Missing iCloud Drive folders

Over the last 3-4 month I have lost 3 project sub folders (ie iCloudDrive:@projects\project1\subfolder) for no apparent reason. My @projects folder was indexed by DEVONthink so I removed the indexing in case that was the cause. Since then I’ve had 2 more subfolders go missing.

I have good backups and have just restored from time machine but it’s still concerning. I’ve also logged all devices off iCloud and then back before the last loss.

I’d be really grateful for any ideas to stop this problem recurring - thanks!

This has not happened to me but I am in the middle of moving all of my Dropbox folders to iCloud so your story is concerning. Please post if you find a resolution.

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I’ve been trying to move from Dropbox to iCloud for the past few months and have had lots of little ‘paper cuts’ – nothing as bad as losing entire folders, but a whole host of small issues (including moving files from one place to another, and then finding they exist in two places).

I finally decided to abandon the idea. I’m sticking with Dropbox for at least another year.

I don’t love paying for another service that feels like I should be able to replace it, but in my experience Dropbox just works more reliably and more clearly.

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I’ve had a similar experience sadly. Plus being able to say “this folder shouldn’t be stored on my Mac” vs “this one should” is more of a repetitive stab than a papercut.

Thank you for your feedback, it is a horrible feeling to find a folder has vanished.

I’d signed up for a free month of Dropbox plus to kick the tyres on Notebooks 10, so I think I’ll go ahead and subscribe for a year and move my current data there.

I’m a little besotted with Notebooks now, so it’s not a duplication as NB10 won’t sync via iCloud.

I’m interested in hearing more about your experiences or insights.

I have been conflicted for quite a while, trying to determine which cloud service to use. My businesses are in G Suite, but Google Drive’s desktop client is pretty bad.

I could switch to OneDrive & O365, but syncing files on desktop sends my resource usage thru the roof. Not sure why, but it is a little worrisome when CPU is always at 100%. Of course, that could be just during the initial 1-2 month break-in period. I also don’t really like the file name restrictions that Microsoft dictates.

I have used Dropbox in the past. Only bad experiences where when they truncated file names on iOS. That made it a non-starter for me, but I think they have improved that issue.

iCloud has been my main driver for a while. Fairly stable, very quick on the desktop. However I really don’t like the offline access challenges on iOS. I also worry, maybe innately, about aligning my business use with a company that is so much consumer-only focused.

Sorry for rambling. Just been trying to solve this Gordian Knot for a long time. Appreciate any thoughts, including from anyone else who has wrestled with this situation

Did you log into iCloud.com and see if the files are there?

FWIW, I have been entirely on iCloud for over a year and have yet to see any bad behavior. I made the switch because I wanted to be able to bookmark folders in iOS apps like TextTastic and iAWriter and Scriptable. No other main stream cloud provider supports this yet (not Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc.).


Yup iCloud doesn’t offer as many features and or universal support across platforms. But it’s works and it’s secure enough for most users.

One Drive would be my last option.
Its a pain and I receive very frequent request to disable it.

Yes, the last 2 times I tried iCloud.com as I’d done some research into lost files, but the folder had gone from there too. All 3 lost folders were for slow burn projects and were only accessed every few weeks.

I’ve also used iCloud Drive for a couple of years since getting an iPad Pro. I’ve had no problems until the last 3-4 months when this started.

I’m interested to know, is your folder structure fairly shallow? Mine was, until I moved project support out of DEVONthink into iCloud Drive to allow better access for using the iPad. My experience was that problems occurred in more deeply nested folders.

Wanna hear a really terrible iCloud experience?

I had a MacBook Pro, a Mac mini, an iPad mini, and an iPhone. I put one of the early Catalina betas on the MacBook Pro because my primary Mac was the mini. I had the expected weird problems with the betas including some with iCloud. Come October I put the final release on it and removed the beta profile.

Over the next month or so things didn’t seem right with iCloud sometimes and I eventually contacted the folks at Ulysses as to why their app was not syncing properly. Those fine folks dug into my problem at considerable depth and declared that iCloud appeared to be “stuck” and that Ulysses was at its mercy, so I should try the usual troubleshooting steps for that.

I started trying to nail down exactly what was happening, and it was this. Every single action I took on any part of iCloud Drive on any device was instantly (<5s) replicated to every other device — except any file I created or modified on the MacBook Pro never left the device. Any other action you can think of would work. Any action on a device other than the MacBook Pro would sync everywhere including to the MacBook Pro. Any folder created or renamed on the MacBook Pro would replicate everywhere.

So I did the obvious next thing. I wiped the SSD and reinstalled Catalina from the internet. Same problem. I rang Apple in late November to open a ticket. I did all sorts of stuff to illustrate to them what I had already worked out and to collect endless (and repetitive) logs. Always it was “sent to engineering.” Always there were never any updates unless I chased them up. And when I did, inevitably more logs would be collected.

During one round of discussions with Apple they had me again wipe the SSD and reinstall Catalina. In the meantime I had gone full nuclear on it and tried an SSD wipe followed by a High Sierra install (the original that came with the device). Every. Single. Time. The. Exact. Same. Problem. Exactly the same.

At one point I suggested to my “senior adviser” (who would later change jobs and dump my case without handing it over to anyone) that “it must surely be the iCloud server having a problem with my machine ID.” He said no they do not use machine identifiers. I call BS on that — what else could it be that survives mutliple different macOS version installs and only affect specific operations?

I eventually solved the problem by wiping and selling the MacBook Pro and buying an iPad Pro, which I adore. I left the call open with Apple though… I’m still waiting on them to get back to me. 6 months after I last spoke to them and 10 months after I opened the ticket.

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Regarding my file structure: Most of my files are about 4 levels deep, though there are some that are 7 or more levels deep. It also gets pretty broad at level 3.

Don’t jinx me please :wink:

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