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macOS Mojave update deleted Documents/Desktop/Pictures/etc ?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
macOS Mojave Version 10.14

MacBook Pro (Retina, 13 inch, Mid 2014)
2.6 GHz Intel i5, 8GB DDR3 Ram

So I ordered a 480 GB SSD from OWC because I wanted to upgrade some space since the default 150 GB Drive is a joke to maintain.

Before it came, I dumped everything onto an external drive (via Time Machine). Current OS was High Sierra. When it came, I swapped the SSDs and booted up while holding cmd+R, so I can let Time Machine restore my data. It installed it with High Sierra, and soon after everything was running I upgraded to Mojave.

After like 2 days I notice my Desktop contents are completely gone, along with my Pictures and Documents folder.

I store a lot of my data on my Desktop (which is apparently a bad habit) so a lot of things don't function properly anymore, including my terminal's plugins/SDKs and pretty much any program that has to access data that was located on my Desktop.

I'm planning on just redoing a fresh install again. But I really want to know how to anticipate this kind of oddity. I don't mess with iCloud at ALL, but I think it was some sort of icloud feature enabled by default and stored data somewhere but it's quite literally gone.


macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
on the land line mr. smith.
There was another recent thread here.

Not resolved...not sure what the trigger was. As I mentioned there, on older OSes, this could be a sign of a damaged directory. The best tool to fix any directory issues used to be Disk Warrior, but it is pricey...and they don't have a product for the current APFS file system.

There could be other explanations too...may not be a directory issue. It just used to be easy to rule out hardware and directory in one ease step on the old file system. As if now, we don't have a handy tool anymore (none that I am aware of).

It's not it? That would be a nice surprise. A couple tips here, but sounds like not relevant.


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a cloned backup.
Your data will "be there" when you need it.


Feb 17, 2008
Fort Worth, Texas
After like 2 days I notice my Desktop contents are completely gone, along with my Pictures and Documents folder.

You likely chose to store them in the cloud. (System Preferences, iCloud, iCloud Drive, Desktop and Documents Folder box is checked.) With all the moving around of data you did, the Desktop and Documents were lost because you failed to back them up first.
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