Accomplishing some form of selective sync in iCloud ....?

Got an old MBA with a 128GB SSD, and about 350GB of data hanging out in iCloud. I’d like to be able to take this on the road and have maybe 40GB of that 350GB synced.

Is it feasible to let it start syncing, and then just do that “remove download” trick for stuff I don’t need as it goes? Will that be reliable long-term?

I absolutely don’t want it to try to manage things itself. I have certain, specified folders I need. I could do this with Dropbox, but honestly I’d rather be giving Apple the money instead of Dropbox.

Any thoughts?

AFAIK, even if you manually remove files there is nothing to prevent them from being downloaded again if you have space available on your drive.

In addition to Dropbox, this is possible with OneDrive, Google Drive, and some others. Google offers 100GB and 200GB plans if you don’t want to pay Dropbox for 2TB.

Just thinking out loud. To make it simple, could you have one 40 GB folder that syncs and another GB 310 folder that you do the “remove download”? I was thinking about this for myself for some archived stuff that I only want in the cloud and would only need in an emergency.

I remember Jason Snell complaining about this on Upgrade.

It uses it’s own rules to decide what to download/keep on device. so you could get something downloaded and a week later the logic decides you don’t need it and dumps the downloaded copy. there’s no way to control it.

With so little storage spare for downloads either it will delight you by having what you need available, or it will drive you mad.

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That’s exactly what I would be doing if I could get it to work in practice.

I wound up biting the bullet and just buying Dropbox. I was already paying Apple for the 2TB plan every month, so I’m going to move enough stuff over to Dropbox that I’ll fall under the iCloud 200GB tier and downgrade. Dropbox won’t be much more expensive than the savings I get on iCloud.

If Apple sorts this out in the future I have every intention of moving back. :slight_smile: