Scary iCloud Drive Experience!

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by SomeMacGuy, May 27, 2018.

  1. SomeMacGuy macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Nova Scotia
    I've been using Mac OS my whole life, starting off with System 6 as a young kid and being a savvy computer user my whole life, so I am no dummy when it comes to computers or how they function. I am completely shocked by what happened tonight and I had to share to hopefully prevent this from happening to other people.

    A few months ago my Time Capsule stopped working and tonight I realized that I am MONTHS into a no-backup situation. Yikes! I decided to use iCloud to back up my files as a stop-gap solution..

    I purchased more storage as directed and turned on the option to back up the Desktop. 24hrs later it had only uploaded about 3GB / 80GB, (we have 50mbps upload...What the heck?). Anyway, I wasn't willing to wait a month for it to finish so I turned it off. Boom, Finder crashes and relaunches with everything missing from my Desktop. No Desktop or Documents folders in the User directory. What. The. Hell?! I was legit freaking out thinking months of work had just gone poof.

    Turns out that they got moved to the iCloud Archive folder in my user folder, which I located a few panicked minutes later.

    What a HORRIBLE experience and what a poorly-thought-out setup! Files should never be deleted from the Mac or moved from their original location! Why do this?! I can kind of understand it from a seamless UX perspective but it's only seamless from Mac > iOS and leaves a sketchy situation on the Mac IMO.

    Meanwhile there are still tens of thousands of files being uploaded and downloaded in the background even with the Desktop / Docs backup option off and I'm afraid to do anything but let them finish. I have no idea where these are coming from or going to.

    Thanks if you made it to the end of this. Not surprised if most TLDR this post but it felt good to vent some stress and hopefully warn others that this feature can be dodgy and to please not attempt it without a physical backup!
  2. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    iCloud drive is a file syncing system and NOT a backup storage system. Buy an inexpensive USB drive to use for backups
  3. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    I can sympathize with the OP. Even though I am very aware that iCloud is really a syncing system and not a backup system, I think calling it a "Drive" gives many the impression that it is a storage location and therefore a potential backup location. Maybe they should have called it "iCloud Sync" to make it clearer what it's really for.
  4. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    I usually think the trend and why users thinks this way will only increase, as more cloud storage increases..

    Give everyone a better way to store "everything they want" now they can in 50Gig or above or cheap..

    Think 5 or 10 years ago,,, no one would have said that.. but today .... ?

    More bandwidth, faster internet, and more cloud storage at cheaper price... so why *would* you think otherwise?

    There is still no way to get away from the fact, local backup is always better, but that once known facts we knew 100%, is moving away the more Apple offers us.
  5. Lioness~ macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2017
    Never ever only rely on 1 backup. Can’t believe when I hear people rely on 1 backup.
    Disks are cheap, your data isn’t for you I hope.
    I recommend at least 3 backups/clones, out of different sorts. Even more is great.
    TimeMachine, CarbonCopyCloner etc.
    Preferable, you sync some of your data to external disks, cloud and places too.
  6. macrumors 604

    May 26, 2016
    Completely agree. I use iCloud for day to day stuff, Google photos for secondary photo backup, my home NAS drive for selected new and entire old backup and an external hard drive for my macs exclusively.
  7. bluecoast macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2017
    Sorry that happened to you OP.

    I’ve had a similar experience where I turned off iCloud Drive and didn’t see that its contents were moved to an archive drive, for a few seconds.

    In the spirit of Apple (reportedly) taking the time to make things work better this year, I really hope that they sort out iCloud Drive.

    Is it a back up? Not really. But sort of.

    Does it replicate a typical Mac file & folder storage set up? Sort of but it also tries to store certain document kinds in their own ‘folders’ (grab, numbers, pages etc) - except when it doesn’t.

    It’s a mess that isn’t really a back up, isn’t really a consistent reflection of cloud files on all of your iOS devices and can’t decide if it wants to have a ‘no file system’ approach or not.
  8. SomeMacGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks for the replies. I think iCloud Drive can be whatever Apple wants it to be, but it needs to be non-destructive on the Mac. The idea of moving local documents away from where they originated is scary for the end-user in this situation and is not necessary in any way for how iCloud Drive functions.

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