*Still* not clear about iCloud drive backup!

Yes, this is what I do. But I recommend having a local backup via CarbonCopyCloner or Time Machine as well.

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Please report back! I am considering moving from Dropbox to iCloud in a few weeks.

What information are you hoping to have reported back?
I made this transition a little over a year ago – almost everything moved from Dropbox to iCloud Drive (some things live in Dropbox because that’s where collaborators work, or because I need to share a folder), optimize storage OFF.
Backed up to Time Machine, CCC, and BackBlaze. With optimize storage OFF anything in iCloud Drive remains on the local disk and available for backing up.

It’s really been friction free. While once in a blue moon I miss the versioning that Dropbox offers, it’s so very rare that I need that feature and the day-to-day seamlessness of the integration outweighs the periodic lack of versioning.

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Cool. Mostly I’m concerned about relative sync speed. I’ll be keeping optimize turned off, with backup to BackBlaze. My understanding is that BackBlaze checksums and I won’t need to re-upload it all if I just move it around my local HD.

I do have a few important text files (TaskPaper docs) where Dropbox versioning has saved my skin but I think I can keep these in DB and be well under the free limit.

Does iCloud Drive allow full text search on iOS devices?

Sync speed with iCloud Drive seems comparable to Dropbox. At least, if there is any difference one way or another, it hasn’t impacted me and my use. Mostly I’m storing PDFs and smaller text documents. It’s been fairly smooth sailing.


Are you sure? When I search in Files app it only seems to hit based on file names, not content.

I’ve been looking at options and it seems Google Drive and OneDrive are the only major cloud services that allow full-text search, and only in their own apps. DB does but at the $200/yr level which is not appealing.

I have never found a way to do full text searches on IOS. Of course, it could just be a case of “I’m doing it wrong”.

When searching for a replacement for Evernote, I uploaded several types of files (txt,pdf,rtf, etc.) to both iCloud & Google Drive. Almost immediately after syncing I was able to find files on Google drive (using their app) by searching for keywords that appeared within the document, but not in the filename. I was never able to locate them on iCloud by searching for the contents of a file (in Files or IOS Spotlight), even days after they were uploaded.

Recently I was searching for a document containing the name of a friend, the Google Drive app prompted me with a “Did you mean:” suggestion when I mistyped his last name. I’ve been very pleased with G Drive.

Yeah…but…I don’t really want to use Google services any more than I need to. I wouldn’t be comfortable with them indexing everything I upload.

You’re right, actually. I guess between effective file naming for searches in the files app and DEVONthink To Go, which DOES do content search I never failed, and forgot that Files doesn’t search contents!

My wife and I made the move about 6 months ago from separate Dropbox accounts to iCloud 2 Tb with family sharing. I moved to iCloud Photo Library at the same time (from Lightroom and files & folders).
I haven’t seen any measurable sync speed or other side effects (but I haven’t measured either).
The 2 key functionalities I really miss are folder sharing and the option to choose the location of the root folder (I use a MacMini as a server with DropBox running on it too so that I had a second physical copy; due to the migration, I couldn’t keep the sync files on an external drive and I had to upgrade the internal 128 Gb SSD to 1 Tb). There is no selective folder synching either but I don’t miss that.
Key upside (other that the cost in our case) is the the simplicity: iCloud takes care of everything across all devices, no need for 3rd party apps.
I wouldn’t go back.

Backblaze will be able to back-up your all your iCloud content if “Optimize Mac storage” is turned off. I’ve been using Backblaze even before I had iCloud Drive. When iCloud Drive launched, I moved all my working documents/files so it would all synch to my work MacBook Pro. So if I needed to work on any files, I don’t need to take home my office Mac and work on my home Mac instead.

Just don’t treat your iCloud Drive as a backup though. I’d still recommend having another backup solution for all your files. I usually move files that are for archiving away from iCloud when I no longer need instant access on it. So backing up a separate back-up drive to backblaze works. If I needed that file, I can just get it thru backblaze when I don’t have access with my hard drive.

Yes, good point. This is how I have been working on Dropbox at the moment.

One of the things that appeals to me about iCloud is cross-platform tag syncing, but unfortunately Backblaze doesn’t preserve tags on restore. Dropbox syncs them between Macs but not to iOS.

So you are saying to “uncheck”, Optimize Mac Storage, resulting in it being turned off? Outcome, Everything will be back up on Backblaze? But if you leave it turned on, what is the outcome?

If you leave Optimize Mac Storage on, Backblaze will only back up whatever iCloud data happens to be stored on your local disk.

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If you have it turned on/checked (meaning Optimized Mac Storage is selected), it will only back up files that are stored locally on your hard drive. Files that are optimized by the setting turned on will not be backed up since those files are not stored locally on your hard drive.

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So if its uncheck, Backblaze will back up everything from iCloud and on my hard drive on my MacBook?

If it’s unchecked, macOS will keep copies of all your iCloud Drive files on your computer. Backblaze should back all of these up.

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BackBlaze will not TOUCH anything only on iCloud (or network storage), period. It backs up your local hard drive content (minus macOS, apps, and temp files). They are very clear about this:

This is why many of us do not use Optimized iCloud Storage, and why we also clone our drives with an app like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner. (With a cloned-backup system drive you’re back up in a matter of moments if your main macOS drive dies, for example, and with a clone you also don’t have to re-download apps as part of a restore.)

Hi Chris: I made the change, and it is a big thanks to you. Please see screenshot! Thanks again for your incredible help and expertise. Hope you and your family have a relaxing Thanksgiving.

This is an interesting follow up thread about backing up iCloud drive local folder to Backblaze (it is about how to find the iCloud Drive folder in the file system).