I want to download a folder from iCloud Drive using the web interface (iCloud.com). The only problem is, since it is not zipped, I cannot download the folder. Is there a way to download the folder without having to sync the entire content of my iCloud Drive with my computer?

  • 1
    This is essentially a dupe of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/274501/… – Tetsujin Feb 27 '17 at 18:59
  • @Tetsujin not directly. The older question is about enabling iCloud Drive on a Mac without downloading automatically, this one here is about downloading whole folders through Safari. At least in theory there might be solutions for one but not the other – nohillside Feb 27 '17 at 19:02
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    This is nothing like the other question. I have 300GB in iCloud that I want to download from a browser on a computer without iCloud syncing. It is a huge problem that I can only download files and not folders. – Andrew Swift Sep 27 '18 at 4:23
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    @AndrewSwift Swift Not a way to download a folder from the iCloud Drive, but if you're like me and you want to bulk download everything, you can ask for a copy of the iCloud Drive from the Apple Privacy Website - privacy.apple.com – Eek Nov 23 '18 at 13:38
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    you can also compress it from your iphone and then download it from your browser – salvador Oct 15 at 10:36

Yes, you can do this. The following assumes you're already logged-in to your iCloud account and you have the ability to download files to your local drive.

  1. Navigate to your iCloud Drive in any browser.
  2. Change your browser's default download location to wherever you want the files to be located. You must do this now because you can't select a new location once you click the 'download' button later.
  3. Go into the folder that you want to downlonad. You can't just hightlight the folder and try to download the folder and its contents from here. You actually have to go into the folder first.
  4. Select all the files you want to download. Do this either by selecting each one or by doing a select-all keyboard command.
  5. Once all the files are selected, go to the top of the iCloud screen and click the 'download' icon (cloud with arrow going down). This will download all the selected files to your default download location (set it step 2). The files should not be downloaded in a zip format, they should come down exactly as they're stored in iCloud.

All the files will download which, in essence, is what you wanted by selecting the folder and trying to download that first.

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    What about folders in folders? – iProgram Feb 27 '17 at 19:50
  • It' an iterative process so you'll need to do each folder separately. I could not find any other way of doing this from Windows. If you were on a Mac, you could just use Finder to copy the folders. If you have iCloud installed on Windows, you might already have it integrated into Windows Explorer and can download/copy from there. – fsb Feb 27 '17 at 20:04
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    Pretty sure this is not the solution OP is looking for. – KD. Jul 31 '17 at 6:13
  • @KD. That is the only solution provided by Apple for doing this by their web interface. Other options exist for doing this via Finder but that's not what the OP asked. If you know of another way to download folders via the web, please add it as an answer. – fsb Aug 21 '18 at 15:27

No proper solution

Up today (2019-03-30), there is no effective way to download a specific folder from iCloud without synchronizing the entire drive.
The download button is grayed/disable for folders in icloud.com.

Below there are only hacks.

The evident (and painfully) approach

You could select all file inside the desired folder and click the download button,
but because it does not include sub-folders, you must patiently repeat the process for every folder in the tree.

Request Apple a copy of your data (best approach)

Go to https://privacy.apple.com/ and request to Apple a copy of your iCloud files.
Unfortunately, you cannot select which folder you want to include.
And it could take a few days before Apple send you the download link.

However, you can effectively use this trick to download other data they make harder to get in a plain document format, like the Health App data.

The iPhone + Other-cloud solution

So, the original question request a solution "without having to sync the entire content of my iCloud Drive with my computer".
I had the same problem. I was not using iCloud Drive in my Mac but it was active (probably by default) on my iPhone.
Then, I could use the File app (the build-in App) to copy a whole folder to other cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.).

  1. Ensure your other cloud is active within the File App.
    Select Edit in the top right corner to activate the available cloud platforms.

  2. Select the folder to copy from iCloud and click below in the small folder icon.

  3. Select a destination inside another cloud.
  4. Wait. It could take longer to copy from one cloud to the other
  5. Use the other cloud to download your folder.
  6. Complaint to Apple!

I notice that for a large directory structure, this method can fail to copy the whole structure.

Complaint to Apple

Meanwhile, complain to Apple about this unbelievable omission

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