So I got a new mac and decided to use iCloud to backup most of my "important" stuff, especially since I use two macs right now until I get all of the converters needed etc.

I'm a web developer and have a lot of code and VCS files that I have placed in icloud. The main reason for this was to be able to use both computers, since I'm missing cables and converters for an ideal setup and it will take some time before they become available.

Anyways - In total I have 1.2 million files with the size of ~ 25GB. I've had the computer uploading most of the day (12 h). It had a short burst where it managed to upload 10GB (was uploading ~ 10 MB / sec), but the rest of time the upload seems to be almost stale/dormant (upload speed of 0 - 20 KB / s). Around the time where I had the burst I also manually uploaded a folder with some big media files on icloud.com. This triggered the files to be downloaded on the mac, but I'm not sure if this actually effected the upload speed or the burst just happened randomly.

The problem

Anyways - in 12 hours I've managed to upload 25k files. It seems awfully slow. I would expect that you would only need maybe 0.5-1h to upload that many files.

I have tested the internet connection a few times which works just fine. The burst upload assured me that the connection is not the problem and that iCloud is able to receive data.

My best guess is that either the icloud sync is just super slow for a lot of files, that there is some limitation to the amount of files it's possible to upload or something else.

Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?


The issue is happening on a macbook pro 15-inch late 2016 with macOS Sierra. I have ~ 1 Gbit/s Ethernet internet connection.

  • I attempted something similar, with about the same number of files and around 44GB, and would probably not do it again. iCloud performs okay with, for example, 9k files, but 1.2M will cause the CPU to work pretty much constantly. @googletorp, if you waited it out and have continued with all your repos in iCloud, how has it been performing for you? Dec 28, 2018 at 19:29
  • The CPU won't work constantly once everything is already synced. But during syncing, it has to work quite hard to open and close all the file handles needed to read these many small files.
    – deed02392
    Oct 8, 2019 at 9:15


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