Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
If I enable iCloud Desktop & Documents folders syncing to iCloud, does this automatically merge the contents from both machines and lead to me seeing a unified view on both machines? Is there then any way of determining which machine a file came from?


macrumors G3
May 31, 2007
Florida, USA
I'm curious about this feature and how reliable it is.

Do the Documents and Desktop folders remain regular folders on your machine, in your home directory? I never liked how the "iCloud Drive" folder is a weird folder at:

~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/com\~apple\~CloudDocs

I mean, directory names with tildes in them? There's some real sado-masochists working at Apple. Anybody with some UNIX experience will know what I mean. How does conflict resolution work? If I edit the same file offline on two machines, how does it decide how to merge them?

This stuff drives me crazy, and I'd actually enjoy having a regular folder I can manipulate in and out of the GUI that gets automatically backed up, both to the cloud and Time Machine.


macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2016
The file conflict resolution issue is a bit like time travel and alternate timelines. Which is the right one!


macrumors 601
May 30, 2010
When I enabled iCloud Desktop & Documents, the Mac I first enabled it on - my MacBook - uploaded all the files to the Desktop and Documents folders, respectively.

When I enabled it on the second Mac, its content was placed in a "[Brookzy]'s iMac" folder that was created in both the Desktop and Documents folders.

Personally I didnt want to separate them like that so I just moved the contents of the "[Brookzy]'s iMac" folders to the main folder, and now a single Desktop, and a single Documents, folder syncs between my Macs.
  • Like
Reactions: grahamperrin


macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
A thumbs-up to@Brookzy for describing the behaviour but I'm surprised that there's no automated attempt to merge the contents.
  • Like
Reactions: Brookzy
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.