Why don't folders created in Files on iPad show up on Mac?

I’ve seen postings using Google on this topic, but they seemed to be related to Swift developers having trouble using iCloud, not from someone having trouble with the native Mac apps. Hoping someone can direct me on this…

I have not been using iCloud Drive for much other than storing files created in the native apps to date, but decided today it might make sense to make more use of it.

Using the Files app on iPad, I created a folder and stored two downloaded files in it. When I look at the iCloud Drive on my Mac, I do not see that folder (or, of course, the files in it). When I check on iCloud.com, however, the folder and contained files are there.

I don’t see any setting in Preferences that would govern this behavior.

Of note, checking in /Library/Mobile Documents does not show that this folder is there, so it does not appear that Finder is not displaying something that is there, but rather that the folder is not being downloaded from iCloud.

If it matters, I created the folder at the “top level” in iCloud…which I assumed would be ok, but perhaps there is another place in iCloud Drive that you need to put folders that you create?


I sync my Documents and Desktop to iCloud so I usually create folders there. Not near my MBP right now so I can’t see what it does for me.

The location for files created in the files app should not matter, they should sync regardless. Apps are still (somewhat) sandboxed on iCloud drive, the native files app is not.

I’d consider logging out of icloud, and logging back in on your mac to trigger a full sync. It sometimes can take some time to sync when other icloud items like photos are clogging up the process.

1 Like

Yup. “Turn it off and on again” is standard Apple troubleshooting advice for iCloud sync problems.

I just hope you don’t have the problem I had with my MacBook Pro. Basically, iCloud worked 100% on every device I own and mostly on the MBP. The only problem on the MBP was anything I created there never made it to the cloud. That fault was 100% reliable, reproducible, and survived multiple wipe and clean install actions both of Catlina and High Sierra (the machine’s original OS).

That was late November last year. In April I gave up on Apple and wiped and sold it. I figure it was a combination of my account and the machine ID (so new owner would not have problems if they used iCloud), although Apple swore the machine ID could not be a factor. How could it not be, though?

I find, and I see it confirmed by others, that iCloud is sometimes slow to sync. Not much you can do about it or to figure out the cause of the slowness, sadly. As suggested @zkarj, log out and re-log-in.

Thanks all. I tried just turning off iCloud syncing and turning it back on, and that seemed to fix things. I did not have to fully log out of iCloud, at least.