Accessing iCloud From OS X

I’m a big fan of cloud storage. Perhaps borderline obsession. I have a 2GB Dropbox, 25GB on Box.com, 17GB on Mediafire and, of course, 5GB on Apple’s iCloud service. And that’s just the ones I remember. Of course, I use each of these for different purposes, and each one I’m able to access the files as and when I want to. Except one. Apple dictates what gets uploaded to iCloud and managing these files can be a pain. But there is an easy way to manage your iCloud files straight from the Finder in OS X.

Plenty of apps exist that let you manage your iCloud storage, the easiest being the iCloud pane located both under Settings on iOS devices and System Preferences on OS X. But how can we use iCloud to store files not related to apps and not dictated to us by Apple? Lucky for us, OS X creates a backup of iCloud files locally on our systems (This doesn’t include Mail, Photo Stream or device backups, however). Normally, this folder is inaccessible without hunting around through hidden folders, but thanks to a simple Terminal command we can create a link to it directly in our Home folder. Launch Terminal and paste in the following code:

ln -s ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents ~/iCloud

You’ll now find a link in your Home folder to your iCloud folder containing all your synced app data. Anything you place in this folder will get synced to your other devices. Just remember that unless you’ve purchased extra space, you only have a 5GB limit!

For me, there was just one more problem. I’m a stickler for uniformity and having a symlink to a folder with a generic icon surrounded by custom icons just annoys me. So if you’re like me then stop fretting because below I’ve attached a custom iCloud folder, styled like the default folders of OS X. Just Cmd+Click and save it to your hard drive. If you’re not sure how to apply a custom icon to a folder, just have a look at my article on changing icons, and if you want real uniformity, then also check out my article on removing symlink arrows.

Tip via Lifehacker.

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Posted on 29/05/2013, in Apple, iCloud, OS X and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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