I previously had about 200 .txt files saved in iCloud via TextEdit.

After installing the Yosemite (10.10), there is now a folder hierarchy in iCloud, and all my previous files seem to have disappeared.

I have looked in /Library/Mobile Documents -- they're not there.

I have tried showing hidden files and looking through the Library with no success.

update - I have several Time Machine backups made well before I updated to Yosemite, but there are no documents in /Users/(username)/Library/Mobile Documents/(textedit folder)

  • 1
    Storing additional files in ~/Library Mobile Documents was not supported by Apple, so I wouldn't be surprised if these files just got deleted during migration to iCloud Drive. Can you get them back from your backup?
    – nohillside
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 13:39
  • I modified my question to reflect my findings.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 9:27
  • I never did get my documents back, but I believe that Arnlee's answer is the best way to approach this.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 16:09

5 Answers 5


I have 2 mac: 1 office running OS X 10.9, Mavericks, and 1 personal running OS X 10.10, Yosemite.

My files in OS X 10.10, Yosemite are not showing but in OS X 10.9, Mavericks they are still present.

Try logging in from another Mac running OS X 10.9 and you might find them there and be able to take a copy, as this is what I am doing right now.

  • though im still looking for a fix or a workaround to sync my textedit files across mavericks and yosemite, hence i find this post. Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 8:45
  • I will give that a try.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 12:13
  • so far i have no luck syncing my iCloud textedit files and im currently considering another cloud service like dropbox and google drive. Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 13:11

The files are still there, just no longer accessible via Finder.

You can use ls ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/ to verify. To note, the folder has always been treated specially, and instead of just the App names, you'll see some unique strings followed by the app name.

For a paid solution, Path Finder by Cocoatech still displays all the files, helpfully removing the extra strings as Finder used to, while also directly jumping to the Documents section. It works pretty well, but Path Finder is expensive for its relatively unimpressive set of features, and the developers try to milk it each year.

For a free solution, Plain Cloud works, although its UI is pretty rough and bare bones, and the app itself is quasi-abandoned. (Currently there is a rendering error that causes the first app to be partially obscured, but using the reload button fixes this.)

Hope this helps.

PS. More directly to your question, if the files were truly stored in TextEdit's iCloud you should be able to access the files under TextEdit > Open > under iCloud Library choose TextEdit - iCloud.

  • The files are not in ~/library/Mobil Documents/, and are not in the iCloud Drive/TextEdit folder. I also checked for hidden files. The 200 files were stored in iCloud under Mavericks, directly from TextEdit. I will check a time machine backup for hidden files.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:35
  • To be clear, you tried using one of the suggestions I mentioned, eg. Plain Cloud, to make sure they're actually not there? Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 17:22
  • I didn't try Plain Cloud, but since I can verify that there are no hidden files, I don't see how it could help.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 17:30
  • Tried Time Machine, but the files weren't there. Possibly Apple didn't bother backing up files it thought were in the Cloud?
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 9:27

I just found this out the hard way resetting cloud clipboard. You should be able to open the folder by using the following command

ls ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/

open ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/ [Folder name found with above here]

For example:

open ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/8YJAE5LA56~com~chimpstudios~cloudclipboard

You can then copy or delete files at will.

What I would like to know:

Is there any way to reset iCloud folder to all access via finder like it was before?

open ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/

Will not work -- it just gets you the iCloud Drive folder.

  • Thanks for the tip, but my files are not in there.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 18:07

I dont know if this its gonna help, I still have the problem to locate the folder that its hidden, the files still in there, I enter the time machine and after looking around I'd search for a specific file that i remember the name or extension that was in the mobile documents, after searching in the drive not the documents i was able to find the carpet, so what i did was to restore to my desktop then... I don't know what happened but after that in my actual window, a carpet with the name mobile documents open up, with all the original files and apps that i had, still cant locate where it is but i hope it helps

  • right now i have 1 carpet with the cloud drive and another with the mobile documents, I modify a document in the mobile documents in pdf expert app that i have and in the cloud drive it was modify so I know its somewhere in there cause seems to be linked.
    – rakaka
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 7:15

bring them back with

cp -r ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/* ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/com\~apple\~CloudDocs/
  • That's a pretty radical solution but it should work.
    – Andy Swift
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 16:12
  • Don't forget /* will include the CloudDocs folder too…
    – grg
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 16:47
  • of course, but at least everything gets visible again and can be deleted in the finder as needed. a one liner that does the job gets voted down? the community prefers pages of pages of explanations instead?
    – hauns
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 16:55

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