iCloud and iCloud Drive Gremlins - Old News 🙂

This is my whinge in 4 bullet points, but you can read on, … :slight_smile:

  • black box nature of system problematic
  • limited information on how this works
  • stalls too often re Desktop and Documents sync
  • Mobile Documents folder in library a hot mess

I was fairly late to use the iCloud sync for Desktop and Documents but having ticked the box I found it a convenient way of referencing or sourcing files when travelling or similar. This is not something I use a lot but of course when I do it can be save dramas from developing.

The problem is however that I have had three occasions when the Desktop and Documents thing just jammed up and it seemed to stop some but not all iOS apps syncing with my iMac. I tried the standard solutions ( and a lot of time) to get iCloud working again without success. I was resigned to going to the genius bar to get some back door solution but some travelling delayed that.

When I returned home I noted the little iCloud progress operating indicating there was some activity. I tried turning back on Desktop and Documents sync. Next morning everything was working as it should, … though of course I did not have a clue why or what happened.

When I was trying to get this working again I would have been happy to exercise a nuke option and empty out all my iCloud data and start from scratch but is this possible. I even contemplated starting with a new Apple ID. I know a number of experts have had issues with iCloud and say never again.

The black box nature of iCloud is a real problem. It is your data, but you seemingly only have a general idea of what’s actually in iCloud. Search the web and Apple’s forums and there is very limited material on iCloud which often ends if you have problems call Apple! Like many I would like iCloud to be more or less my only cloud service, but its hard to trust something that gets indigestion and goes on the missing list. I never have this problem with other cloud services.

To round this off I had a look at the state of my mobile documents library folder. It has 170 plus top level folders - many of them duplicated (sometimes triplicated) and obsolete - a kind of listing of many of the iOS Apps I have tried over the years and discarded. Many most of these obsolete folder presumably can be deleted without issues. Is there a correct way to clean this stuff or does this cruft just grow, grow and grow?

So what’s the answer to these problems?

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Based on my experience, and that reported by others on this forum, iCloud works perfectly for some and occasionally for others. All we know for sure is it runs on servers operated by Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Why it stalls out and what can been done about it is the subject of much discussion and conjecture. The answer, if there is one, is known only to Apple and they aren’t talking. And yes, mobile documents in the Library is a hot mess. The folders created by apps cannot be deleted.

I find iCloud sync works just fine for syncing Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Messages, Drafts, and a somewhat limited number of Notes. Regular files tend to sync when they feel like it so I primarily use iCloud to transfer files from my iPad to my Mac - where they are removed from iCloud and filed by Hazel.

IMO, accept iCloud as is or choose another service.


iCloud syncing has always been rock solid for me.

I agree with you however with the “mobile documents folder”, and don’t understand why there couldn’t be a simpler folder structure (surely that would be simpler to program!).

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