Help - How do I keep multiple Macs in sync?

I have 3 Macs

  1. iMac Pro that I use at work
  2. 15" MacBook Pro that I use at home
  3. 13" MacBook Air that goes in my grab and go laptop (Starbucks, Library)

What I’d like to have is the same desktop, same settings, same environment on all of these. Documents are not an issue since these are in sync through iCloud/Gdrive.


  1. I add a new mailbox in my mail app at work. It is only available on that machine. I have to recreate the mailbox two more times so it is available on the other two machines.

  2. I add an app from the App Store or from Setapp to one machine, I’d like the same app to be available on the other 2.

  3. I create an automator script and want it available across my devices.

The list goes on. But basically, I want to be in the same exact environment, with the same settings, regardless of which machine I am on. I’ve thought of RDP, but it will not always be fast enough.

Thanks for all of your help, in advance. Have a great day!

1 Like

I’m not sure you’re going to be able to get everything you want. Some initial thoughts:

Others here will know far better than I whether this is possible with Apple Mail. Spark and Airmail will both handle that for you.

For Apps purchased from the App Store, it’s not a problem. Just be sure you’re signed in with the same Apple ID on each device. You’ll have to download the app on each device of course, but it’ll be available to you everywhere.

SetApp is a different matter. Its license limits you to use on either two machines (regular subscription) or on just one (academic subscription).

I’m not entirely familiar with Automator, but assuming that scripts can live anywhere, I’d think this could be solved by storing the script in a location you already have syncing across devices.

Automator has it’s own iCloud folder so the scripts will be on every machine you sync with automato, as far as you save them in that (default) location. You might need to reinstall (or sort) those on the synced machines


thanks, @acavender!

I am using Apple Mail, but will look into the other options you mentioned. As for SetApp, I am paying an extra $5, I believe, to use it on an additional laptop.

I was hoping to have a wholistic solution and not have to patch individual items. I just listened to MPU Episode #532 on BetterTouchTool and started using it. This is another app that I’d have to mirror across machines.

Ah. I didn’t realize that was an option; I’m glad to see SetApp makes that available.

You can sync BTT profiles with cloud services, but you need to reload them manually when you make changes on other machines (and frankly, I find the dialog box for that confusing).

For mailbox syncing between devices I would recommend using an IMAP folder on your server. I’m pretty sure local mailboxes in Apple Mail don’t sync by design.

1 Like

IMAP — of course! Where is my brain this morning?

1 Like

Finally! This is the first positive comment I have witnessed regarding MobileMe.

I purchased MobileMe with my first Mac (probably in late 2009) and regarded it as an unmitigated mess. I actually tried without success to obtain a refund. It’s nice to hear that someone found a modicum of value in MobileMe.

I liked it too, although screen sharing, which I really wanted to be bulletproof, just wasn’t reliable enough. By contrast, e.g., Jump Desktop has been amazing.

Make sure you are using IMAP or exchange and are not creating folders “on this Mac”

Open the App store on your Mac(s)
Applications > Preferences: Check automatic updates and automatic downloads…

Enable iCloud Drive and check all the options you will have a Automator folder that is sychronised via iCloud. Make sure you store your scripts in this default folder.

Documents / Desktop and other folders will sync via iCloud. Make sure you merge all the individual desktop folders into the main iCloud desktop folder. The same goes for documents and other folders you might have created in iCloud.

iCloud Keychain will take care of most of it.

I was going to say something but MacExpert covered everything I was going to say,

Syncing my documents and desktop to iCloud has been great to use with Dikes on my iPad.