iCloud Drive Documents

macOS X has had iCloud Drive document storage capabilities for a while now. With each iteration of the OS, iCloud functionality improves. I have finally arrived at the decision to store all my photos in the Cloud, thus making them available on all my devices. However, when it comes to Documents, I have taken a modified approach.

iCloud Drive Preferences

You can control what and how you use iCloud Drive in the iCloud Pref Pane:

After entering the iCloud Pref Pane, click on iCloud Drive Options in the list:

The next screen lists all the Apps on your Mac that are capable of storing documents and data in iCloud:

I usually go through and uncheck a bunch of them, YMMV. Now, take a look at the very first item in the list, Desktop & Documents Folders. If you wish to store all items from your Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud Drive, then check that box. I have the space on my iCloud setup to do this, but I just don’t need it. I prefer to manually store certain items on my iCloud Drive. So, why put stuff there at all? So you can access them from other devices and even other computers if you need to do so. Let me show you an example of my workflow using this method.

iCloud Drive Workflow

Here is my iCloud Drive on my iMac in macOS High Sierra:

The iCloud Drive is mounted in the Finder sidebar, when you click on it your files and folders are displayed. I have placed a copy of 101 Mac Tips by Gary Rosenzweig of Macmost Video Tutorials on my iCloud Drive. This is a great book by the way, I highly recommend it if you wish to learn more about macOS X and Safari.

Sometimes I want to do some research in this book on my iPad. I may be in another room of the house for instance or even traveling out of town. Because the file is on my iCloud Drive, I can access it anywhere. If you are using an iPad to do this just tap on the new Files App (wherever it may be on your iPad):

You will be taken to a screen similar to this:

In this case I tapped on iCloud Drive and the 101 Mac Tips book appeared! Magic! If I tap on the book, it opens to wherever I left off on the Mac:

So, I can read it on my iPad and/or on my Mac. If we apply this logically (occasionally I slip into my logical Vulcan mode), I can work on writing and editing a document on my Mac and then continue on my iPad. The possibilities are endless really.


Are you using the iCloud Drive and if so, how? Some people do not trust their documents to the cloud. However, if you are considering using iCloud Drive for your files and folders, I say go ahead. You may start off full bore with everything up there or you may prefer to use it piecemeal like I do.