My active projects in a directory under ~/Documents/, which puts it in the path of iCloud's Optimized Storage. Often, I'll open a project folder to find files replaced with .icloud placeholder files.

Current workaround is either waiting for iCloud to re-download my project or resetting workspace changes via git.

Is there a way to force a persistent local copy, while still keeping a backup in iCloud?

I'm not trying to omit directories from Optimized Storage, I want the best of both worlds.

  • You can do what you want with a dropbox.com account. I do. I do have to put the folder inside of my dropbox folder. I put an alias where the folder was. Maybe you could make your dropbox folder you development folder. May 15 '19 at 22:13
  • I wouldn't use optimized storage with development files. Get an eternal drive if you out of space or get a larger internal drive if you can replace your internal drive. Use dropbox to backup and a local backup with time machine. May 15 '19 at 22:17
  • a little help might be by going to system preferences -> icloud -> iCloud drive options-> untick optimise storage.
    – anki
    May 16 '19 at 4:49
  • 1
    @historystamp I'd like to keep it as simple as possible. I wan't them backed up in my iCloud and not removed from local (the optimizing part). I want a subdirectories in Documents to be persistent. May 16 '19 at 10:35
  • @ankiiiiiii what about the giant megafiles that I do want offloaded to the cloud? ☹️ May 16 '19 at 10:37

No, that is not possible.

You cannot always have a local copy with a backup in iCloud as well as having the same files be eligible for Optimized Storage.

Either the files are permanently stored locally, or they're eligible for Optimized Storage - i.e. only stored in the cloud.


A possible workaround might be to fake last accessed timestamp for the file, or have an Automator script that opens and closes the file.

I'd love to see a proper solution added to macOS for this too.


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