22, 2017 6:30 AM

    Move items to your Mac and remove them from iCloud Drive: Drag files and folders from iCloud Drive to a folder not inside iCloud Drive, such as Downloads, Movies, Music, and Pictures. The items are copied to your Mac and removed from iCloud Drive on all your devices set up for iCloud. If you change your mind, you can drag items back to iCloud Drive.

    Nov 22, 2017 7:09 AM

    So basically DONT use iCloud

    Nov 22, 2017 10:26 AM

    Question: Q: Desktop folder in iCloud is empty. More Less

    Here’s what to do when your contacts or calendar events don’t sync between devices.

    iCloud sync is usually reliable, but sometimes you’ll find contacts, calendar events or other content fails to sync between all your devices in the few seconds it should take. If this seems to be happening to you, these simple tricks can help get things running smoothly again.

    Is everything up-to-date?

    First, check to make sure you are running the latest version of macOS on your Mac, iOS on your iPad or iPhone, or Windows on a PC.

    Check that iCloud is working

    It also makes sense to double-check that iCloud services are working correctly before running through any other changes. You can visit Apple’s System Status page to make sure things are indeed up and running.

    One of the first things to do is check Apple’s system status page for any outages.

    Make sure you are properly logged in

    Step two is to ensure you are logged into iCloud using the same Apple ID on all your devices. Go to icloud.com, login with your Apple ID and then tap iCloud Settings (either the gear-shaped box icon or by selecting it in the drop-down menu underneath your name at the top right of the iCloud browser window).

    In the next window, you should see your storage space status and a row called My Devices. Are all the devices you want to sync included on the list? If not, it is possible they are not using the same Apple ID. (You can do quite a lot of useful things through iCloud’s online service).

    Check dates and time

    Next, check all the devices that should be syncing. You must ensure these are configured to set time and date automatically and have iCloud Drive/Documents & Data enabled. Follow these steps:

    iOS: Settings>Apple ID>iCloud>iCloud Drive. Toggle to On

    Mac: System Preferences>iCloud>ensure all the iCloud services you want to sync are checked.

    Force Sync

    Once you know your system(s) are set up correctly, you can use this simple trick to force iCloud Contacts and Calendars to sync:

    To refresh your iCloud Calendars, launch the app on your iOS device and tap the “Calendars” button at the bottom of the page. When you get to the next page just tap and hold your finger on the screen and drag the list down until the activity icon appears and release the page. The activity icon will spin briefly, and you should find iCloud has synced your calendars for you.

    This also works with Contacts. Launch the app and select “Groups” on the All Contacts page. Once you are in Groups, just tap and hold your finger and drag the page down as you did for Calendars. The activity icon will appear, and your Contacts will be synced.

    Log out of iCloud and log in again

    If you regularly experience sync problems with your iOS device(s) and you know your network is stable, then you should try logging out of your iCloud account on your iOS device or Mac, then log back in.

    IMPORTANT: Before doing this, be certain to follow Apple’s extensive instructions to back up your iCloud data.

    Sometimes, logging out of iCloud and then logging back in will clear up syncing problems.

    At icloud.com you can see all of your devices in one place.

    To log out, go to iCloud Settings/System Preferences and click Sign Out. You’ll have to respond to a series of prompts before this completes.

    Restart your device, return to iCloud’s controls and sign back in. (Please make certain to use the same email address for your Apple ID across all your systems.)

    Now you should re-enable all the iCloud features you want to use.

    This process usually solves any sync problems you may have, though you may find it necessary to repeat this sequence on all your devices.

    Restart your device(s)

    If problems persist then close and restart the relevant iCloud-enabled app: Contacts or Calendar, for example. Double-click the Home button (or swipe up to about halfway up the screen and hold for a second or so on iPhone X), swipe through your active apps and swipe up to close the app. (You can long press the app icon and then tap the X that appears on iPhone X.) Return to the Home screen and wait a few moments before launching the app again.

    Another approach that sometimes works is to turn off iCloud Contacts and turn it on again. Go to Settings>Apple ID>iCloud, then turn off Contacts. Unless you have a copy of your contacts stored elsewhere, you should then choose Keep on My iPhone/iPad.

    Wait a few moments and turn Contacts on again in Settings.

    Reset your device(s)

    Never underestimate the power of a hard reset to resolve many iOS problems. To achieve a hard reset on iOS devices simply hold down the Power and Home buttons until the device turns off and the Apple logo appears. The device will restart and system processes will be refreshed, which sometimes fixes iCloud sync problems.

    Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic’s Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

    Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I’d like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld.

    Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing (mainly about Apple and technology) since 1999.

    Access your desktop from any device using OneDrive Sync

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    • Southern New Hampshire University
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    What to Know

    • Go to Desktop Properties >Location >Move >OneDrive >New Folder, enter “Desktop,” choose Select Folder >Confirm.
    • Syncing your desktop with OneDrive lets you access files on any device.

    This article explains how to move your desktop to the cloud with OneDrive on Windows 10 and later.

    Why Sync Your Windows Desktop With OneDrive?

    Putting commonly used folders such as your Windows desktop in the cloud is a great solution if you use your desktop to store downloaded files or frequently accessed items. That way, you always have those files synced across your devices. You can also connect other PCs you use with OneDrive sync.

    How to Move Your Desktop to the Cloud With OneDrive

    Before you begin, install the OneDrive desktop sync client on your version of Windows. Windows 10 and later have this program.

    Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7, 8, or 8.1.

    Open the Windows File Explorer, right-click Desktop, then select Properties.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    In the Desktop Properties dialog box, select the Location tab.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Select Move.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    In the dialog box, double-click OneDrive, then select New Folder to create a new folder. Name it Desktop.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Regardless of what you call the folder, it displays as Desktop in the OneDrive file list. If you have three computer desktops syncing to the same OneDrive account, each uses a different folder name but displays as Desktop.

    With the Desktop folder highlighted, select Select Folder.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Select Apply to apply the new settings. The text entry box in the Location tab should look as follows:

    C:\Users\[User Name]\OneDrive\Desktop

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Select Yes to confirm that you want to move the desktop to OneDrive, then select OK to close the Desktop Properties dialog box.

    Move any folder on your Windows computer to OneDrive using the same process.

    Are My Files Secure in the Cloud?

    Moving your desktop or other folders to the cloud is more convenient than transferring files with a USB stick. However, there are some security implications of storing in the cloud. Whenever you put files online, those files are potentially accessible by others. Law enforcement can, for example, use a warrant to demand access to your files, and you may not be made aware when it happens.

    A more common predicament is when hackers guess or steal your account password. If that happens, the bad guys potentially have access to your OneDrive files. That’s not a huge deal if all you saved to the cloud is old poetry from high school. Unauthorized access to work documents or files with personal information, however, can be devastating.

    There are several security measures you can take to mitigate this risk. One is to enable two-factor authentication for your cloud storage account. A simpler measure is to avoid putting anything in the cloud that has information you don’t want others to see. For home users, that usually means keeping items such as financial spreadsheets, bills, and mortgages on your hard drive and not in the cloud, with the attendant risks that come from potentially losing access if the hard drive fails.

    Microsoft released a Personal Vault feature for OneDrive—rolling out in waves to users worldwide over 2019—that offers additional security through encryption and forced multi-factor authentication. For critical files accessed relatively infrequently, Personal Vault offers a good balance of protection and ease of access.

    After restarting macOS Monterey all my files on the desktop were hidden. I am on version 12.2.1

    If I searched for the files I could see them in the search results but they didn’t show if I went to the folder they were in.

    They show if I use Cmd Shift . but that isn’t a solution. I want them unhidden and not greyed out

    I have tried chflags nohidden in terminal but it doesn’t change the state of the files.

    If I duplicate the files the duplicate remains hidden. If I open in an app and save as a new file they appear again. There are hundreds of files so I don’t want to have to do this with each file.

    If the files are in a subfolder that is hidden I can move the files to another (unhidden) folder and see them.

    It looks like Monterey turned on save to iCloud which is NOT what I want to do. I turned that off and now have to deal with this stupid situation.

    A quick couple of notes:

    • I don’t need advice to use Cmd Shift .
    • I also don’t need advice to use chflags nohidden as it didn’t work

    MacBook Pro (2020 and later)

    Posted on Apr 10, 2022 7:47 AM

    All replies

    Loading page content

    Page content loaded

    of one of those files?

    Apr 10, 2022 8:10 AM

    Had already checked that, but thanks.

    Apr 10, 2022 6:06 PM

    After restarting macOS Monterey all my files on the desktop were hidden. I am on version 12.2.1

    If I searched for the files I could see them in the search results but they didn’t show if I went to the folder they were in.

    They show if I use Cmd Shift . but that isn’t a solution. I want them unhidden and not greyed out

    Hidden files typically start with a period ex

    If ICloud drive got turned on look for them in there—

    missing desktop and documents

    Add your Desktop and Documents files to iCloud Drive – Apple .

    Set up iCloud Drive – Apple Support

    How to Restore Your Desktop and Documents After Disabling .

    How to find your Documents and Desktop folder contents after disabling .

    Finder>Go>Go to Folder>copy & paste:

    You can also trouble shoot and sort anomalies with a Safeboot— How to use safe mode on your Mac – Apple Support

    Takes a bit longer to get to the login screen, does a quick disk repair before it fully boots up, and certain system caches get cleared and rebuilt, including dynamic loader cache, etc.

    Login and test. Reboot as normal and test. Caches get rebuilt automatically.

    The current stable release of Monterey is macOS 12.3.1

    Apr 10, 2022 6:33 PM

    If you turned on then turned off Desktop & Documents in iCloud Drive, you must move the files back to your Desktop and Documents folders. It may have offered to create an archive. If so, you can move them from there. Did you move them back?

    If you moved them back and they are still hidden, post the output of this command (just a few hidden files):

    Apr 10, 2022 6:35 PM

    Well, I didn’t turn on then off Desktop & Documents in iCloud Drive initially. The issue was as stated above, after a restart all files from desktop missing, did a search and could see them in the search results but not in Finder. Found the Cmd Shift . and could see them. Other online help said that they can go missing with Desktop & Documents in iCloud Drive, so I visited that setting and they were turned on then off AFTER the initial issue. This did move them (hidden) to an iCloud folder and I moved them back but they were still hidden so have put them in another location so I don’t lose them!

    If I duplicate in finder the hidden setting remains. If I duplicate in the editing app the new file shows fine.

    If I use the chflags nohidden terminal command there is no change.

    Having said that the results of the ls [email protected] gave this for one of the hidden files:

    -rw-r–r–@ 1 rox staff hidden 478095 20 Mar 14:49 tpp1.jpg

    As you likely know by now, iOS and iPadOS device backups are handled differently in macOS Big Sur and MacOS Catalina compared to Mojave and earlier that ran iTunes. Instead of iTunes for device management, device syncing, backups, and restores are all handled in the Finder now instead.

    We’ve already explained how to go about creating a backup of your iPhone or iPad using Finder, but what about restoring that iOS or iPadOS backup? The hope is that you’ll never need it, but here’s how you go about doing it if you’re using macOS 10.15 or later.

    How to Restore iOS / iPadOS Backups in macOS Finder

    Ready to restore an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch backup in MacOS Catalina or macOS Big Sur? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

      Get started by opening a new Finder window. Either click the Finder icon in the Dock or press Command + N on the Desktop.

  • Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using a USB cable. Click it when it appears on the left side of the window.
  • Click the “General” tab at the top of the window.
  • Click the “Restore Backup” button.
  • Select the backup you want to restore from the dropdown menu and then click the “Restore” button to start the process.
  • The restoration process might take a little while depending on the device you’re restoring and how much data needs to be transferred.

    Be sure to leave the device connected to the Mac until the restoration has completed and it has successfully restarted, ready for you to enter your devices passcode.

    Once the device has been restored from a backup, it should be usable just as expected again.

    And to be clear, this process is the same regardless of whether the device backup you are restoring is an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and regardless of the iOS and iPadOS version too (though considerably older versions are likely incompatible with macOS Big Sur, Catalina, and later releases of macOS).

    With so much having changed in recent versions of macOS, it’s easy to feel a little lost. Thankfully, we’ve covered most of the big changes that you need to be aware of – whether that’s how to sync music to your iPhone or iPad, back things up to Finder, or delete unwanted backups to save space on the Mac. And that’s just the stuff that’s related to iPhones and iPads. There’s a ton to learn, so why not dig in to some general Mac tips too?

    What do you think of iOS and iPadOS backup restoring with macOS Finder? Do you miss iTunes or are you fine with the new approach? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

    iCloud Drive lets you securely access all of your documents from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Windows PC.

    When you sign in to iCloud, you have access to iCloud Drive. With iCloud Drive, you can keep files and folders up to date across all of your devices, share files and folders with friends, family, or colleagues, and more.

    You can store files* in iCloud Drive as long as they’re 50GB or less in size and you don’t exceed your iCloud storage limit. If you need more iCloud storage, you can upgrade to iCloud+. With iCloud+, you can also share iCloud storage with your family, without sharing your files. Learn more about prices in your region.

    *Avoid storing app folders, libraries, .tmp, .vmdk, .vmware, .vbox, .vm, and .pvm files in iCloud Drive.

    Access your files in iCloud Drive

    Sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices. Then you can access your files in iCloud Drive in a number of ways.

    On your Mac

    You can access iCloud Drive in the Finder on your Mac.

    When you add your Desktop and Documents folders to iCloud Drive, you can access all of the files in those folders anywhere you use iCloud. Learn more about adding Desktop and Documents to iCloud Drive.

    On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

    If you’re on a device with iOS 11 or later, you can access your files from the Files app.

    On iCloud.com

    From a supported browser, sign in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID.

    On your PC

    On your PC with Windows 10 or later and iCloud for Windows, you can go to iCloud Drive in File Explorer.

    Work with iCloud Drive files offline

    If you’re about to go offline, you can download iCloud Drive files locally to work on while you’re not connected to the internet.

    On your Mac

    1. Click iCloud Drive in the sidebar of any Finder window.
    2. Open the file, or control-click the file, then select Download Now.
    3. Any changes you make to the file will automatically upload to iCloud Drive when you’re back online.

    On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

    1. Open the Files app.
    2. Go to the file that you want to store on your device.
    3. Tap the file to download it, or touch and hold the file, then choose Download .
    4. Any changes you make to the file will automatically upload to iCloud Drive when you’re back online.

    On iCloud.com

    1. Sign in to iCloud.com.
    2. Open iCloud Drive.
    3. Find and select the file.
    4. Click Download at the top of the page or double-click the file. The document downloads to your default downloads location.
    5. After making changes to the file, upload the saved copy back to iCloud Drive on a computer.

    On your PC

    If you turned on iCloud Drive using iCloud for Windows on a PC, you can pin a file or folder to keep it downloaded to your device. Any changes you make to the file will automatically upload to iCloud Drive when you’re back online.

    Recover deleted files

    If you need to access a file that you deleted within the last 30 days, follow these steps to get it back.

    On your Mac

    1. Click Trash in the Dock.
    2. Select the file that you want to keep.
    3. Drag it to the desktop or another folder.

    If you delete files from your Trash via the Empty Trash option, the files can’t be recovered.

    On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

    On iCloud.com

    1. Sign in to iCloud.com.
    2. Go to iCloud Drive.
    3. In the bottom-right corner, select Recently Deleted items.
    4. Browse the list of files.

    You can also go to Settings > Restore Files. After 30 days, files are removed from Recently Deleted and Restore Files.

    On your PC

    1. Go to the Recycle Bin.
    2. Drag the file or folder to your desktop or another location.

    Learn more

    • Set up iCloud Drive on all of your devices.
    • Get help finding and editing documents, or opening and saving your files.
    • Learn more about iCloud and the apps where your iCloud content is accessible.
    • Set up iCloud for Windows so that you can use iCloud Drive on your PC too.

    Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

    Files and folders that you store in iCloud Drive stay up to date across all of your devices, and you can access them from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC, and on iCloud.com.

    Before you begin

    1. Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the latest iOS or iPadOS, and your Mac to the latest macOS.
    2. Set up iCloud on all of your devices.
    3. Make sure that you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices.
    4. If you have a Windows PC, update to Windows 7 or later and download iCloud for Windows.

    If you have a device that can’t update to the latest iOS or macOS, see the minimum system requirements to use iCloud Drive.

    Get started

    Set up iCloud Drive everywhere that you want to access and edit your files.

    On your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

    1. Go to Settings > [your name].
    2. Tap iCloud.
    3. Turn on iCloud Drive.
      How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    You can find your iCloud Drive files in the Files app.

    On your Mac

    1. Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. If you’re using macOS Mojave or earlier, you don’t need to click Apple ID.
    2. Select iCloud.
    3. Sign in with your Apple ID, if you need to.
    4. Select iCloud Drive.
      How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    To add the files from your Mac Desktop and your Documents folder to iCloud Drive, turn on Desktop and Documents.

    • You can then find your Desktop and Documents folder in the iCloud section of the Finder sidebar.
    • If you add a second Mac Desktop, you can find the files in your Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud Drive, in a folder with the same name as your second Mac. The files from your second Mac won’t automatically merge with the files on your first Mac.

    If you already use a feature from another cloud provider that syncs or manages your Desktop and Documents folders, you need to turn it off to use Desktop and Documents. Desktop and Documents requires macOS Sierra or later.

    On iCloud.com

    1. Sign in to iCloud.com.
    2. Select Pages, Numbers, or Keynote.
    3. Click Upgrade to iCloud Drive, if you are asked to upgrade.

    On your Windows PC

    After you set up iCloud Drive on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, and download iCloud for Windows from the Microsoft Store, you can set it up on your Windows PC.

    1. Go to Start, open Apps or Programs, and open iCloud for Windows.
    2. Enter your Apple ID to sign in to iCloud.
    3. Select iCloud Drive, then click Apply.
      How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    What’s next

    After you set up iCloud Drive, any documents that you’ve already stored in iCloud are automatically moved to iCloud Drive. Your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch keep your files in the Files app in addition to the Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps. If you don’t see your files in these apps, they might be on a device that doesn’t have iCloud Drive turned on.

    Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

    After a sort of manual system restore in which I copied my

    /Library/ from my now-dead 2017 MacBook Pro’s BackBlaze to a 2019 MacBook Pro, pretty much all my software has nicely restored its settings, with one exception:

    iCloud Drive is behaving quite strangely, and is refusing to sync my Desktop & Documents properly. Everything in my iCloud Drive syncs properly, but the iCloud Desktop and Documents folders are not replacing or integrating with my local

    Symptoms

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    If I check the box next to Desktop & Documents Folders under System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Documents Tab, it spins “Setting up” for about half a second then remains checked, but as soon as I close and reopen the iCloud Drive panel, it is again unchecked. Other checkboxes and options in that panel persist as expected.

    Finder Preferences > Sidebar shows a very odd glitch where what should be the Documents checkbox has no text label, and a glitchy icon behind the checkbox. When I open the Finder Preferences panel its default state is – . Clicking it toggles it to checked or unchecked. As soon as I close Finder Preferences and reopen it is back to – .

    Three

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    All the files which should be in my Desktop and Documents folders show up properly in iCloud Drive/Desktop and iCloud Drive/Documents , both of which appear as normal folders (no icon embedded on the blue folder artwork) in iCloud Drive.

    Oddly, when I add, delete, or even just click on any file on my Mac’s actual (local, non-syncing) desktop, I see a flurry of activity in brctl (controller for bird , which is the iCloud syncing daemon process.

    Below is an example when I simply click to highlight an image file ( 1919-EclipseGraph.jpg ) on my Mac’s desktop:

    The following is a flurry of activity in the system log the moment I check that Desktop & Documents Folders box in iCloud Drive preferences.

    The log messages are similar and consistent every time, especially the bird , accountsd , and com.apple.preferences.icloudpreferences processes’ messages.

    Note that I am filtering only Errors & Faults.

    Also note I have replaced all instances of my Apple ID email address as it appeared in the logs with [[email protected]] . Nothing else has been replaced or altered.

    Already Tried

    I’ve already attempted the following, each with no effect on the situation:

    • Reboot
    • Log out of and back into iCloud
    • Reinstall macOS via internet recovery
    • killall bird
    • killall bird followed by reboot
    • Delete

    /Library/Application Support/CloudDocs/ and wait for it to rebuild
    Delete

    What could cause this behavior? What is the fix?

    My machine synced fine with iCloud (including Desktop and Documents in their expected locations) before restoring my old machine’s

    /Library , so I’m fairly certain there is some file or preferences in there that are causing this. Any others I should try deleting to give iCloud Drive a “factory reset”, without losing all my other restored application settings?

    /Library/Caches and then rebooting is always worth a shot.

    3 Answers 3

    Looks like the culprit was a circular link at

    /Documents . If this is the case for you, oddly Documents won’t appear at all in your home directory in Finder. However you’ll notice some weird things:

    That odd empty slot in your Finder Preferences > Sidebar tab (see above)

    If you try to create a folder called Documents in your home directory, you get a Finder error dialog saying it already exists.

    If you try to open Documents using Finder > Go > Documents (⇧+⌘+O), you get a Finder error dialog saying it doesn’t exist.

    Here’s the giveaway: run ls -l in your home directory, and look for Documents . Here’s what I saw:

    A quick rm Documents and that was taken care of.

    Wait 2 minutes, (apparently some background process has to notice the deletion) then suddenly the Desktop and Documents Folders checkbox under the iCloud PrefPane begins sticking again.

    About two hours later (it can take a while) and I saw all my iCloud Drive files being populating my Desktop and Documents in droves.

    The above, of course, is a bit of a simplification. Because this has been so perplexing I’ll say exactly what I did—who knows which of these steps mattered.

      I actually ran rm -rf

    /Documents (note the -rf flags)

  •  > About This Mac > Storage >Manage…
  • Under Recommendations tab, click Store in iCloud…
  • Check Desktop and Documents
  • Store in iCloud (I believe I recall this also not “sticking” when I pulled up that panel again, but I did it nonetheless)
    1. Wait 2 minutes. Actually make it 3.
    1. System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive > Options… > Documents (tab) > check Desktop & Documents Folders
    2. This time, it stuck. A few moments later Documents and Desktop showed up under the iCloud section in my Finder sidebar.
    3. Wait a long time for it all to sync. Possibly overnight. Files tend to show up in batches, per folder. If you have Optimize Storage on it appears that files under 1MB are downloaded in full while files over 1MB only have metadata downloaded.

    I am doing a fresh install on macOS Sierra and I would like to use iCloud Drive on it.

    I currently have files (some as large as 3GB) on iCloud Drive and I would not like them downloaded on my computer.

    Is there a way for me to enable iCloud Drive without the files downloading automatically? I would like to be able to download them as and when I want. I would also like my files to be backed up automatically like it does by default.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    1 Answer 1

    iCloud Drive is not designed to do what you’re looking for. iCloud is a syncing solution and not a backup solution. It’s designed to provide you with access to all your files from all your devices, keeping them all in sync. It doesn’t allow selective file downloads (specifically for what you need).

    The only option you have (apart from storing the largest files on a different cloud-enabled provider, like Dropbox), is turn on Optimize Mac Storage from System Preferences -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive -> Options . You didn’t mention the OS you have so I’m assuming it’s Sierra.

    See this Apple Support page for other ways of turning on optimized storage using iCloud Drive. From that page:

    Optimized Storage in macOS Sierra can save space by storing your content in the cloud and making it available on demand. When storage space is needed, files, photos, movies, email attachments, and other files that you seldom use are stored in the cloud automatically. Each file stays right where you last saved it, and downloads when you open it. Files that you’ve used recently remain on your Mac, along with optimized versions of your photos.

    Have you deleted or lost Safari bookmarks from iPhone, iPad, or Mac somehow? If so you can use a procedure we’ll outline here to restore and recover lost Safari bookmarks back to your device.

    Most iPhone and iPad owners make use of Safari to browse the web, and creating bookmarks of favorite sites (like osxdaily.com of course) is a common procedure. Since it’s the web browser that comes pre-installed on iOS and iPadOS, Safari works seamlessly with other devices in the Apple ecosystem, and iCloud can help sync your bookmarks too.

    Bookmarks, History, and other data are synced automatically across your devices as long as iCloud is enabled, so regardless of whether you’re browsing on your iPhone, iPad, or a MacBook, all your Safari data is readily available. However, it’s always possible to to accidentally delete a bookmark, or have some other action occur where you lose your Safari bookmarks.

    Did you lose your bookmarks in Safari for whatever reason? Perhaps after an accident, a corrupted iOS update, some other error on the device? If so, look no further. Thanks to Apple’s iCloud service, it’s fairly easy to restore your lost Safari bookmarks data. In this article, we’ll be discussing how you can recover all your lost Safari bookmarks using iCloud using a process similar to restoring lost contacts with iCloud, restoring lost Calendars and Reminders with iCloud, and recovering lost iCloud Drive documents and files.

    How to Recover Lost Safari Bookmarks with iCloud

    By default, iCloud backup is enabled on all Apple devices, so restoring your bookmarks shouldn’t be a tedious process. However, if you ever manually disabled backups at some point for whatever reason, this procedure will not help you recover your lost Safari bookmarks data.

      Open any web browser like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. from your PC, Mac, or iPad and head over to iCloud.com. Sign in to iCloud by clicking on the “arrow icon” once you’ve typed in your Apple ID and password.

    Click on “Account Settings” once you’re in the iCloud homepage.

    Here, just click on “Restore Bookmarks” under the Advanced section located at the bottom of the page, as shown in the screenshot below.

    You’ll get a new pop-up window where iCloud will start searching for the Safari bookmarks that are stored on the cloud. Wait for a few seconds. Once the search is complete, you’ll get a list of all the bookmarks that can be restored. Simply select the bookmarks which you want to recover by checking the boxes and click on “Restore” as shown in the screenshot below.

    The restoration process will take a few seconds to finish. Once it’s done, the window will display how many bookmarks were restored in the process. Click “Done” to close this window and end the procedure.

    Those are the steps required to recover and restore your lost Safari bookmarks.

    This recovered data will be accessible immediately across all your supported Apple devices, as long as they’re logged into the same iCloud account, which is one of the many reasons you must use the same Apple ID on all of your own personal devices.

    To use the data recovery features available on iCloud.com, you need to use the iCloud.com desktop site, meaning you can use an iPad or computer that features a desktop-class web browser. You can also use this trick to access and login to iCloud.com from iPhone with full access by requesting the desktop site. If you’re trying to perform this restoration process on your iPhone’s mobile browser without requesting the desktop site, you’re out of luck. It’d be reasonable to expect Apple to add this functionality to mobile devices at some point down the line however, so that limitation may change in the future..

    By default, Apple provides 5 GB of free cloud storage with every iCloud account. As long as you’re not backing up tons of files and photos, this should be adequate to store most of basic stuff like bookmarks, documents, files, contacts, calendars, and other data on Apple’s cloud servers. If you do need to update to a larger iCloud storage capacity, they’re available at monthly costs of $0.99, $2.99 and $9.99 for 50 GB, 200 GB and 2 TB storage space respectively.

    For the majority of users, you’ll want to have iCloud backups enabled, so unless you have serious privacy concerns or some other compelling reason it may be a good idea to shell out for an iCloud paid plan if needed to backup your devices.

    The convenience that iCloud brings to the table and how it works seamlessly across iOS and macOS devices is simply unmatched. Users don’t have to heavily rely on physical storage anymore, as valuable information like contacts, photos, files, etc. are automatically backed up to the cloud when their devices are turned on and connected to power. You can always manage your iCloud backups too from the devices, if you need to delete an iCloud backup from iPhone or iPad for example to make space for a fresh backup.

    Did you manage to successfully recover all your lost Safari bookmarks? Let us know your thoughts, experiences, and opinions in the comments section down below.

    by Jenefey Aaron Updated on 2021-12-21 / Update for iCloud Tips

    Apple recently made iCloud available on Windows 10. This is great news for people who own an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) but lack a Mac or MacBook and are restricted to using a Windows PC. However, the iCloud Windows app does not lack teething problems like icloud windows 10 not syncing and you can experience icloud crashes windows 10. Here are some common problems that iCloud Windows problems and how to fix them;

    Part 1: iCloud Cannot install on Windows 10

    Sometimes, especially after upgrading a Windows 10 OS to the Anniversary update, icloud windows 10 wont install or stops working upon the upgrade. Here is what you have to do;

    • 1. Start by uninstalling Outlook 2013 from your PC or fully uninstall Office 365 including Outlook. You can do this by clicking Start and searching for “Uninstall or change a program”.
    • 2. Sign out from iCloud Windows app.
    • 3. Reboot the computer.
    • 4. Download and install Windows Care Genius Windows Care Genius from Tenorshare. This software removes the iCloud app that is misbehaving plus any other Apple software and redundant files. Sometimes the registry files left behind can prevent a fresh install and result in the icloud has stopped working windows 10 error.

  • 5. Reboot the Windows PC after uninstalling iCloud.
  • 6. Install Office 365 or Outlook again.
  • 7. Download iCloud afresh, install it and reboot the PC to save changes.
  • 8. Sign in to iCloud for Windows using Apple ID and password.
  • 9. Launch Outlook and wait for iCloud email, iCloud contacts, calendars and tasks to sync.
  • Part 2: iCloud Can’t sync on Windows 10

    Users can encounter a problem with the sync feature where sync icloud in windows 10 not working. For this fix, we assume you already downloaded and installed iCloud on your Windows PC. After installing, follow these steps to successfully sync:

    • 1. Click the “Start” tab to open the Start menu.
    • 2. On the Start menu, open Network and Internet. You can also access “Network and Internet” from the icon located on the right side of the desktop toolbar.
    • 3. Open iCloud.
    • 4. When prompted, enter your password and Apple ID.
    • 5. Tick the checkboxes for the adjacent iCloud features you want to use.

  • 6. Press the “Apply” button to sync.
  • Part 3: How to Recover Data from Stuck iCloud on Windows

    If the iCloud restore gets stuck before completing, your iCloud app can stall and stop working. On iOS devices like iPhone, the error causes the device to hang on estimating the remaining time. Follow these steps to revive the iCloud restore without losing data;

    • 1. Download Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery for Windows and install on your PC.
    • 2. Launch the program and click on the iCloud icon on the top part of the interface. This will open iCloud recovery mode. Log in with your Apple ID and password.

  • 3. Pick the backup file that you want and click on”Next”. You can select specific file types before downloading.
  • 4. Wait for the backup file top download and preview the files you want recovered or get all data recovered.

    Summary

    This article has shown you 2 ways to fix iCloud won’t work on Windows 10 computer and introduced you an effective tool to get back iCloud backup data. If you have any further questions, please contact us by commenting below.

    Updated on 2021-12-21 / Update for iCloud Tips

    Important: Beginning January 1, 2022, we are ending support for selected OneDrive desktop apps running on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. Learn more.

    With OneDrive, you can sync files between your computer and the cloud, so you can get to your files from anywhere – your computer, your mobile device, and even through the OneDrive website at OneDrive.com. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder in your OneDrive folder, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted on the OneDrive website and vice versa. You can work with your synced files directly in File Explorer and access your files even when you’re offline. Whenever you’re online, any changes that you or others make will sync automatically.

    This article describes how to download the OneDrive sync app and sign in with your personal account, or work or school account, to get started syncing. If you use Microsoft 365 Apps for business, you can also sync files from your SharePoint sites. If you’re not using Microsoft 365 Apps for business, see Sync SharePoint files with the OneDrive for Business sync app (Groove.exe).

    Note: For information about syncing files on macOS, see Sync files with OneDrive on Mac OS X.

    Note: For more information about how to use OneDrive, see OneDrive video training.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Install and set up

    If you’re using Windows 10, your computer already has the OneDrive app installed – skip to step 2.

    If you don’t have Windows 10 or Office 2016, install the Windows version of the new OneDrive sync app.

    Start OneDrive Setup.

    If you have no accounts signed in to OneDrive

    If you don’t currently have an account signed in to OneDrive, use these instructions to start OneDrive.

    Select the Start button, search for “OneDrive”, and then open it:

    In Windows 10, select OneDrive.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    In Windows 7, under Programs, select Microsoft OneDrive.

    In Windows 8.1, search for OneDrive for Business, then select the OneDrive for Business app.

    When OneDrive Setup starts, enter your personal account, or your work or school account, and select Sign in.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Key points in OneDrive Setup

    There are two screens in OneDrive Setup that are helpful to watch for:

    On the This is your OneDrive folder screen, select Next to accept the default folder location for your OneDrive files. If you want to change the folder location, select Change location – this is the best time to make this change.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    On the All your files, ready and on-demand screen, you’ll see how files are marked to show them as online-only, locally available, or always available. Files On-Demand helps you access all your files in OneDrive without having to download all of them and use storage space on your Windows device. Select Next.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Note: If you were already syncing OneDrive for work or school to your computer (using the previous sync app) and you’ve just installed the sync app, you won’t see the This is your OneDrive folder or the Sync files from your OneDrive screen during OneDrive Setup. The sync app automatically takes over syncing in the same folder location you were using before. To choose which folders you’re syncing, right-click the blue cloud icon in the taskbar notification area, and select Settings > Account > Choose folders.

    See and manage your OneDrive files

    You’re all set. Your OneDrive files will appear in File Explorer in the OneDrive folder. If you use more than one account, your personal files appear under OneDrive – Personal and your work or school files appear under OneDrive – CompanyName.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    You now have a new white or blue cloud icon (or both) in your notification area and your files are synced to your computer. Your blue cloud icon will appear as OneDrive – [YourTenantName] when you hover over the icon.

    Note: Contoso is an example name – yours will show the name of your organization.

    Any time you want to change the folders you sync on your computer, right-click that cloud icon in the taskbar notification area, and select Settings > Account > Choose folders. Find other information about your account and change other OneDrive settings from here.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Learn more

    Need more help?

    Important:
    Support for the old OneDrive for Business sync app with SharePoint Online has ended. If you see this icon in your taskbar, read this article to learn more.

    Contact Support
    For help with your Microsoft account and subscriptions, visit Account & Billing Help.

    For technical support, go to Contact Microsoft Support, enter your problem and select Get Help. If you still need help, select Contact Support to be routed to the best support option.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

    Before selling, gifting, or recycling a Mac, you’ll want to take a number of steps to properly prepare it. Here’s how.

    Whether you have your eye on a new M1 Mac or you just want to get rid of an old macOS device in an environmentally responsible way, it’s important to properly sign out of certain services and delete your old data before doing so.

    The process is fairly straightforward but may take some time, so be sure to budget some time to preparing your Mac before getting rid of it. Also, these steps only apply to Intel-based Macs, since a couple of steps are a bit different on Apple Silicon machines.

    With both of those things in mind, here’s how to prepare your Mac device before you get rid of it.

    Step one: Back up your Mac

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    If you’re planning on selling, regifting, or recycling your Mac device, it’s likely that you’ve already thought about the data stored on it. If you haven’t, let this be a reminder.

    Preparing a Mac for transfer to a new owner should involve deleting all the data on it for both security and privacy reasons. If you don’t want to lose that data forever, you’ll need to back up your device before you proceed to any additional steps.

    The simplest method of backing up your Mac is using Apple’s built-in Time Machine feature. There are other options to consider, and more information is available here.

    Sign out of your services

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Erasing your Mac will typically ensure that your data stays in your own hands. But, depending on the version of macOS that the Mac is running, there are a few additional steps you may want to take.

    If you’re on OS X Mountain Lion or earlier, then it’s a good practice to sign out of iMessage. Here’s how.

    1. Open the iMessage app on your Mac.
    2. Choose Messages from the top menu bar, and then select Preferences.
    3. In this menu, click on iMessage.
    4. Finally, click Sign Out.

    If you plan on transferring a device running macOS Mojave or earlier, then you’ll want to sign out of iTunes, too.

    1. Open iTunes.
    2. In the iTunes window, select Account and Authorizations.
    3. From that drop down menu, select Deauthorize this Computer.
    4. You’ll be prompted to enter your Apple ID account credentials and password.
    5. Once you do, hit Deauthorize.

    Finally, it’s a good idea to sign out of iCloud on any Mac device before you go about erasing the drive.

    In macOS Catalina and macOS Big Sur, this is done by clicking on the Apple icon in the top menu bar, then navigating to System Preferences > Apple ID. From here, select Overview and then click on the Sign Out button.

    It’s a similar but slightly different on macOS Mojave and earlier. Choose the Apple icon in the menu bar, select System Preferences, click iCloud, and then click Sign Out.

    You may be asked if you want to keep a copy of the iCloud data on your Mac. It doesn’t really matter one way or the other, since you’ll be erasing your drive and any iCloud data will remain synced to your Apple cloud storage.

    A couple of additional steps

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    One step that many people miss is to reset the nonvolatile random-access memory (NVRAM) and parameter RAM (PRAM) before reinstalling macOS.

    It’s a best practice, however. Resetting the PRAM will clear certain user settings from your Mac’s memory. It’ll also restore certain deeper-level security features that may have been changed. Here’s how to do it.

    1. Shut down your Mac.
    2. Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold Option, Command, P and R.
    3. After about 20 seconds, you can release your keys.

    You’ll know that the reset worked if you see the Apple logo appear and disappear for a second time on T2-equipped Macs. On older Macs, you’ll hear that signature startup sound.

    Do note that resetting the NVRAM and PRAM using this method only works on Intel-based Macs. There’s no option to manually reset NVRAM on Apple Silicon Macs.

    In addition to resetting your NVRAM, you may also want to manually unpair any Bluetooth devices from your Mac.

    This step isn’t strictly necessary, but it could avoid confusion if you live with the person you’re transferring the Mac to. It could also mitigate any Bluetooth security concerns you may have.

    Just navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth. Hover over the devices you’d like to unpair and click the X icon next to them.

    Finally, erase and reinstall macOS.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Now that all of that is done, you’re finally ready to erase your Mac’s drive and restore it back to its factory default settings.

    There are a number of ways to go about this, but the easiest is to use Disk Utility to format your drive and reinstall macOS.

    Here’s how to do it.

    1. Shut down your Mac.
    2. Turn on your Mac and immediately press and Command and R.
    3. You may be prompted to select a user and log in with the password for that account.
    4. From here, you’ll be presented with a utilities window. Select Disk Utility.
    5. Select Macintosh HD from the sidebar.
    6. Click Erase and input a new name and format. For simplicity’s sake, you can leave both to Macintosh HD and APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
    7. Next, click Erase Volume group. If that isn’t an option, click Erase.
    8. If you have Find My enabled, you’ll be prompted to deactivate it with your Apple ID and password.
    9. You may want to delete any other internal volumes besides Macintosh HD. Just click the minus icon next to each volume.
    10. Finally, quit Disk Utility

    Now that your disk has been erased, you can select Reinstall macOS (Version Name) from the utilities window.

    Once macOS finishes installing, you’ll likely be faced with a setup assistant. It’s at this point that you should shut down your Mac and leave the setup process to whomever is receiving it.

    I got the macOS Sierra update when it went into public beta, and I’ve been trying to use the automatic Desktop / Documents upload feature with iCloud Drive.

    I’ve enabled the feature, however since September 7 no files have been uploaded. By this point, the bottom of my Finder windows say:

    15.78 GB available on iCloud, uploading 156,106 items (543.2 MB of 543.2 MB)

    However the files are never actually uploaded. I keep my screenshots folder on my desktop and I take a lot of screenshots, so I can see that September 7 was the last date any file was actually uploaded.

    What should I do? Is there a way I can disable and re-enable the feature without risking loss of data? Are there any solutions to this problem? What should I try? So far I’ve tried rebooting, and tried software update to macOS 10.12.2 public beta.

    8 Answers 8

    do not forget that osx is based on unix. what helped me is changing of ‘bird’ process priority (‘bird’ process is responsible for icloud replication).

    1. Double click on ☁️ iCloud icon in finder to see progress.

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    ps aux | grep bird .

    You will see your bird process id, in my case it is 815 .

    1. Check current priority of bird process

    (Replace 815 on your bird process id from step 3). If you never changed it before, it will be 0 (under NI column, but formatting of output is not nice).

    1. Change priority (negative numbers are high priority, based on research -20 is the highest, but do not put it, I suggest to put -10 ) to do it.

    (again replace 815 on your bird process id from step 3). It will ask for password if you are not root currently in terminal.

    1. If it worked, you should see progress in the iCloud progress dialog you opened on step 1. I cannot guarantee it will work always, as iCloud is blackbox. Unfortunately i.e. mac has a unix core, but all above it is blackbox proprietary software

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Happened to me as well, here is what I did:

    1. Back up all items in the Documents and Desktop folders
    2. Open up System Preferences
    3. Click on iCloud
    4. Click on Options next to iCloud Drive
    5. If Desktop and Document Folders is disabled, enable it
    6. If it enabled, un-enable it.
    7. Uncheck the Optimize Mac Storage and click Done
    8. Redo the opposite of this to re-enable iCloud
    9. Move all Documents and Desktop items back to their respective area.

    It is helpful to note if you are experiencing sync issues in any of the other categories in iCloud Drive, try disabling them and then re-enabling them.

    Have you changed the date and time on your computer or phone? This is a possible explanation of why iCloud is not syncing.

    Be careful, this method will Delete the files. Managed to solve it by:

    1. Go to System Preferences
    2. Select iCloud
    3. Untick iCloud
    4. At the prompt select Remove from Mac
    5. At the next prompt select Stop Updating and turn off

    Should be fixed, worked for me, really annoying

    Second scenario that worked, on iPhone:

    1. Open Settings
    2. iCloud Drive
    3. Manage Storage
    4. Click on the folder that’s at fault and remove it from iCloud

    You can try the following command from the console. It will recursively traverse your directory while updating the last modified date of each file. It will do this for all files but “*.icloud”. The command will also print the name of each updated file.

    go to the iCloud directory,

    Please: double check that you are in the directory above. Use pwd

    and trigger the date update for those files

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    I saw this comment in one of the threads here and it worked for me:

    “I found killall bird can reset the upload and then my stuck is resolved” – @zhangciwu

    How to restore your desktop and documents after disabling icloud sync in macos sierra

    Further to user9869932 above about resetting the date.

    Note it should be cd “/Users/-your user name-/Library/Mobile Documents/com

    then doing the command find . ! -path “*.icloud” ( -exec echo <> \; -a -exec touch <> \; )

    Will give you a massive list – in my case – of files it resets the date on that are waiting to upload. The files then begin to upload. Check this by double-clicking on the little Pie icon in the Finder window. This brings up the progress bar. Your files will go up in batches, determined by whatever throttling Apple has set for the process. Mine went from over 4000 items to 1,175 in a few minutes but now seems stuck again.

    Now I notice that the list of update files includes files in Trash and other places where the files no longer exist. So I’m suspecting that the iCloud sync process is not handling this well. Deleted and moved files are hanging about in the ‘com

    CloudDocs’ folder even when removed from their original locations. So now instead of having just a few files not uploaded, I seem to have 1,175 items waiting to upload – which probably never will.