Download iCloud for Windows and Enjoy These Amazing Features
If you turned on iCloud Drive using iCloud for Windows on a PC, you can pin a file or folder to keep it downloaded to your device. Any changes you make to the file will automatically upload to iCloud Drive when you're back online.
I am making this post because I was absolutely infuriated to find my MacBook Pro with its 512GB SSD tried to download my entire 1.2TB iCloud Drive. I did not need these files on my Macbook and just wanted to use it as an archive or Cloud drive (like every other major player allows you). I have read through countless posts and articles and had hour-long conversations with the apple support.
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Most of the Stuff you find online (including Reddit) goes along the lines of "but that is not how it works" and "This is not an archive" and so on. And it is just so wrong. It is another huge oversight from Apple, nothing more. In its default behavior, it just fills up your SSD and constantly downloads files senselessly. The Fun part is, iCloud Drive itself only behaves like that on Mac. On iPhone and iPad, it works just like all the other cloud services and only download files on demand or if you set a specific folder or subdirectory to be synced at all times. Even iCloud for Windows does it this way.
After iCloud is completely done indexing and downloading the files it deems necessary (we cannot prevent that. We need to let iCloud Drive download at least the more recent files it deems necessary or to stop due to storage constraints) *1 you'll want to go to the settings and disable the optimize Mac storage option. iCloud will now (if it hasn't already) start a download of all the files in your drive to the Mac. Let that sit for 2-5 minutes to make sure all the files have been "found" and all it does is downloading.
Copy/paste without quotation marks "find . -type f -exec brctl evict \; ". What this does, is mark every file in your cloud drive with the "remove download" order. Depending on the size of your cloud drive, this may take a while. (5 min for me with slightly over a TB on an M1 Pro) and hit Enter.
*1This actually isn't entirely true. What we really need, Is for iCloud to finish indexing the files. You can see that by clicking the little "I" symbol in the circle next to iCloud Drive in Finder. As soon as the number of files that iCloud thinks it needs to download has stopped going up for about one minute, you should be good to go, the download does not matter.
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Upon reactivation iCloud Drive is not making any progress with the download... files are not reappearing.. folders neither..The 'expert' said that if I paste the iCloud Drive (Archive) folder inside it will only create duplicates.
If you have lots of files (10+ GB can cause this to start happening) it can take hours (or days) before the files show up, even though they haven't even started downloading. In this time sync will not finish. If you have just enabled iCloud drive (either on a new computer or because you had turned it off) and you have a lot of files, trying to leave it plugged in etc. may help it go faster. Do not try to turn it off and then on, because it'll just start over.
I use iCloud Drive to share files between MacBook Pro and iPhone. Syncing change from Mac to iPhone is fine but the opposite is not. When I change something on my Mac the changes are reflected on my iPhone automatically. When I change/add a file from the iPhone, the changes are not automatically downloaded on the Mac.
When there is a new file added from the iPhone, the Mac shows the new file in Finder. However, the file content is not downloaded. It shows the solid-outline cloud item next to it. Hovering the icon shows Downloading tooltip. It never downloads though unless I click Download Now from the context menu. This behavior happens consistently across all files and folders; whether the file is created manually in Finder or through apps such as Obsidian.
Since several Apple users also work on other platforms, the company opened up the iTunes store for Windows. This allowed users to download and access the much-coveted iCloud service. As a cloud storage application, Apple iCloud lets users access photos, videos, contacts, notes, messages, and emails across multiple devices simultaneously.
When you complete iCloud download on your Windows 10 and below computer, you can access all pictures and videos stored on your iOS devices. You can also create albums and share them with anyone that you like. The application also syncs comments or notes on images and videos.
iCloud download for Windows is a well-designed and feature-rich application that integrates well with the Apple ecosystem. However, the cloud storage app is only suitable for users who own an Apple device like an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Users also need an Apple ID to use the application. Once the setup is complete, users can easily access their photos, videos, contacts, messages, emails, notes, and more across different devices, including Microsoft Windows. The app is free to download and a great cloud storage option for Apple users.
To manage your iCloud storage on a Windows machine, you need to download and install iCloud for Windows from the Windows Store. This free software lets you choose which apps to sync with your PC, view your storage usage, and turn on iCloud Drive for File Explorer.
Now open a new File Explorer window and click iCloud Drive from the Quick Access navigation menu. You should be able to view, edit, download, or delete any files in your iCloud Drive account in the same way you would with other files on your computer.
With the release of iOS 13, Apple added a Download Manager to the mobile version of its Safari browser that's similar to the one found in Safari for Mac and Safari for Windows. It helps you keep track of any currently downloading files and can be used to navigate to the storage location of your downloads.
The Downloads screen in Safari settings also includes an option to Remove Download List Items automatically After one day (the default), Upon successful download, or Manually.
This is useful if you work with multiple computers. You can sync these folders between several Macs, access their contents from the Files app on an iPhone or iPad, and even get at your documents using a browser when logged into icloud.com.
Since downloads can eat into your iCloud storage, clear out the folder often. When the folder is open in List view, Ctrl-click a column header and add a Date Added column to arrange files by date, and then delete or archive older ones. Also consider creating a Smart Folder to quickly get at files larger than, say, 10MB.
Controlling apps: Many third-party apps want to use iCloud Drive to store their own data. This is useful for some apps you plan to use across all your systems, but may not always be what you want. To control which apps can store data to your online drive:
To check, login to your account online at www.icloud.com and tap Settings. At the top of the next page, you should see Time Zone/Region, which should state where you are. If it doesn't, you can change this and the time zone problem will be resolved across all your devices.
I've solved this by myself.I'll check whether my backup file is available and if it needs to be downloaded. If so, I'll start the download and inform the user to check back in a few seconds. Not the best solution, but for now it works.
Another straightforward way to hasten the download is to turn on and off the Airplane mode on your iPhone. While turning off the Airplane mode deactivates your phone network or any Wi-Fi connection, turning it back on helps refresh and reestablish wireless or mobile data connection.
Rebooting your iPhone helps clear its RAM and give it a start over. Cluttered RAM sometimes causes apps to freeze. And this might also affect the iCloud file download process since the Files app is also an iPhone app.
So while you might not know the root cause of iCloud files not downloading, Apple Support provides the possible causes and might proffer a solution. Ensure you contact Apple Support using all due process to get a prompt response.
I'm currently working on switching to the latest version of Mac OS - Catalina. A recent iOS version introduced a "Downloads" feature for Safari, and added a dedicated "Downloads" folder to iCloud drive, which is used for stuff you download using Safari.I assumed that new Downloads folder would be supported by Catalina as well, but while setting up my new system I realized I was wrong. The Downloads folder on my Mac does not sync to iCloud Drive out of the box.
The alternative is not much better: changing the default download folder of all apps (browsers, mail, etc.). And there's a catch, again tied to AirDrop: it seems you can't change the folder AirDrop downloads files to.
I have two Macs which share my iCloud Drive: my main working iMac running Sierra, and a MacBook Air running High Sierra. They behave quite differently with respect to the contents of iCloud Drive, in that the iMac seems to keep a complete local copy of that, so copying a file from it is almost instantaneous. But the MacBook Air leaves larger files in the cloud, only downloading them on demand. This is not a behaviour over which I seem to have any control.
I'm not sure what you mean by "download Files." When you view a file on your iOS device, you are viewing the file on iCloud Drive. You didn't "download" it to another place. It was in iCloud Drive and still is in iCloud Drive. And that is a shared space between your iOS device and your Mac. So think of it as one file in one place. If you delete it, no matter which device you are holding, it deletes the one file from that one place.