Turning off iCloud Drive for Documents and Desktop

My 2016 MBP seems super-slow. I already have all of my important data in my Dropbox folder (which I use as my major Documents folder). Can I safely turn off iCloud Drive syncing of Documents and Desktop, will it likely make my laptop faster, and is there a way to keep the local copies of everything and indeed delete the iCloud copies? Thanks, Andrew

Honestly I don’t think this is the reason why your Mac is slow. Does Activity Monitor show anything interessing?

Anyway, Apple have documented this solution on their website. The text below is from their knowledge base article: “Add your Desktop and Document files to iCloud Drive”.

Turn off Desktop and Documents

When you turn off Desktop & Documents Folders, your files stay in iCloud Drive and a new Desktop and Documents folder is created on your Mac in the home folder. You can move files from iCloud Drive to your Mac as you need them, or select all of your files and drag them to the place you want to keep them.

  1. From your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud.
  2. Next to iCloud Drive, click Options.
  3. Deselect Desktop & Documents Folders.
  4. Click Done.

If you turn off iCloud Drive or sign out of iCloud, you have the option to keep a local copy of your files that are in iCloud Drive. Whether you decide to keep a local copy or not, a new Desktop and Documents folder is created in your home folder. If you choose to keep a local copy, your files in iCloud Drive are copied to a folder called iCloud Drive (Archive) in your home folder. Then you have the option to move any files that were in your iCloud Desktop and Documents, back to your new local Desktop and Documents.