I was working on a project yesterday and when I finished I decided to shut my MacBook down without waiting 60 seconds.

I had just assumed everything was saved to iCloud already but when I turned it back on today, all the work I did was missing!

Doesn't everything save to iCloud instantly?

I am so frustrated and don't want this happening again. How can I avoid this?

  • I don’t know of any 60 second wait rule, so I’m curious as to where that comes from. As for shutting down, how did you do it? Hold the power button, select shutdown from at Apple menu, or execute it from a Terminal?
    – Allan
    Feb 23, 2020 at 0:49
  • Apple icon (top left) Shut Down Feb 23, 2020 at 3:09
  • Go to ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs and see if your documents are there
    – Allan
    Feb 23, 2020 at 3:37
  • Which program or app were you using to work on your project?
    – Alper
    Feb 23, 2020 at 11:26
  • 2
    @Superlative That sounds very unlikely. Are you sure you haven't opened the wrong folder for an older version of that project or similar? - Xcode automatically saves everything when you close Xcode (i.e. when doing a Shut Down) - in addition it also saves each and every time you build and compile. To me it sounds very odd if you have done any substantial work in Xcode without building/compiling at least once?
    – jksoegaard
    Feb 23, 2020 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


There's no need to wait 60 seconds before using the "Shut Down" feature in the top menu.

When you save documents and close programs, the data is saved to disk. When you use "Shut Down" the system ensures that everything is written to the disk and properly saved before turning off.

For iCloud stored data, everything is stored locally on your own disk first - and only synced to iCloud later (although "later" could be a split second later).

In total: If you have experienced data loss, it wasn't because you shut down the Mac. It is either a case of (a) you have actually saved the data, but can't find it, or (b) a mal-functioning program.

If you have Time Machine backups set up, you might be able to find a recent copy of your project in the backup.

  • 1
    almost all programs with editing features block shutdown if unsaved data is present
    – anki
    Feb 23, 2020 at 17:41

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