Using Google Chrome, I am trying to download or copy + paste all of my files to an external hard drive so I can delete them afterwards and downgrade my iCloud drive subscription to something cheaper. I have tried to find a way but I can't seem to find a way to grab them all at once. It also wont let me download the file folders individually either. I also tried opening the iCloud folder on my computer and clicking the little cloud with the down arrow but it takes super long and hangs up my internet so I can't do anything else with it for hours.

The only way I could find to do this is to download the document files without the folders meaning I would essentially need to re-create the folder layout on my external, download the document files and then move them to the external drive which would be a pain and really slow.

Does anyone know of a way to do this a faster way? Or a way to back up iCloud so I can get to the files that way?

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    Might be worth adding that you are running Windows. It might also help to list any error messages you currently get, and the number of files/folders you are talking about. – nohillside Aug 4 '19 at 9:54

You could use the finder and open two windows. Then go to iCloud, select the files you want to copy and drag them to the external drive.

Then once they are all copied over, select them again and deleted them.

  • Have you ever tried doing what I am asking?...If you had, you would know that you can't copy any folders containing files that aren't directly stored (or contain the cloud with downwards arrow) on your C: drive or any local drive. I copied and deleted all the files that are on my local drives but I still have a bunch in the cloud that need to be downloaded but are taking forever through "Finder" – tremblay379 Aug 4 '19 at 6:37
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    Yes I have, but from your description it was not clear that you were running Windows. – Kevin Mason Aug 5 '19 at 13:08

You should turn off Optimise iCloud storage in System Preferences-> iCloud -> iCloud Drive options, before you try to copy files as per the other answer. Since you have a lot of storage(paid version), trying to copy partially downloaded files can be a mess.

Other way can be to use https://privacy.apple.com. It lets you download selected information associated with your account. I don't know which would be faster. I suggest doing both.

  • Neat! I never knew of this option before. I just submitted a request for the files but it says it could take up to 7-days. Do you have any more ideas under your hood? lol – tremblay379 Aug 4 '19 at 6:39
  • @tremblay379 For me it was 3 days only. No, I don't have other ideas sed. – ankii Aug 4 '19 at 6:58

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