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I am becoming insane. I activated the iCloud Drive for the Documents folder to be sure not to lose any, but since I got more space now on the hard disk and iCloud space is running low I want the documents folder on Local files only, and not on iCloud anymore.

However, I have been trying all I got and I can not manage to delete files from the iCloud Drive without having them deleted on local as well.

Can anyone help me please?

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  • Note that iCloud is not a backup structure, it is a synchronisation structure. Whatever happens to one copy happens to them all, unless you de-sync it.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 28, 2023 at 9:26

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For files or folders you do not wish to be synced but otherwise would be, e.g. because they are in your Desktop or Documents folder, you can easily disable synchronising by adding the .nosync suffix to them.

Such files or folders will be marked with a struck through cloud icon. Beware that because they are not being synchronised, if your machine dies and you have no other backup then of course you will lose them permanently.

image showing a folder with .nosync suffix and a struck through cloud icon

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    This is an excellent, but poorly documented by Apple feature. Thanks for contributing!
    – Allan
    Mar 28, 2023 at 0:31
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Apple has an excellent document detailing how to mange your iCloud storage. Additionally, there is excellent documentation on copying or archiving files before deleting them. I highly suggest reviewing them.

I activated the iCloud Drive for the Documents folder… However, I have been trying all I got and I can not manage to delete files from the iCloud Drive without having them deleted on local as well.

The easiest solution is to move them out of the Documents folder. You can create a new folder in you home folder (for example) called “Local Documents” (or whatever you like) and copy them there. Since it’s not part of “Documents”, it won’t sync.

You aren’t limited to just the Home directory. You can create a folder anywhere outside the iCloud Documents folder to prevent syncing.

All that said, this is a good opportunity to make sure you have a functioning back up.

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