MacOS Desktop & Documents Sync via iCloud

Does anyone have positive or negative experience using iCloud Desktop & Documents sync?

I’ve recently started relying more heavily on using an iPad as a replacement for my MacBook. I’m wondering if it would help with retrieving documents - or if I should just move everything inside my iCloud folder.

In the past, I’ve been reluctant to use the Desktop & Documents sync for fear of losing data.

Thanks much.

I’ve been using icloud Desktop and Document sync for over a year with no issues. To head off potential future headaches I strongly recommend regular backups of your Mac. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to keep a bootable clone of my mac up-to-date weekly at a minimum.

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To me the downside with Documents & Desktop sync is that Apple will pick and choose what to retain offline access to automatically when that feature is on. I’m currently using it, but find myself having to download files I need a lot more regularly than I thought I would. So if you primarily have a good internet connection you should be fine, but if you work offline a good bit, I wouldn’t do it.

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I switched to iCloud from Dropbox over a year ago and love it. My iMac is set to keep a copy of everything locally. My MBP is set to only keep things I’m using. However when I set iCloud sync up I then manually downloaded every folder I thought I wanted locally to ensure I’d not run into downloads any more than minimally. I almost never need to download anything (i.e. iCloud is keeping it sync’d). You can tell it to download a whole folder so it is quick to set it up that way if you wish. There is a little iCloud download icon shown on anything that isn’t local.

iOS has to download at times because it is not sync’ing 100% of the time in the background and also my iOS devices lack space to keep everything local.


I never used the desktop & documents feature because I found iCloud sync too unpredictable. Sometimes items placed in an iCloud folder sync almost immediately, other times new items would not start to sync for an hour or longer. Both Dropbox & Google Drive sync immediately. I never lost any data with iCloud, but now only use it for iWork, etc.

Been using it for a few months and absolutely love it. I keep everything locally on my MBP and just download files on my iPad when needed. Haven’t encountered any problems. I have also gone all,in with Photos in iCloud. Space isn’t a big issue as my documents folder is about 25gb in size and my Photos library is 40gb.

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