Backing up iCloud folders -- pseudo-folders

n.b. I don’t have ‘keep my stuff in the cloud’ turned on.

I am trying to use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy all files and folders from iCloud Drive to an external SSD. The issue I have is that some of the folders seem to be pseudo-folders, while others are real. In the first image below, the folders for apps (the ones with an icon) are the pseudo-folders. In fact, if I right-click on them, there isn’t a Get Info option. The other folders (without an icon, such as Curio) are ‘real’ and CCC copies them to the SSD (see second image).

How can I back up all of my iCloud files and folders?



It looks like perhaps the files actually live in /Users/john/Library/Mobile Documents, but they look like a mess when backed up. I don’t know if they would be serviceable if restored.


I’d recommend asking Bombich. I’ve found Mike to be very responsive.

1 Like

As @ronguest said, Bombich was very prompt in their response.

Rob C.
Rob C. (Bombich Software)
Aug 6, 4:12 PM EDT


It’s a Finder illusion, unfortunately. If you boot from the backup it would look as it does on the source and a full restore would work as well.

You can recover a document from the backup by dragging it from the backup to a folder in the iCloud folder but you can not restore by dragging one of the oddly named folders from the backup to the production drive.

Because of the way the macOS and Finder displays the data it is more confusing that it should be, but the data is there and recoverable.

Best wishes,

Bombich Software, Inc.