I was told by Apple Support to hold my computer's cloud drive on pause while I organize my files. They saw how I had many files on Desktop and Documents. I have now somewhat organized them into folders so they will be easy to move, but I'm unsure where is a good location to move them to if I'd like to keep them on my computer rather than an external drive, although I did move some to a flash drive.

Here is where I moved them to:

New location of files

Is this a good location for when the Macbook Pro restarts and it won't take as long as it would if it were on Desktop? Where are other directories I should not keep many files in (Downloads, maybe)? I already have the Trash set to clear after 30 days. I also have a paid iCloud Drive plan with great storage space left so the iCloud Drive's storage space limit is not a problem in this case.

  • 4
    What are you actually trying to achieve? If you want data to no longer sync, just make a new folder inside your 'home' location /Users/[me]/
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 31, 2022 at 17:11
  • This is a question that will generate very opinionated answers. Your workflow is what determines how you structure your filing system. I never recommend people using their Desktop as a filing location, but to each their own. If Desktop or Documents don’t fit your needs, make a new folder; that’s all their is. macOS is designed to allow you to make your own workflow specific to your needs.
    – Allan
    Dec 31, 2022 at 18:02
  • Did Apple Support explain why not to put things into Documents? Seem unusual not to store things in there. Sure, divide it into folders, but seems odd to just tell you to put stuff somewhere else.
    – Alex
    Dec 31, 2022 at 19:51
  • @Alex I was told Desktop and Documents were immediately loaded at the restart of the computer in comparison to other locations which would load once you select it to take a look. This may however have just been a problem for me since I had too many things in those two directories.
    – leguchi
    Jan 1, 2023 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


I was told by Apple Support to hold my computer's cloud drive on pause while I organize my files. They saw how I had many files on Desktop and Documents.

It's worth pointing out that iCloud Drive can be configured to automatically sync the contents of your Desktop and Documents folders to the cloud.

When this feature is on, then files in these folders will contribute towards the total of your iCloud storage. If your storage goes over 5Gb, you have to pay Apple a subscription.

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Assuming that you have this feature turned on, I suspect that the Apple Support 'genius' was advising you to move files out of these folders in order to reduce the total amount of data in your iCloud storage.

You can see whether iCloud Drive is configured to sync your Desktop & Documents folders in System Preferences (now called Settings in Ventura), under your AppleID > iCloud Drive options.

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Note that if you turn this off, you don't necessarily keep all your existing files on your Mac's Desktop & Documents folders, because they're presumed to be "in the cloud", and you've stopped this Mac from syncing to it. That's another reason why you might want to move everything out, before you turn it off.

I'd suggest it's only worthwhile syncing your entire Desktop & Documents folders if you need to share lots of your files with another Mac.

As said in the comments, any other folder inside your user account will be fine for file storage, e.g. /Users/lydiaeguchi/myFiles or anything you like.

You must keep a backup of your files on an external drive, either physically connected or on your local network. iCloud Drive is NOT a backup.

  • This makes great sense to me. If you don’t want desktop and documents to cloud sync - just disable that feature and leave things there. Then you can store things in iCloud intentionally and not consume limited cloud space.
    – bmike
    Jan 1, 2023 at 14:36
  • 1
    @bmike It's something of a guess, but the only reason I could think of, why someone would tell you to move your files out of D&D.
    – benwiggy
    Jan 1, 2023 at 15:07

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