Your desktop, anywhere
In Sierra, all those files you dump on the desktop can be put online automatically, making them available on any Mac, PC or iOS device
Abig advantage of cloud-based storage is that it frees you from needing to have a specific device to hand in order to get at essential files. If all your files are readily accessible on all of your devices – whether you’re currently using an iMac with a huge screen, putting your feet up with a svelte MacBook, cradling an iPad or iPhone, or even using a PC or Android tablet – you’re freed from having to worry about where you saved an important document and whether you can access it right now. (At least if your devices have been able to connect to the internet to sync things!)
With iCloud Drive, Apple doesn’t yet enable you to sync the entirety of your Mac’s storage to the cloud, but it does now offer an almost absurdly simple method for sharing your Desktop and Documents folders between all your devices. As shown in the walkthrough opposite, the process is as simple as clicking a checkbox, waiting a while for everything to upload, and then gleefully accessing your files and folders anywhere you’re able to sign in to iCloud. However, there are caveats to be mindful of.
First and foremost, iCloud Drive isn’t a bottomless pit. In fact, it’s not even a terribly deep pit if you stick with its free tier, which gives you a miserly 5GB of space, beyond which you have to pay. If you want to put 1TB of data in iCloud Drive, it’ll cost you £6.99 per month. Secondly, iCloud Drive is reliant on
internet connectivity to keep everything in sync across your devices. If you have the world’s slowest broadband (bear in mind its upload speed is likely slower than going the other way), you should perhaps steer clear of putting massive files in iCloud Drive.
Sadly, Apple doesn’t provide granularity in iCloud Drive’s settings. We’d love to have the ability to put our Desktop online and keep Documents on local storage. Right now, you
Sierra makes allowances for when you have lots of free space in iCloud Drive but only a little left on your Mac
can’t do this, so if you want to omit files from iCloud Drive, you must put them in other folders on your Mac.
However, Sierra makes allowances for when you have lots of free space in iCloud Drive but little on your Mac; it stores locally files it thinks you’ll need (those you’ve used recently) and keeps others online; they stay where you left them in Finder, with a cloud icon, and download on demand.
You can put Desktop and Documents online, but it’s a case of both or neither. Consider making folders to explicitly store some items offline.