I ran out of space in my Macbook Air a few days ago and the computer gave me the option to upload the Documents folder to iCloud, to which I agreed and proceed. Now, in the Finder, I can only access the iCloud folder of Documents, which doesn't let me copy the documents to an external device. Also, I would like to delete some things from the Documents folder from my SSD.

If I go to Machintosh HD -> Users -> MyUserName there is no Documents folder. However, it still taking space in my SSD, because I can see it in Storage Management.

Could you help me to copy to an external device and delete from my computer the Documents folder? Thanks

  • What does "which doesn't let me copy the documents to an external device" mean? Does it show some kind of error?
    – negacao
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 11:40
  • Including the text of error messages, or screenshots of them, would be helpful.
    – Pedro
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


In Big Sur the real location of an iCloud Documents folder is within ~/Library/Mobile Documents. There you will also find folders for various apps that maintain their own iCloud folders. No matter where you view them from, various icons should appear by files (to the right in list & columns views) to indicate their iCloud status. The full explanation of those icons can be found on this Apple Support page. Here's a screenshot from it...

iCloud status icons


The contents of the iCloud Documents folder is completely eligible to move to an external drive. Select the files you wish to move and drag them to the external drive. You can delete them from iCloud after you've verified the copy was successful.

If you receive an error when copying these files, please post it here. You may experience errors if your iCloud Storage is full, since some syncing is disabled under those conditions. It may be best to pay for the next tier up for one billing cycle to resolve all issues without risking data loss.

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