1. iMore Question's Avatar
    I've been looking around and I can't seem to find a straight answer. What if you 2 macs. One has a 1tb drive and the other a 250gb ssd local Macintosh drive. You put 400gb worth of data in the iCloud Drive. What happens to the 250gb drive in the laptop? Does it fill up till it can't. Does it do what iTunes does and puts a cloud icon on it? Can you tell it which files to keep synced to the laptop?

    I realize this isn't going to be the case for everybody it's just one of those what if questions.
    04-15-2015 06:24 PM
  2. Just_Me_D said: Best Answer

    Loading 400 GBs of pics into your iCloud Drive won't do anything to your 250 GB hard drive until you attempt to download all of those pics onto the hard drive. Your hard drive cannot store more than it is designed to store. More than likely, you'll receive an error message indicating the discrepancy.
  3. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Loading 400 GBs of pics into your iCloud Drive won't do anything to your 250 GB hard drive until you attempt to download all of those pics onto the hard drive. Your hard drive cannot store more than it is designed to store. More than likely, you'll receive an error message indicating the discrepancy.
    04-15-2015 08:55 PM
  4. ramonsky's Avatar
    I too would like to know the answer to this question. I do not believe it has yet been answered. The OP (and I) are *not* talking about pictures - we are talking about arbitrary data; documents of all kinds: a file heirarchy of text documents, source files, executables, Final Cut projects, assests, unidentified binary files, etc.. Pictures are handled differently. We are talking here about iCloud *Drive* - Apple's Dropbox equivalent, stored locally at ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com.apple.icloudDocuments. What happens when the Mac is too small to download the entire folder heirarchy?
    tadnishida likes this.
    04-20-2015 03:01 AM
  5. ramonsky's Avatar
    Let's do a thought experiment.

    Imagine you have a script which creates a binary file containing 1GB of random data, and then stores it in iCloud Drive.
    Imagine you purchase 1TB of iCloud space.
    Now you run this script. The random data file is created, moved into iCloud Drive, and synced to all your Macs. So far so good.
    Run the script 500 times. Now you have 500 files, each containing 1GB of random data, in iCloud Drive. Wait for it to upload into the cloud. This will take a long time - weeks or months - but be patient, and let it happen.

    Now you buy a new Mac - a portable one, with only 256GB of hard drive space. You sign it into iCloud. At first, it performs well, but it starts downloading your iCloud Drive files onto its hard drive. After a few weeks, the hard drive approaches capacity, and we begin to see performance problems. After a few days more, the downloading has completely filled the little machine's hard drive, and the machine is now unusable.

    Is that what would really happen? I want to know, because, if so, the consequence is that you can never store more data in iCloud Drive than the size of the internal hard drive of your smallest Mac.

    Yes, I know this thought-experiment does not represent real-world behavior, but of course that's the point of thought experiments - they focus sharply on the issue, without distraction.
    daveday likes this.
    04-21-2015 05:26 AM

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