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  1. #1
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    In order to save disk space on Macintosh HD, I have been able to move Pictures, the Photos, TV, and Music libraries as well as Dropbox and Google Drive to an external drive, a Drobo, using symbolic links. I would like to do the same for the iCloud folder with all my Documents and Desktop. Where is it and will a symbolic link work?A brief tutorial on symbolic links - Mac OS X Hints.pdf

  2. #2
    MBAmtloin
    Guest
    finder
    preferences
    show these items in the side bar
    select iCloud

  3. #3
    Thank you, but that doesn't answer the question. That folder is hidden somewhere on Macintosh HD. I need to find it there to put the symbolic link in that parent folder.

  4. #4
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I would like to do the same for the iCloud folder with all my Documents and Desktop. Where is it and will a symbolic link work?
    What does that mean? What version of macOS are you running? Assuming it's more recent version, are you saying that you moved Documents and Desktop to iCloud? If you did, there isn't any more space to save, the real files are now in the cloud and only recently accessed ones actually on your internal drive. Moving, or trying to move, your home folder to an external will be more headache for you than it is worth. I know, I tried it and went back. And if you have already turned on the iCloud storage of Documents and Desktop, then all that is in your home folder are links to those cloud documents.

    So, can you tell us more about what you are trying to do?
    Jake

  5. #5
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    chscag's Avatar
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    The only location that I could find the iCloud drive folder was under my user name:

    Macintosh HD/Users/your user name/iCloud

    I'm not sure you can create a symbolic link to that folder but give it a try and let us know if it works.

  6. #6
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I thought that they were a "symbolic link" to the files on iCloud?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  7. #7
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Bob, what is "they" that you are referring to? If the OP has already selected to store Documents and Desktop in the cloud, then all that are in the folders are symbolic links to those locations. Now, if he tries to create a symbolic link to a symbolic link, I, like Charlie, am not sure that would work. And it wouldn't save any space at all. Hence my question about what the OP is trying to do.
    Jake

  8. #8
    There is no iCloud folder under HD/users/username/. I do not use iCloud to save space but to have access to the files on multiple devices. Hence, the whole files are stored on my HD. So, I am looking for those iCloud folders somewhere hidden under system or usr or whatever. All I know is that they are well hidden.

  9. #9
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I think you misunderstand the concept of that folder. An iCloud folder is like a Dropbox folder. It is a location that can be used to sync files across devices using your AppleID account. For that reason, the iCloud folder will be in your Home folder. Mine happens to be on the Desktop. Not hidden, not system.

    Again, can you tell us what you are trying to accomplish? And what version of macOS you are using? With those, we can talk you through steps to set up iCloud and/or iCloud Drive (which are two different things, btw).
    Jake

  10. #10
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Jake

  11. #11
    I have iCloud Drive set up with Documents and Desktop in Catalina 10.15.3. Before iCloud Drive, I could create a symbolic link in the default Home folder and move it to an external disk. iCloud Drive is a Folder with Subfolders. I want to find that folder to put a symbolic link to Documents there. I am sure it is sitting somewhere in an encrypted folder which when found, I can open contents. I can do the same with the Originals in Photos. My purpose is to make sure I have the full documents, not just links to the Cloud.

  12. #12
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Ok, in Catalina, open System Preferences, click on the Apple ID Icon at the top of the window. That should open to a screen that shows the App on this Mac Using iCloud window, at the top of which is "iCloud Drive," with a check box and an Options tab.

    Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 8.09.15 PM.png
    In the Options area, you will see Desktop & Documents folders at the top, with a checkbox. Note that the second window is headed with "Apps that store documents and data in iCloud will appear here:" as the label. Everything with a check is putting documents in the iCloud, in addition to having the originals on your drive.

    Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 8.09.54 PM.png
    You said you had it set up, so I presume that the box is checked, which means that every document and folder in your Documents folder and Desktop folder are copied to the cloud. Note, 'copied' and not moved. So with that checkbox there, you have the full set of whatever is in your Documents folder and Desktop folder stored in iCloud, assuming you have sufficient room for them there.

    Now go back one level by clicking "Done."

    At the bottom of the window on the right side is a checkbox labelled "Optimize Mac Storage" with a short explanation below it.

    Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 8.09.34 PM.png
    If that box is checked, your documents have been MOVED (emphasize MOVED) to the iCloud and all that is left in Documents and Desktop are symbolic links to those documents and folders, with the exception of recently used documents. Now, you said your purpose is to have full documents, not links, so you do not want to check that box, nor the one on the previous iCloud Drive Options pane. But if it is already checked, before you uncheck it, you will need to make sure you have copied the files from those folders to some other location because when you uncheck that option, the files will be deleted from your internal drive and unless they are linked to from some other device, from iCloud as well. So, if it's checked now, make a complete copy of your Documents and Desktop folders, with all subfolders, to some parking place, preferably an external drive, then uncheck the "optimize" box and then copy the full documents from where you parked them back to your Documents and Desktop folder in your home directory (The one with your name and the house icon in Finder.) The iCloud Drive is NOT hidden, not a system file, not encrypted. It should be, assuming you set it up correctly, in your home folder on the Desktop (default location). If it's not in that folder, and it's not anywhere in your home folder, it doesn't exist.

    Let me caution you again about moving your Home folder off the boot drive. There are some not-so-well-behaved applications that make the assumption that the Home directory is on the internal drive and that ignore any symbolic links that might say otherwise. As I said, I ran into all kinds of issues with that attempt myself and eventually gave up on it as a bad idea.
    Jake

  13. #13
    Jake,
    Thank you. Yes, I have checked iCloud Drive, but there is no such folder in my Home folder. See attached.Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 5.55.34 PM.png

  14. #14
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    That is, if those are all the folders in your home folder, not really a possible situation. What you see on the desktop is just what is shown in the Desktop folder of your home directory. No Desktop folder, no desktop. That is simply not possible, AFAIK. The bottom line is cut off. I can see you are on the boot drive, Users folder and in your Home directory (I see the house) but are you possibly in another subfolder inside your Home folder? You are also missing the Documents folder, but that one is not so critical and can be moved without system issues, although it will generate an error by any application that expects it as a location for something to be saved.

    You said you thought Documents and Desktop were in the iCloud Drive folder. And you said it might be encrypted. What makes you think that? Creation of the iCloud Drive does not hide, encrypt or otherwise change either Documents or Desktop folders, but gets added to the Home folder as its own location. Did you manually move Documents and/or Desktop to iCloud Drive and then encrypt or hide it?

    About the only thing I can think of at this point is to get Find Any File and let it hunt for these folders for you, setting it up to look for hidden files. If you have multiple accounts, be aware that each account has its own Documents folder and its own Desktop folder.
    Jake

  15. #15
    Where is the iCloud folder with Documents and Desktop?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Can you post a screen grab of the Finder window showing this path; Macintosh HD > Users? Do you have other user accounts? Since you don't have a Desktop or Documents folder, they must be in iCloud? Have you signed in to iCloud.com, to see if they are there?

    Another thing to check is Finder > Preferences, then select the Sidebar tab and make sure iCloud is selected to be displayed in the sidebar of your Finder windows.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

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