Sierra iCloud Drive Storage

One of the new features in macOS Sierra is Desktop and Documents Folder storage in iCloud Drive. This may or may not be a good feature for you depending on how much iCloud Drive storage you have and how many places you need to access these folders.


iCloud Drive Storage

Desktop and Documents Folder storage is on by default in macOS Sierra. Here is how Apple describes it:

Now your Desktop and Documents folder — where most files are saved — can be automatically stored and updated in iCloud Drive. So you can always access them, including on a second Mac. No more wondering, “Where did I save that?” The answer is everywhere.

This feature would be helpful if you were frequently on the road. It is somewhat useful in a home office environment like mine. There are times when working on my MacBook Air that I need something from my iMac Desktop. I can just login to iCloud Drive and download it, pretty cool. However, there is a price to pay here. If you have a lot of stuff on your Desktop or in your Documents Folder, your iCloud storage is going to fill up. No problem if you have lots of space on your iCloud Drive. If you are pressed for space on your iCloud Drive you may wish to turn off this feature.

To turn iCloud Drive off or on you need to access iCloud in System Preferences:


Once inside iCloud Preferences click on iCloud Drive Options:


You will be presented with this window:


You can uncheck the box for Desktop & Document Folders to turn it off. Here is what it looks like if you login to your iCloud account and click on iCloud Drive:

Click for larger image

Additional Considerations

This all seems simple enough. However, as I see it, there are problems. I pay for 200GB of storage in my iCloud account. That works fairly well for my current needs. If I use the macOS Sierra Desktop & Documents Storage feature, my iCloud account would be full, or it would not have enough room. I would have to upgrade to a 1 TB iCloud account.

Have you looked at a 1 TB iCloud account? It is $10 a month, $120 a year! As far as I am concerned that is pretty pricey. There is cheaper storage out there. Using the iCloud Drive storage is nice because it is so tightly integrated with macOS and iOS, but we are getting to a point of diminishing returns here.

The bottom-line for me is this. I am going to turn off the Desktop & Documents Storage feature when I upgrade to macOS Sierra. Perhaps Apple will lower their storage prices a bit like they did about a year ago. If they do I might consider using the Desktop & Documents Storage feature. Until then, I think “off” is the preferable setting for me. How about you?


The macOS Sierra iCloud Drive Desktop & Documents Storage is a nice feature. It may be a must-have for some people. I recommend using it judiciously depending on how much stuff you have in those two folders versus how much storage on your iCloud account.