I have a directory structure of about 12GB on a network drive that I'd like to copy to my iCloud storage. I don't want to copy the 12GB from the network drive to my local iCloud drive folder just so it can be copied from there to iCloud.

Other cloud storage services (e.g., Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox) support a browser upload interface that makes it possible to drag folders to be copied into cloud storage onto the browser, but I can't find an equivalent kind of functionality for iCloud. Is there some way for me to directly copy my data from its current location on a network drive into iCloud?

I'm running 64-bit Windows 7 Professional.

  • It doesn't really work that way. It needs to be on your local iCloud drive to be shared between your devices.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 9:25
  • I don't really want to share the files among devices, I just want to use iCloud as extended storage to free up some space on my local network drive. Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 16:13
  • 3
    That's not what iCloud is for. You can't have it on iCloud Drive & not locally. It's designed specifically to keep data synchronised across devices, it isn't an 'external storage' medium.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 16:20

5 Answers 5


It is possible to do what you want.

Today I'm running 64-bit Windows 10 Pro but I believe the following is possible also running 64-bit Windows 7 Professional.

To copy a directory structure on a network drive or an external drive to your iCloud Drive storage (on Apples servers) without first copying the whole directory structure and all its files to your local iCloud Drive folder do this:

Use the MKLINK command in a "command prompt window" to create a directory junction in your local iCloud drive folder pointing to your directory structure on the network drive.


MKLINK /J %USERPROFILE%\iCloudDrive\JunctionName S:\FolderToUploadToICloud

Replace "JunctionName" to anyting you like and "S:\FolderToUploadToICloud" with the path to your directory structure on your network drive.

The junction will take up no space in the local iCloud folder. It's just a pointer to the target directory structure on your network drive.


As of macOS Sierra 10.12.5 (and the equivalent iCloud for Windows), iCloud Drive does not offer a facility for selective-sync of files between your local storage and the cloud.

Therefore, anything you upload to iCloud Drive using the web interface would then make its way back down to your local storage on any machine logged in to iCloud.

iCloud Drive doesn’t appear to be the archival storage solution you’re looking for. It’s a full-syncing service.


iCloud does have a web interface for drive - I believe it was recently added.

Log into iCloud.com with your ID and password, and it should be the fifth box. iCloud Drive location

BTW, iCloud only gives you 5 GB for free, so if you haven't yet you'll have to buy more space if you want your drive to fit on iCloud.

EDIT 1: iCloud does not support folder uploads in iCloud Drive. Thanks to the OP KnowItAllWannabe for pointing that out.

  • Unfortunately, this works only for individual files. When I try to upload a folder, I'm told "Uploading folders to iCloud Drive is not supported. Only files can be uploaded using your web browser." Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 6:54
  • Yeah, I tried it and I see now. Well, I think you're out of luck (in terms of the web interface, unless you want to wait until Apple adds in folder uploads). I suggest that you use another sync service(like Google Drive or Mega) if you don't need to use iCloud.
    – Kisa Ayano
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 4:13

I know that the question was asked almost 5 years ago, but recently I was in a situation similar to what the OP wanted - uploading a folder directly to iCloud.

What worked for me was I uploaded a zip file of the folder I wanted to keep in iCloud and then on my iPhone, I unzipped it - this created a new folder on my iCloud Drive and I then deleted the zip file.

Though I have to agree, it is a hassle to directly upload folders on the iCloud Web Interface.

Hope I answered the question!


I am writing this post in the hope that it saves people from going down the wrong path as I did.

I've been an "all in" Apple user for 2 years now and something that has bothered me from day one is that I couldn't work out how to upload folders to iCloud Drive. After searching the web and talking to Apple Support I literally thought this was not possible which lead me to question how anyone could realistically use iCloud Drive.

Anyway, it turns out while it is not possible to upload folders to iCloud Drive via a web browser (an expected behaviour which after 3 years of users asking for, should really be implemented). You can however do this very easily by just installing the iCloud App for Windows. It works perfectly and in a simple drag and drop manor I was able to upload a handful of folders & subfolders including all their contents.

What annoys me is, for 2 years I thought this was not possible. I even spoke to Apple Support on twitter and while they confirmed you could not do this via a web browser, they didn't point me in the direction of using the app.

I'm now off to buy some cloud storage to enjoy iCloud along with the rest of my Apple products and services. Happy Days

  • 4
    How does this differ from what the OP doesn't want do do (" I don't want to copy the 12GB from the network drive to my local iCloud drive folder just so it can be copied from there to iCloud")?
    – nohillside
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 12:40
  • Two things: First, get a OneDrive account because you can do all of what you're looking to do. I find it much better than DropBox, Box.net, etc. Second, you need to answer the OP's question and not confirm the complaint with your anecdotal experience. This is a Q&A site, not a forum (big difference). Also.. Welcome to Ask Different!
    – Allan
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 15:41

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