How can upload files to iCloud using the app from an USB device?

Gnomac43

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Hello,



I don't have enough disk space on the primary disk to transfer from one cloud to another, so I need to use an USB drive to upload files to iCloud.



What options do I have?



1 - I don't see any possibility to upload files from an external location...

For example, even with the Desktop folder, which is not in sync by default, I don't see any option in the menu to share a file from that directory to iCloud...



2 - Would it work with a symbolic link?



3 - It's obvious that once uploaded, these files won't be synced on this disk because I won't have enough space...

So, I'm searching also for a solution to download these files on an USB drive later.

4. I'm aware of the website, but it's much slower and probably it will kill the download at some point. (I'm aware of the 50GB limitation...)


5. Fundamentally, there is another issue, I can't easily backup all my cloud content to a USB drive, because not everything can be synced in local first...
This opens up a couple of issues, I will never have a proper backup, unless I go crazy doing it manually.
The price of a MacBook with 2TB is simply crazy, a MacBook Pro 13" M2 costs 2350 pounds with 2TB disk and 16GB Ram only. I mean, crazy for my pocket, not for the machine itself... Plus, it's not easy to resell such machines...
I don't consider a MacBook Air for the years ahead, with increase of temperatures I'm afraid it won't make it under heavy load, so a fan is always a nice have, plus the "enter" button is capped in the MacBook Air, which I ate more than anything else...

Do you know any alternative solution?
I'm planning to have an all in one solution with iCloud and one **** disk, or whatever works with Apple considering the price...
 
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I'm sorry, but I cannot make any sense of your post. What Mac, what version of macOS, how big is the internal drive, how much free space is on it and what do you mean by
transfer from one cloud to another
2 - Would it work with a symbolic link?
Would WHAT work with a link?
5. Fundamentally, there is another issue, I can't easily backup all my cloud content to a USB drive, because not everything can be synced in local first...
This opens up a couple of issues, I will never have a proper backup, unless I go crazy doing it manually.
The price of a MacBook with 2TB is simply crazy, a MacBook Pro 13" M2 costs 2350 pounds with 2TB disk and 16GB Ram only. I mean, crazy for my pocket, not for the machine itself... Plus, it's not easy to resell such machines...
I don't consider a MacBook Air for the years ahead, with increase of temperatures I'm afraid it won't make it under heavy load, so a fan is always a nice have, plus the "enter" button is capped in the MacBook Air, which I ate more than anything else...
Again, sorry, but almost none of that makes any sense to me. Backups and USB drives have very little in common, syncs don't really make much difference, either and there is no reason to do a manual backup when lots of tools exist to do the work for you.

I also don't know why you think it's difficult to resell Macs, but that's for another day, another thread.

So, let's start with the questions I asked in the first couple of sentences.
 
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I'm sorry, but I cannot make any sense of your post. What Mac, what version of macOS, how big is the internal drive, how much free space is on it and what do you mean by


Would WHAT work with a link?

Again, sorry, but almost none of that makes any sense to me. Backups and USB drives have very little in common, syncs don't really make much difference, either and there is no reason to do a manual backup when lots of tools exist to do the work for you.

I also don't know why you think it's difficult to resell Macs, but that's for another day, another thread.

So, let's start with the questions I asked in the first couple of sentences.

Probably my message wasn't so clear, so I'll reply to your questions.

1. I have the M1 MacBook Air with latest MacOS version (pointless to remain to an old one, right?), but it doesn't make a difference in this case.

2. I have 256GB M2, I took it to save some money but now I have this issue in case I want to make a bulk backup in one shot, because part of the data are on another cloud provider, saved on a USB3 disk at the moment because I can decide different paths, I can't do it with iCloud, which is an integrated service in MacOS, it's not even an application you can interact with...
So, even though I would be able to upload all my data into iCloud with some pain, after that, the daily work with big files would be a nightmare.
The browser upload doesn't suit me as you can understand, that's good only for a one time upload.

3. Would WHAT work with a link? I mean the file upload, nothing else, that's what this thread is about.

5. Reselling options
5.1 Reselling a Mac of 2400 pounds new is not that easy, don't you think? How many people want that?

5.2 How many people see it necessary to have a 1TB disk and 16GB Ram? (NOTE that I'd need 24 minimum for development, but I think it's better to rent one in AWS for heavy tasks :D)

5.3 It's also true that I'd like a 2TB disk very soon, which is even worst, 400 pounds more...

5.4 How many people like a 13" monitor? On the other hand, the 15" or 16" model would cost more than 3k...
With a 2TB disk it would be ~3500 pounds.
 
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Cutting through the extraneous fluff, you have an MBA with a very small SSD and want to store your working documents in iCloud. It might be an M1, or an M2 (you wandered around a bit in that). Some of your files are on the MBA, some are on some unnamed server in the cloud somewhere, but also saved on a USB drive.

Is that correct?

If so, open System Preferences, click where it says "Apple ID" and then you will see a panel open with an option for what to store and sync through iCloud. One of those options is "iCloud Drive." Here is a screenshot from my system:

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 9.30.20 AM.jpg

Click on the button labelled "Options" and you will see another set of choices. Here is part of the offering from my system:
Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 9.30.50 AM.jpg

I don't have that checked because I don't want to store my documents in the cloud, but if you do want that, then check the box and it will start to move your documents into your iCloud account.

Also, on the first image at the bottom is an option for "Optimize Mac Storage." You can check that as well and it will do what it says, trying to keep some of your more recent work locally, but storing everything else in the cloud. Below that option will be a bar showing how much storage you have and how much is used in the cloud. You will need to make sure you have sufficient cloud storage to make this work.

Be advised that by doing this, you will be depending on your internet connection for any files you may want to work with later. Your drive will still LOOK like it has the files there, but all it will really be storing are links to where the documents are in the cloud. When you open any given file, it will download from the cloud before it can be opened. When you close and save a file, you will see that it will start to upload to the cloud for storage and be replaced by a link to that storage area.

All of that is fine if you have a good internet connection, but can be pretty slow if you don't.

If you have files on a USB drive that you also want stored this way, you can copy them from the USB drive to the internal drive into Documents or Desktop after the internal drive is finished being moved to iCloud and they will then be copied to iCloud in turn. If you have files on some other cloud service and want them in iCloud, you can download them into your Documents or Desktop folders and they will also, in turn, be moved to the iCloud storage, assuming you have sufficient space in iCloud.

Now, there is a service called "iCloud Drive" that also uses the iCloud storage area. But it works differently in that you put a check mark like I have where "iCloud Drive" is located in the first screenshot, but then on the "Options" page do NOT put a check mark for "Desktop & Documents Folders" and do NOT put a check mark with "Optimize Mac Storage." In other words, just like I have it. With that setting there is a special folder named "iCloud Drive" that should be on the Desktop. Any document you put in that folder will have a copy uploaded to the cloud and synced to any other device using that same AppleID. So, to share a document with your iPad or iPhone or another Mac, put it in the iCloud Drive folder and it will be copied to the cloud, then shared with all the other devices. But the copy is still on your internal drive, so you are not saving space with that approach, just syncing the file with other devices. I don't think that is what you want, but wanted you to know about it as it can be confusing.

As for the rest of what you posted, I still have no clue what you mean, so I'm not going to try to address any of it. If what you wanted is to store documents in the iCloud space, follow what I said and that will happen. It will be very slow to open those documents, depending on the size and speed of your internet, but they will be stored in iCloud.
 
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Cutting through the extraneous fluff, you have an MBA with a very small SSD and want to store your working documents in iCloud. It might be an M1, or an M2 (you wandered around a bit in that). Some of your files are on the MBA, some are on some unnamed server in the cloud somewhere, but also saved on a USB drive.

Is that correct?

If so, open System Preferences, click where it says "Apple ID" and then you will see a panel open with an option for what to store and sync through iCloud. One of those options is "iCloud Drive." Here is a screenshot from my system:

View attachment 36953

Click on the button labelled "Options" and you will see another set of choices. Here is part of the offering from my system:
View attachment 36954

I don't have that checked because I don't want to store my documents in the cloud, but if you do want that, then check the box and it will start to move your documents into your iCloud account.

Also, on the first image at the bottom is an option for "Optimize Mac Storage." You can check that as well and it will do what it says, trying to keep some of your more recent work locally, but storing everything else in the cloud. Below that option will be a bar showing how much storage you have and how much is used in the cloud. You will need to make sure you have sufficient cloud storage to make this work.

Be advised that by doing this, you will be depending on your internet connection for any files you may want to work with later. Your drive will still LOOK like it has the files there, but all it will really be storing are links to where the documents are in the cloud. When you open any given file, it will download from the cloud before it can be opened. When you close and save a file, you will see that it will start to upload to the cloud for storage and be replaced by a link to that storage area.

All of that is fine if you have a good internet connection, but can be pretty slow if you don't.

If you have files on a USB drive that you also want stored this way, you can copy them from the USB drive to the internal drive into Documents or Desktop after the internal drive is finished being moved to iCloud and they will then be copied to iCloud in turn. If you have files on some other cloud service and want them in iCloud, you can download them into your Documents or Desktop folders and they will also, in turn, be moved to the iCloud storage, assuming you have sufficient space in iCloud.

Now, there is a service called "iCloud Drive" that also uses the iCloud storage area. But it works differently in that you put a check mark like I have where "iCloud Drive" is located in the first screenshot, but then on the "Options" page do NOT put a check mark for "Desktop & Documents Folders" and do NOT put a check mark with "Optimize Mac Storage." In other words, just like I have it. With that setting there is a special folder named "iCloud Drive" that should be on the Desktop. Any document you put in that folder will have a copy uploaded to the cloud and synced to any other device using that same AppleID. So, to share a document with your iPad or iPhone or another Mac, put it in the iCloud Drive folder and it will be copied to the cloud, then shared with all the other devices. But the copy is still on your internal drive, so you are not saving space with that approach, just syncing the file with other devices. I don't think that is what you want, but wanted you to know about it as it can be confusing.

As for the rest of what you posted, I still have no clue what you mean, so I'm not going to try to address any of it. If what you wanted is to store documents in the iCloud space, follow what I said and that will happen. It will be very slow to open those documents, depending on the size and speed of your internet, but they will be stored in iCloud.

Thanks for the explanation.
You got the whole point :D , I'm not sure why you keep saying that you didn't understand it...
There is one thing that I can't do, that is choosing which folder to sync, like in OneDrive for example, if you know it, you know what I mean, you can basically decide the folders to sync...

Now, all this is due to one critical point, I don't have enough disk space and it's quite of a pain, so I was searching a solution to upload large and unused files on daily basis simply by choosing what to sync and what not, so every time I need to upload something heavy, I can free up space manually.

I'm a bit surprised that iCloud doesn't have such feature, or did I miss even that?
The one you suggested it would sync all the files, plus it's not clear what folders is gonna sync exactly, maybe just Documents and Downloads as it says.

Anyway, keeping all the files on the disk is crucial if you want to backup your cloud data to an external disk, otherwise I can't really do it...
Also with Time Machine is the same, what's in the disk will be backed up, the rest of the cloud data not synced will be left behind.
This article mentions the same problem, just as an example: Don’t Get Trapped in iCloud

Not even photos that resides in the photos App can be backed up elsewhere...
I guess it's the same for the iWork files created from an App...
 
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I'm not sure why you keep saying that you didn't understand it...
OK, I'll explain why I still don't understand your post.

here is one thing that I can't do, that is choosing which folder to sync, like in OneDrive for example, if you know it, you know what I mean, you can basically decide the folders to sync...
I have both iCloud and OneDrive, and I also have iCloud drive. But there is a fundamental difference and that is the word "sync." The process I described is NOT sync, never will be. What it does is to MOVE the file to the cloud and leave behind a very small token to where that file is in iCloud. OneDrive and iCloud Drive, on the other hand, keep a full copy of the file on the Mac and then put a COPY in the cloud where other devices can gain access to that COPY of the file. And when some other device makes a change and saves the change back to the COPY in the cloud, it gets synced back to the local file on the Mac. NO space is saved in that sync.

You seemed to be saying you need to make space on the internal drive. OneDrive and iCloud Drive will NOT do that. Hence my confusion when you keep coming back to OneDrive and iCloud Drive.
The one you suggested it would sync all the files, plus it's not clear what folders is gonna sync exactly, maybe just Documents and Downloads as it says.
That sentence is just gibberish. What "one" do you think I suggested would sync "all the files," and what do you mean "it's not clear what folders is gonna sync exactly," when it clearly says "Documents and Desktop" and never mentions Downloads at all? As I have said, if you turn on the iCloud features I showed, your files will be MOVED, not COPIED, to the Cloud and all that will be on the internal drive will be small tokens for those files so that if/when you want one, it knows where to go to download it for you to use. And with that process there is no "sync" at all. Now, if you do turn on iCloud Drive and put files or folders in that special folder, they will be COPIED to the iCloud drive at Apple and made available to any other device logged into that AppleID that may want/need that file, as I said. But that approach saves you zero space on the Mac.
Anyway, keeping all the files on the disk is crucial if you want to backup your cloud data to an external disk, otherwise I can't really do it...
Also with Time Machine is the same, what's in the disk will be backed up, the rest of the cloud data not synced will be left behind.
Again, confusion reigns. The first sentence is sort-of, a little bit, close to accurate. However, I have no idea what you mean by "backup your cloud data," so I'm still stuck.

If you make a TM backup of a drive that has "Optimize Mac Storage" and "Desktop and Documents" checked, what gets backed up are the links to the files, not the files themselves. However, Apple isn't clear on how that actually works, so I haven't been able to find a clear explanation of what a TM backup actually contains when you do a backup with those options checked. Here is the best I've found so far, from a company that makes the backup software Carbon Copy Cloner:


And the last sentence in the quoted part of your post is again confusing to me. I have no idea what you are trying to say by "the rest of the cloud data not synced will be left behind." Again, Optimize Mac Storage is NOT sync, and if you set up sync-ing, then the files will be there to be backed up by TM. So, confusion.

I don't mean to be so obtuse, but you are mixing terms and technology into a word salad that is hard for me to sort through.

But, if the goal was to get files off the internal drive, you have basically two choices--put them on an external drive or use the "Optimize Mac Storage" approach to free space. Anything that "syncs" won't save space.

If it were my decision, I would put things on a fast external drive to keep them local, then make backups of both the internal drive and that external drive to another external drive (or two). And NOT use iCloud to store data unless I need/want to sync that data to some other Mac/iDevice.

But you have to make the decision of what works for you.
 

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@Gnomac43

1. Your Mac’s internal drive is near full

2. Therefore you need to free up space on that Drive = Move data from it to somewhere else

3. The somewhere else has to be readily accessible.

4. The simplest solution is to acquire a fast/good quality External Drive.

5. If you can afford it, a SSD is the fastest, but it also has to have a high capacity which increases the cost. The alternative, much cheaper, but slower option, is to acquire a rotating platter EHD.

6. So, calculate how much space you need to free up on the Internal drive - then double that amount because, believe me, you’ll need it soon enough.

7. Then choose a SSD or spinning EHD according to your pocket.

8. Move the data off the Internal Drive to the SSD/EHD

9. The chosen SSD/EHD will need to be backed to another EHD as it’s your only copy.

10. You also need to backup your Mac’s Internal Drive, again to an EHD (Time Machine will do this automatically for you)

All of the above is simple to understand and execute and does not involve iCloud. As an addition, you may consider iCloud as a means of syncing = copying data to it if you require access to that data from other devices.

Ian
 
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OK, I'll explain why I still don't understand your post.


I have both iCloud and OneDrive, and I also have iCloud drive. But there is a fundamental difference and that is the word "sync." The process I described is NOT sync, never will be. What it does is to MOVE the file to the cloud and leave behind a very small token to where that file is in iCloud. OneDrive and iCloud Drive, on the other hand, keep a full copy of the file on the Mac and then put a COPY in the cloud where other devices can gain access to that COPY of the file. And when some other device makes a change and saves the change back to the COPY in the cloud, it gets synced back to the local file on the Mac. NO space is saved in that sync.

You seemed to be saying you need to make space on the internal drive. OneDrive and iCloud Drive will NOT do that. Hence my confusion when you keep coming back to OneDrive and iCloud Drive.

That sentence is just gibberish. What "one" do you think I suggested would sync "all the files," and what do you mean "it's not clear what folders is gonna sync exactly," when it clearly says "Documents and Desktop" and never mentions Downloads at all? As I have said, if you turn on the iCloud features I showed, your files will be MOVED, not COPIED, to the Cloud and all that will be on the internal drive will be small tokens for those files so that if/when you want one, it knows where to go to download it for you to use. And with that process there is no "sync" at all. Now, if you do turn on iCloud Drive and put files or folders in that special folder, they will be COPIED to the iCloud drive at Apple and made available to any other device logged into that AppleID that may want/need that file, as I said. But that approach saves you zero space on the Mac.

Again, confusion reigns. The first sentence is sort-of, a little bit, close to accurate. However, I have no idea what you mean by "backup your cloud data," so I'm still stuck.

If you make a TM backup of a drive that has "Optimize Mac Storage" and "Desktop and Documents" checked, what gets backed up are the links to the files, not the files themselves. However, Apple isn't clear on how that actually works, so I haven't been able to find a clear explanation of what a TM backup actually contains when you do a backup with those options checked. Here is the best I've found so far, from a company that makes the backup software Carbon Copy Cloner:


And the last sentence in the quoted part of your post is again confusing to me. I have no idea what you are trying to say by "the rest of the cloud data not synced will be left behind." Again, Optimize Mac Storage is NOT sync, and if you set up sync-ing, then the files will be there to be backed up by TM. So, confusion.

I don't mean to be so obtuse, but you are mixing terms and technology into a word salad that is hard for me to sort through.

But, if the goal was to get files off the internal drive, you have basically two choices--put them on an external drive or use the "Optimize Mac Storage" approach to free space. Anything that "syncs" won't save space.

If it were my decision, I would put things on a fast external drive to keep them local, then make backups of both the internal drive and that external drive to another external drive (or two). And NOT use iCloud to store data unless I need/want to sync that data to some other Mac/iDevice.

But you have to make the decision of what works for you.
You answer almost gave me an headache, but it's good stuff, so I'll try again to summarize my needs.

Fundamentally, I have a couple of issues, which at the end I believe to have fully understood at this point:

1. I need to backup my cloud portion of data, unfortunately photos etc probably won't be exported because I can't find the **** option, which is kind of weird.
This backup is expected to be the exact cloud content, so from cloud to USB3 disk.
I would just copy paste or do rsync.
I didn't quite get the story of tokens, but I do get an idea about it, and in any case, my files are on my M2 SSD too.
Enabling the storage optimization makes everything worst, but I'll keep it ON to survive, at least for now...

2. I was complaining about the disk space, well, nothing I can do about it, iCloud doesn't allow me to download/upload files from other locations rather than the primary M2.
So:

2.1 I can only try to dump all on the M2, making space on iCloud beforehand...

2.2 Make a backup of what currently have on the USB3 disk.
Time Machine would do that too, but I can't trust it, I need a raw/simple solution in case I need to mess up with TM, which I still don't know in the internals...

2.3 Buy a MacBook with a disk big enough, but I would need 2TB at this point which is quite expensive... I think that everyone worldwide is running without the WRONG backup solution, I can't believe that everyone purchases 2/4TB M2 in a MacBook and keeps the sync ON...
I mean, too may traps, too many point of failures and it's very expensive.


3. I'll read that guide you posted, it's quite interesting to see that probably iWork documents, as well as Photos are being synced locally and I'll be able to make a backup.

4. For any additional cloud backup like Dropbox, I'd always use a secondary disk, I don't want any software to interact with the file system of the primary M2.

P.S.
Overall, what a **** mess I ended up.
 
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@Gnomac43

1. Your Mac’s internal drive is near full

2. Therefore you need to free up space on that Drive = Move data from it to somewhere else

3. The somewhere else has to be readily accessible.

4. The simplest solution is to acquire a fast/good quality External Drive.

5. If you can afford it, a SSD is the fastest, but it also has to have a high capacity which increases the cost. The alternative, much cheaper, but slower option, is to acquire a rotating platter EHD.

6. So, calculate how much space you need to free up on the Internal drive - then double that amount because, believe me, you’ll need it soon enough.

7. Then choose a SSD or spinning EHD according to your pocket.

8. Move the data off the Internal Drive to the SSD/EHD

9. The chosen SSD/EHD will need to be backed to another EHD as it’s your only copy.

10. You also need to backup your Mac’s Internal Drive, again to an EHD (Time Machine will do this automatically for you)

All of the above is simple to understand and execute and does not involve iCloud. As an addition, you may consider iCloud as a means of syncing = copying data to it if you require access to that data from other devices.

Ian
I'm already out of space in that sense, iCloud has more data the the M2 can host...
But I should be quickly able to remove some garbage and survive for the moment, at least for achieving my plan! (look above, my last message #8 )

It doesn't exist that I don't use iCloud, why would I use something else as a first cloud solution? Certainly, using an USB3 and linking Dropbox there is a joke, and moreover it's possible! Quite easy, though it's a bulky solution, I would need to attach that drive all the time, it would be better to have a NAS but right now it's the wrong moment to expense also a NAS... Plus, a NAS requires a good infrastructure, it won't be always available if I'll need to make any travel, so I need to rely always on a bulky USB3 disk or eventually a super expensive internal M2...
(this would have happened anyway with Dropbox, just saying)


From the way you say it, it seems that iCloud is not being used by people to store data, but just photos, iWork stuff, notes etc (cloud native apps)... Or at lest that's what you are recommending.
 
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Just to clarify, at the moment I have all my files in the iCloud folder, so the sync happens anyway and it's wonderful because iCloud Drive supports incremental sync of big files too, not so many cloud providers support it, or at least it didn't work very well with Onedrive :D .
 
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I give up. It's like we are speaking two different languages.

Somebody else try to help @Gnomac43, please.
LOL, I'm not a newbie, but certainly I'm not a pro in MacOS, I barely used it since I have it, so my vocabulary is not very extensive.

I believe that my requirements and problems have been described, now I just need to put the head down and fix it...
The fix is to manage my space asap and buy a super expensive machine, AUCH!
 
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Just to clarify, at the moment I have all my files in the iCloud folder, so the sync happens anyway and it's wonderful because iCloud Drive supports incremental sync of big files too, not so many cloud providers support it, or at least it didn't work very well with Onedrive
As I have tried to say, iCloud Drive (the iCloud folder), does not save space, it just syncs. It is unfortunate that Apple chose to muddle things by having iCloud and iCloud Drive, but for them to be two different things that operate two different ways.

Good luck with it. (You don't need a super expensive machine, BTW, just use the tools correctly.)
 
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I give up. It's like we are speaking two different languages.

Somebody else try to help @Gnomac43, please.

In this webpage, this is that it says:

iCloud Doesn’t Back Up Your Computer​

Apple does have something called “iCloud Backup.” iCloud Backup backs up critical info on the iPhone and iPad to iCloud. But it’s only for mobile devices—your iPod touch, iPad, and iPhone. The “stuff” on your computer is not backed up by iCloud Backup. It also doesn’t back up anything already stored in iCloud—confusing, we know. This includes contacts, notes, voice memos, calendars, bookmarks, reminders, messages in iCloud, iCloud photos, and shared photos.

Making matters worse, it’s a “space permitting” solution. Apple gives you a scant 5GB of free space with an iCloud account. To put that in context, the iPhone 11 (the smallest you can order from the factory) ships with a minimum of 64GB of space. So right off the bat, you have to pay extra to back up a new device. Many people who use the free account don’t want to pay for more, so they get messages telling them that their devices can’t be backed up.

More importantly, iCloud doesn’t back up your Mac. So while data may be synced between devices in iCloud, most of the content on your Mac isn’t getting backed up directly.

-------------------------
Let's see if I got it:

1. The “stuff” on your computer is not backed up by iCloud Backup. OK

2. It also doesn’t back up anything already stored in iCloud. OK
This includes contacts, notes, voice memos, calendars, bookmarks, reminders, messages in iCloud, iCloud photos, and shared photos.
Basically, the cloud native apps I was talking about. But I can find a way to back them up, probably they are somewhere in the file system.

3. More importantly, iCloud doesn’t back up your Mac. OK, I know, that's why Time Machine exists.
But in my case, I'm concerned about the data, rather than the system backup as a whole as TM does!

4. On the previous point, I'm a bit disappointed that the iCloud sync/backup doesn't store system preferences and other things about MacOS, I wonder why Apple is delaying such thing... Microsoft already did it for Windows, but then Windows sucks, so I think it balances :D .
If I'm not wrong, that's available on iPhone, iWatch etc, or not???
If not, then I need to backup my iPhone and Watch from the MacBook (assuming it's possible, I've just heard of it...)
 
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Gnomac43

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As I have tried to say, iCloud Drive (the iCloud folder), does not save space, it just syncs. It is unfortunate that Apple chose to muddle things by having iCloud and iCloud Drive, but for them to be two different things that operate two different ways.

Good luck with it. (You don't need a super expensive machine, BTW, just use the tools correctly.)
Yeah I understood that it doesn't save space, I mean it does if you ask for it, but for me it's a nightmare.

How am I supposed to use iCloud Drive correctly if I have a simple storage space issue? It's not something I can fix without buying a 2350 or 3200 pounds machine, depending on the screen size etc...

I could only use an additional cloud service which allows the upload of files from an USB3 drive, or whatever external location, but it needs to support incremental changes... Probably only Dropbox does it.
In any case, I would need to buy other 3 disks...

1. Disk for TM - 4TB (80 pounds) (I have a small one at the moment, my fault)
2. Disk for 3rd party cloud sync - 4TB (80 pounds)
3. Disk for cloud data backups - 4TB (80 pounds, but I may also skip this one, it's not strictly necessary... This disk would be used with an Rsync)

Then, how I backup the iCloud data into my 2nd external disk would be all an adventure! I guess that an RSync of the iCloud folder (excluding the iCloud Drive folder) would be sufficient.
Same for the 3rd disk, eventually.

Cost wise, it makes sense to evaluate a NAS honestly!!!
Eventually dropping off the idea of using iCloud Drive as a primary location for Data sync, so I don't need to buy a super expensive machine, but invest a bit more on a NAS.
Again, the NAS has the infrastructure requirement which may not be always available, for whatever reason, it's simply a very complex scenario at the end, if you want to keep the network safe I mean...

Am I in a tunnel or I evaluated the problems correctly?
 

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I know, that's why Time Machine exists.
But in my case, I'm concerned about the data, rather than the system backup as a whole as TM does!

A minor point @Gnomac43 - TM does not BU the Operating System (OS), only data, settings and the like. More or less everything but the OS.

Moreover, if you're keen on backups, you can have 2 TM backups which do so alternately.

Why not reconsider what I posted in #7? It frees up space on your Int SSD; it's secure, is entirely in your hands and doesn't involve iCloud or iCloud Drive in any way.

Ian
 
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Why not reconsider what I posted in #7? It frees up space on your Int SSD; it's secure, is entirely in your hands and doesn't involve iCloud or iCloud Drive in any way.

Yes please... Please do so... and soon... Otherwise this is going to fill up my own hard drive at the rate it's progressing... ;)



- Patrick
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A minor point @Gnomac43 - TM does not BU the Operating System (OS), only data, settings and the like. More or less everything but the OS.

Moreover, if you're keen on backups, you can have 2 TM backups which do so alternately.

Why not reconsider what I posted in #7? It frees up space on your Int SSD; it's secure, is entirely in your hands and doesn't involve iCloud or iCloud Drive in any way.

Ian
I made a little mistake, yes, you're right, it doesn't backup up the OS, that's inside a sort of EPROM (I mean the original image), it backups the config files instead.

2 TM backups look weird, but I'll evaluate. Moreover is subjected to user mistakes, which one was updated last? :D

I considered that post, and that's the whole point, I need to have a bigger disk at the end instead of having a better reliable and manageable way to backup my cloud content which I frequently use.

That's my plan:
1. Free up space (DONE). I left some garbage on cloud that I don't need to backup.

2. TM backup is already in place

3. The external HDD is already in my hand, but I still don't get how I'm supposed to sync all the files that I frequently use in case I run out of space.
I can use a custom script, sure, I can also use TM, but this implies that in the case I want to backup all in one shot, my limitation is always the internal disk size, ALWAYS!

4. The point now is to remove the constraint of the internal disk size, but I didn't find a comfortable solution at the moment. I can easily use Rsync, but again, the space on the machine is always the one that it's in charge, I can't offload/load data into the primary M2 every time I need to sync up files... This process should be seamless and faultless, easy to use and to rescue if things go wrong, plus fully automated.
All this mess happens because iCloud Drive doesn't allow me to select an external location, so hateful!
 
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