Backup to iCloud

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jimfastcar1, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. jimfastcar1 macrumors member


    Oct 30, 2015
    Oakville, Ontario Canada
    I am a a recent convert from Windows and have a MacBook Pro
    I am sure to most this is an obvious question, but I cannot seem to find the answer

    I perceive iCloud as a means to backup data. I see that it is automatically mirroring photos on my Mac, IPhone and iPad, but I purposely purchased extra space in an effort to do more

    I would like to also backup all my documents in addition to my backups on an external drive and soon to acquire a 128 SSD drive (call me paranoid)

    Most all my important documents are in Dropbox, which is effectively a Cloud backup, but I would like to also automatically copy my files to iCloud (entire Finder list if possible)

    Welcome your advice and steps please. Thanks
  2. scr1968 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2007
    What you are describing isn't exactly how iCloud works.

    Apps need to be iCloud aware in order to be able to utilize iCloud and therefore save files to iCloud.

    An application that is not iCloud aware can't save files to iCloud (easily at least)

    iCloud is not a Cloud backup system per se like Carbonite where you can really specify what you want backed up.

    If you already have a DropBox account and all the documents that you want to backup fit in your DropBox, I'd use that as it is a) backing up for you and b) available just about anywhere.

  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Actually... iCloud Drive can be used as the OP describes ("old" Documents in the Cloud works the way described in the previous post).

    Enable iCloud Drive on the Mac (if it's not already enabled) and it'll appear in Finder (and File > Save dialogs), just as Dropbox does. You can create folders and place whatever file type you wish there. While not an exact duplicate of Dropbox, it can be used essentially the same way (Dropbox's image-storage features, however, are not duplicated, as iCloud Photo Library performs that function).

    Something you may not appreciate about both iCloud Drive and Dropbox (presuming you use the Dropbox app, rather than the web page) - the files you place there are not just in the cloud - they're also cached on the HDD. That's done so that you can work with those files when you don't have an internet connection. So while it doesn't hurt to keep the same file in Documents and iCloud Drive, it's a bit redundant and takes up more HDD space than you may think. And you'll have fewer issues with having dissimilar versions of the same document.

    But I do concur that iCloud is not a complete backup solution. For backup to a local (external) drive, Time Machine is built into OS X.

    There's a key difference between keeping copies of documents, and backing up an entire system. One saves your documents, the other gets your entire computer back to the way it had been - apps, configurations and preferences, and all those little things you may have neglected to copy. Whether you choose Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, Carbonite, or something else... there's no substitute for a full system backup if and when you have a hard drive failure.

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