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I read that I could rename a folder to have the..tmp extension to prevent it syncing over. I did this to a folder that had some confidential files, but I renamed the folder in my icloud drive and the files have all disappeared.

I found a copy of the folder on the desktop, but that was also empty. Any idea where I could locate these files or are they lost?

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You try to restore previous files on iCloud.com:

  • First, in iCloud.com > iCloud Drive, check if the files are present in the iCloud.com web view. If they are present here, download a copy first and foremost - and then you can decide how to proceed once you've secured a copy.
  • If that doesn't work, then again in iCloud.com > iCloud Drive, click "recently deleted" in the bottom right hand corner.
  • If neither of these work, you can try reaching out to Apple - they may be able to restore an account-level backup if the files are especially important.
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  • The files may exist and be manageable in icloud.com. I found that icloud.com was perfectly happy to let me create and manage a folder named tmp. But renaming a folder to tmp caused it to disappear from the Files app in iOS. So, you can simply use icloud.com to rename it to something other than tmp (or other than «something».tmp) and it should reappear on your iOS devices.
    – binki
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 23:54

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