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My original question was: are my iCloud notes automatically backed up to Time Machine?

Online I came upon the answer, yes, as long as Optimise Mac Storage is turned off. Is this true?

But Optimise Mac Storage means full content of the iCloud Drive will be stored on the Mac.

So it seems that's already a way to backup the iCloud.

Does this mean I have to choose whether to back it up to the Mac or to Time Machine?

Which would be better?

Edit:

One reason for my confusion is because before I posted here originally, I was searching online, and I read that Time machine will backup iCloud drive , even if "Optimise Mac Storage" is turned off ...... and that it actually -should- be turned off for time machine to backup iCloud Drive more effectively ....

Here is the original quote I had read: "Time Machine will backup iCloud Drive, as long as you have not enabled "Optimise Mac Storage". If "Optimise ..." is enabled, it will be a game of chance, which documents have been downloaded from iCloud are locally available on your computer, when Time Machine is running."

Another edit :

So if that's true, and optimise Mac storage is turned off, time machine backing up iCloud, from the answer below, it still wouldn't be backing up Notes specifically ?

Clarifying:

From the answer below, I can conclude that optimise Mac storage turned on won't save notes to time machine,

but what if it (optimise Mac storage) is turned off, would time machine backup iCloud (or iCloud Drive?) (as wrote before someone else said it would, and would be a better backup), and would that include Notes ?

Thank you and sorry for the confusion I tried to make this as clear as possible

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Time Machine does not guarantee to back up iCloud notes.
Optimise Mac Storage makes no difference to this.


Optimise Mac Storage doesn't remove the data from iCloud, so your data is still synchronised to iCloud regardless of whether you choose to always store a copy of iCloud Drive content locally for Time Machine to back up. It's not one or the other, it's ‘only iCloud’ or ‘iCloud and locally’.

However, the premise that Optimise Mac Storage controls the storage of notes locally is false. That setting controls iCloud Drive, which Notes does not participate in. Notes has its own category of iCloud storage and there is no way to guarantee all notes are stored locally.

Notes stores a cache of recently used iCloud notes in

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/Data/Library/Caches/CloudKit

This destination is excluded from Time Machine by default.

$ tmutil isexcluded ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes/D*/L*/Cac*/C*
[Excluded] …

Therefore Time Machine will not back up this folder even if it did contain all your notes.

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  • sorry still a bit confused, I'm kinda slow with these things, pardon me. So Time Machine will not back up (iCloud) notes regardless of whether "Optimise Mac Storage" is on or off? ...But if it is turned on, notes will be stored locally as well as to iCloud ? Stored locally on Mac, just not backed up by Time Machine ... Thank you. – Vincent Apr 22 at 3:18
  • The reason for my confusion is because before I posted here originally, I was searching online, and I read that Time machine will backup iCloud drive , even if "Optimise Mac Storage" is turned off ...... and that it actually -should- be turned off for time machine to backup iCloud Drive more effectively .... – Vincent May 4 at 1:56
  • Here is the original quote I had read: "Time Machine will backup iCloud Drive, as long as you have not enabled "Optimise Mac Storage". If "Optimise ..." is enabled, it will be a game of chance, which documents have been downloaded from iCloud are locally available on your computer, when Time Machine is running." – Vincent May 4 at 1:57
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    Time Machine will backup your notes, but it may be a hassle to restore them (but not impossible). Optimize your Mac will not affect notes, it's only for iCloud Drive. – Ezekiel Elin May 4 at 3:05
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    @Vincent No. Added a summary to the top of the answer. – grg May 4 at 7:17

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