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If I open iCloud in System Preferences, it says I have 5 GB of storage available. I'd like to use it to back up some zip archives of source code. Is that possible, or can you only access that storage through specific programs?

Update - I've accepted the answer about the Mobile Backups folder, but I it is not quite what I want for a backup system, so I'm not going to use iCloud for this. If I delete a file from Mobile Backups, it will disappear from the iCloud folder, but I want protection from accidental deletion. I want plain old file storage.

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Yes you can — iCloud can be used to sync anything that you wish.

  1. Open ~/Library/Mobile Documents and create a folder (call it anything you wish).
  2. Inside, put whatever documents you would like to sync over iCloud.
  3. That folder will sync with other Macs (and jailbroken iOS devices, and on the web too if you have a Apple Developer licence).

Alternatively, you can symlink a folder on your Mac in to the Mobile Documents folder so that the files remain in their original location.

  • If I don't have another Mac, or a dev license (yet), how can I tell that the file is backed up? If I remove the file from Mobile Documents, does that remove it from the backups? – Rob N Feb 27 '14 at 19:18
  • @Rob I don't know — that might be worth a separate question as that applies to files uploaded by normal methods through apps as well. – grg Feb 27 '14 at 19:36
  • @Rob Sorry didn't address your second part to your comment: yes it does — the Mobile Documents folder equals the contents of Documents & Data on iCloud. – grg Feb 27 '14 at 21:44
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    I'm unsure about accepting your answer. You said "yes", but then you described something that, to me, is not really a backup. I mean: if I link a file to Mobile Documents, with the goal of backing it up, and then I accidentally delete that file, and then the system "syncs" this by deleting the file from the iCloud... that's not a backup! Do you agree? – Rob N Mar 1 '14 at 15:38
  • @Rob The symlinking solution is mainly so that if your computer 'dies' you can recover the file on a new install/computer — it provides no help against accidental deletion. For a more traditional solution, see the first part to my answer. You can copy the file to iCloud, then recover it later. – grg Mar 1 '14 at 15:47

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