iCloud Desktop Sync is Pretty Stupid

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by sperdynamite, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. sperdynamite macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #1
    I am a photographer and I was dumping my cards to a file on my desktop yesterday. Suddenly I started getting notifications that my iCloud is running out of data and I must upgrade. I thought this is pretty strange because I have dropbox and don't care much about iCloud except for my phone backups. So I get into it's settings and I see it's syncing all my desktop files. This is ****ing stupid. I have files with hundreds of GB worth of images or video on my desktop. So I tell it to stop syncing my desktop. Of course now all my desktop files DISAPPEAR. They only remain in dropbox. I have a ****ing 1TB SSD for quick access to my files, I do not want them in the cloud. So I see the fix is to simply copy the files back to the desktop from the iCloud folder. Ok, that fixed it. But WTF was Apple thinking? Obviously I don't want to sync some of the largest files on my Mac, and if it's on my desktop, it's because I want it right there available locally. Because of some syncing issue I had to dump my import as it was in progress and start again. What was most annoying about this is that I had no warning or indication about it. Sure sync my documents folder and keep the drive available to me I guess, but don't start auto-uploading stuff without my knowledge. This is the kind of file management automation that frustrates me about FCPX, (the now defunct) Aperture and iTunes. It's so hard to actually KNOW where something is located. Any other surprises in Sierra that will **** with my workflow?
     
  2. jdasikainen macrumors 6502

    jdasikainen

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Location:
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    #2
    when u first installed sierra it asked you if you wanted to sync your desktop and documents folders to iCloud. i unchecked these but i can see how others might of missed it.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2016 ---
    and i agree that it is a stupid feature. personally i don't keep files on the desktop pas i like a clean look i use folders on the dock but thats besides the point if i want something in the cloud il put it there myself.
     
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #3
    Desktop and Documents syncing was not turned on by default on any of the Macs where I installed Sierra. I have turned it on in two places, and it works as expected.

    A.
     
  4. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    This is why I'm very wary of the new space-saving features of Sierra, where Apple takes files off your local drive up into the cloud. The whole point of having files saved locally is that you have them saved (and backed up) locally. I don't want to have to download my own stuff when I need it.

    For what it's worth, I did see the option to sync my desktop to the cloud, and I made sure it was checked off (can't remember the default position).
     
  5. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #5
    It only applies to things in iCloud Drive, and only if you are running out of space. It is not like Apple is quietly moving random files into the cloud behind your back.

    A.
     
  6. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    Still, not a fan.

    If other people want to use it, then that's entirely their prerogative. I worry that it's there, though, because Apple have a history of arbitrarily changing default settings such that an auto-update to Sierra one day could turn it on without me knowing. I have a 2+TB movie library, and I don't want Apple plucking my ripped-from-BD files and replacing them with the iTunes version just because I haven't watched most of them in the last year.
     
  7. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #7
    I prefer to reserve my worries for real-life threats, like having a 16-ton weight fall on me as I walk down the street.
    /s

    A.
     
  8. baryon macrumors 68040

    baryon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    #9
    I suspected that this feature was going to be as dumb and useless as all the other times Apple did anything cloud-related, but wow, this does sound extremely stupid.

    I remember one time when they transitioned to having your Calendar and Contacts in iCloud, and it turned out that they would no longer sync with my old iPhone, so I turned the feature off which completely removed all my Calendar and Contacts data. So it uploaded it to iCloud and deleted it locally, but then there was no way to download it locally and turn off iCloud while keeping it all locally. Stupid as ****. Thankfully I restored everything with Time Machine, but it wasn't easy either because the place where these things reside is not very well known and there are a bunch of obscure .plist files that govern what happens.

    Anyway, since then I just follow this simple rule: If it has the word "iCloud" in it, then don't ever enable it because it will delete your stuff and there won't be a way to go back.
     
  9. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #10
    Just a fair warning, move all of your desktop and document files somewhere other than desktop or documents before you turn it off. I turned off iCloud Desktop sync in System Prefs last night and it deleted them from my desktop and documents and I lost both folders on my Mac. Poor implementation. I had to restore from a backup.
     
  10. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #11
    Of course it *tells* you this and reminds you that the files will be visible in iCloud drive (if you want to copy them to the local machine).

    A.
     
  11. jdasikainen macrumors 6502

    jdasikainen

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Location:
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    #12
    it is a stupid feature though i thin was they should of done off by default is user pickable folders can be auto synced to the cloud. like i wouldn't mind certin folders in documents being auto synced but not the whole folder and same on desktop if i actually put stuff on it.
     
  12. Voenix Rising macrumors member

    Voenix Rising

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    #13
    Remember how everything actually used to WORK with Apple before the CLOUD?
     
  13. sperdynamite thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #14

    Ugh yeah iCal and Contacts have next synced properly. I always end up with 2 of every notification. There shouldn't even be a "mac" calendar, and a "phone" calendar. It should just be my calendar account and it syncs to every device where I sign in. Instead I get double listings for every major holiday.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2016 ---
    Those threads seem the same but they are not actually what I am experiencing.
     
  14. Alrescha, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016

    Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #15
    What I remember is that when people started using iCloud Drive, some of the first complaints were "What do you mean the files still take up space on my computer?", along with all the usual Internet outrage.

    So Apple comes up with an interesting scheme to automatically handle this situation, and what do we hear? More of the same outrage. It is clearly a no-win situation.

    A.
     
  15. sperdynamite thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #16
    I guess I would have assumed that it would have simply made a back-up copy to iCloud of my files. But instead it seems to have just removed them which doesn't make any sense. I understand why someone might want to have a bunch of pages docs and pdfs in the cloud but raw photo files and 2k prores stuff? Yeah, no. I keep active projects on my desktop and then archive them to an external raid and dropbox when they're finished.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2016 ---
    It's the automation that is stupid. If I want to move something off-site to the cloud, then I will drag the file to that folder or save the file there. I don't want a sync setting doing this for me. If I delete a file from my cloud storage because I have it locally, I don't want the local copy disappearing because it's syncing. I can see how if you have a Macbook with not-much drive space that this would be a clever way of freeing up memory, but on an iMac I don't need that. I may have missed it during the Sierra install but if I did, then others are too. Apple could be more-clear on what it means to use iCloud drive.
     
  16. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #17
    To add to this and my prior statement, I selected this option, however, my documents ended up in the desktop folder in icloud and the documents folder, also in iCloud, was empty. I have no idea where my desktop items ended up in icloud.
     
  17. tomjleeds macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #18
    Jesus wept.

    If you ignore what the computer says to you, then yes, it will do things you don't expect. If you can't handle that, you probably need to go back to rubbing two sticks together to make fire.
     
  18. janezblond macrumors member

    janezblond

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #19
    That's a bit harsh, but I agree with the sentiment.

    As to the OP: the "default" use for the desktop is to be a temp repository of transient files, not a working directory for large projects.

    Apple intentionally syncs only the desktop and documents, which are expected to be small. Large files, such as media, is expected to reside in the other folders within a users home folder.

    Does everybody abide by Apple's system? Of course not. But Apple has a long history of not caring about unorthodox workflows when it comes to implementing new features/removing old features.

    Oh, and a simple fix to your problem would be using aliases to keep the actual big files off the desktop, but still have them easily accessible.
     
  19. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #20
    Then don't activate and use the feature? How hard can it be? Apple has been very clear about iCloud Drive with plenty of support articles and extensive media coverage - You just need to read what it does, instead of making up your own fantasy on how it works.
     
  20. baryon macrumors 68040

    baryon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    #21
    Even as a temp repository for transient files, those transient files can sometimes be huge. If iCloud attempts to upload anything larger than a few GB, it will take ages and the free storage will fill up. Nowadays a 3-6 GB folder is no big deal, there's no reason one should not drag a huge folder there even just temporarily.

    Examples: I reinstalled my dad's computer, stored his 120 GB of data on the desktop because it was going back on his computer a few hours later. Stored 20 GB of temporary video files on the desktop while I tested out a new camera. I kept these on the desktop to make sure I didn't forget about them and they didn't end up staying on my SSD for more than necessary.

    The point is, yes the desktop is for temporary files. But those temporary files could be of any size. So iCloud simply uploading everything from the desktop is just silly, especially because the files are temporary and by the time iCloud finished uploading them, you probably don't need them anymore anyway.
     
  21. janezblond macrumors member

    janezblond

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #22
    This is the part where it is debatable what the canonical usage of the desktop is. In my mind, the only thing that ever lands on the desktop are small (10MB or less) files and they never remain there for more than 5min (give or take).

    This will obviously depend on the workflow, but in my experience, every file I work on falls into one of 3 categories:
    • document I am using just to jot down something/calculate something/view something. I will not even save such a file in the first place.
    • document that I do not intend to keep long term, but do not want to discard right away. I will save such a file in its appropriate folder somewhere in my home directory/icloud, depending on what it is and tag it with a "Temporary" tag, so that I can easily find and remove it down the line.
    • document that I intend to keep long term. Same as the point above, but without the tagging.
    This means that the desktop serves only one purpose - as the drop-off point when I am juggling multiple files and sorting them out, before I can move them to their appropriate folder elsewhere.

    Again, I am not saying that what I do is the right way to do it, but Apple's implementation of iCloud syncing fits perfectly with how I do things.
     
  22. jboyzh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #23
    I've read quite a few articles, official stuff, and reviews about this new feature, and tried the feature on an unused account to understand a little how it works.

    The basic idea sounds nice, the actual implementation is a bit off, imho, but let me explain:

    - I can only select all or nothing, full Desktop and Documents or none. I'd prefer being able to choose a specific folder.
    - When making backups, I want to be sure what's in the set, what not. With iCloud (and automatic cleanup) interfering on important folders, I feel not that sure.
    - It easily can become very time consuming. Be it large files and folders syncing. Or more so if I decide to turn the feature off again, having to manually drag back my data.
    - I'd have to reorganize my Mac. I know it's not within Apple 'specs', but VMWare, Microsoft, Adobe etc. all populate the Documents folder. I wouldn't want all these files on my iPad.

    As it is now, I will not use iCloud Desktop and Documents on my Mac.
     
  23. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #24
    I read that iCloud Drive moves all your local files to a particular directory when you decide to turn desktop/documents sharing off: ~/Library/iCloud Drive (Archive). You can look for this location by going to Finder → ‘Go’ → (hold option key) → Library. It should be there.
     
  24. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #25
    Is this Apple's attempt at providing roaming profiles across your Apple devices? I don't really get the point of it, although do appreciate having the same profile when working across multiple devices in a corporate Windows environment.

    I don't really need that for me, and use my ownCloud server to keep the files I want synchronised across devices and shared externally. I actually want different applications and settings on my Apple devices, as I use them for different things, unlike the Windows machines as work where I'm using the same things whichever device.
     

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