iCloud Hacks: Sync Files Across Macs

While Apple’s iCloud is a great way to back up your iOS devices, share photos, and sync contacts, it’s missing one thing: document sync. Document sync is an important feature for Mac users who have multiple Macs and would like to keep some of their files in sync among all of them. While there are many services which can do this for you, such as Dropbox, it can get cumbersome managing these accounts and their software.

This is where our little iCloud hack comes into play. We have found a folder which syncs files with your Dropbox account, allowing you to view them on any Mac associated with your iCloud account. Before we show you how to do this, make sure your Mac is fully updated and has an iCloud account associated with it.

Enabling Document Syncing

To start, launch System Preferences on your Mac. Once it has completely launched, look towards the center of the window, where you will see a header labeled “Internet & Wireless”. Under this header you will see a button labeled iCloud. Click on this button.


Look towards the middle of the screen. You will see different iCloud options that you can enable and disable. For this tutorial we will be enabling the Documents and Data option, so make sure this option is checked.

Screen Shot 2012 04 15 at 1 54 08 AM

Finding the Mobile Documents Folder

Now for the fun part. iCloud documents are stored in your Mobile Documents folder, so we have to find this folder within your Mac’s file system. The easiest way to do this is to right-click on the Finder button on the righthand side of your dock. Once you’ve done this, click on the option labeled “Go to Folder…”. A popup menu will now appear.

Finder - Go To Folder

Look towards the center of this window, where you will see a text box. Type the following into this text box “ ~/library/mobile documents. You will now be brought to your Mobile Documents folder which is synced between your Macs via iCloud. Feel free to drop files that you would like synced into this folder. Once you’ve dropped a file, you will be able to view it within the Mobile Documents folder on all of the Macs associated with your iCloud account.

If you would like to make the Mobile Documents folder easier to access, make an alias on your desktop. To do this, right-click on the Mobile Documents folder and click Make Alias from the drop down menu. You will now have a shortcut to your Mobile Documents folder on your desktop.

Important Note: Please do not alter any sub-folders inside of the Mobile Documents folder as they contain important app data.


Comments [4]

  1. This file <> does not exist on my iMac…what do I do now?

  2. “ ~/library/mobile documents“ does not exist on my iMac…now what do I do? Please help, second request.

  3. Third request…is it over if I strike out with no reply?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *