I have this scenario: 2 Mac, I work on both of them online and offline.

I would like to have selected folders always in sync and the copy on each machine. So, If I work from home on Mac 1 and update or create a document, when I open it on Mac 2 at the office I have exactly the same document. I do understand that if one or both machines are offline the document may be old or not there. Would iCloud allow me to do do the above? Right now I have files on both machines. Would I cloud sort that out and arrange to have only the latest version on both machines?



This section of the iCloud service description makes me think that I will not have a copy of the files on my machine. This is a concern for me because often I have no connectivity when in remotes areas.

"When you add your Desktop and Documents to iCloud Drive, all of your files move to iCloud. On your Mac, you can find the files on your Desktop and in your Documents folder in Finder under iCloud. If you add a second Mac Desktop, you'll find those files in the Desktop folder in iCloud Drive...."

  • Sure. Put your folders in iCloud Drive.
    – lhf
    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:18
  • You can have file on iCloud Drive.
    – Ptit Xav
    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:20
  • @lhf thanks for your comment. Will I still have the files physically on the machine/s?
    – FeliceM
    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:30
  • Yes, as long as you have enough disk space. Files that need to be downloaded will display a small cloud on its icon. See also support.apple.com/en-us/HT201104
    – lhf
    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:36
  • You can work from file on iCloud Drive. It will be cached (somewhere) on your drive when you access it. Then it is automatically updated in iCloud Drive when the system is connected to network. So no need to copy it on the Mac.
    – Ptit Xav
    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:39

2 Answers 2


There are 2 options

  1. A Cloud service (such as iCloud, Dropbox, ...)
  2. A local network sync option (rsync, Chronosync, ...)

Either way your machines will need a chance to sync their data, which will either require them to have an Internet Connection (in case of (1)) or be on the same network (in case of (2)).

One (I believe unique) advantage of iCloud is that it will work with Power Nap (meaning that if you have the feature enabled, your device will keep the devices in sync even if your Mac is in sleep mode).

  • Thank you Kevin, since I have files on both machines with differences, will iCloud sync the last version on both machines? My concern is to end up in having new versions replaced by old ones.
    – FeliceM
    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:29
  • Your Mac will ask you what to do when a conflict is detected, see support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mh40780/mac Oct 12, 2021 at 13:02

I use iCloud and document revisions for what you seek. I leave my home computer on and don’t make edits there until I bring the remote computer back to an area where I can sync via LTE or network connection and get a good sync up.

Worst case I forget and use document revisions to look back to past versions - but I haven’t had to do that for a couple years.

Time Machine backup to an attached hard drive also is key for errors I don’t catch for months or longer.


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