How to stop desktop files from syncing to iCloud on macOS

Desktop files on your Mac can occupy a large chunk of your iCloud storage quota. This how you can stop these files from syncing to iCloud on macOS.

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If you recently bought a new Mac, such as the MacBook Pro (2023), and noticed that you're running out of iCloud storage, then there's something you might want to look into. macOS Ventura can sync your desktop and documents files to iCloud automatically. While this feature keeps your important data stored in the cloud, it can be unnecessary for some users. After all, we sometimes create large files on our computers, and local backups on a hard drive could make more sense. If these files are eating up your iCloud quota, you can disable this automated syncing by following the steps below.



Stopping desktop files from syncing to iCloud on a Mac

  1. Launch the System Settings app on your Mac.
  2. Tap on [your name] at the very top.
  3. Go to the iCloud section.
    iCloud section highlighted in macOS system settings
  4. Tap on iCloud Drive.
    iCloud Drive section highlighted in iCloud system settings on macOS
  5. Disable the Desktop & Documents Folders toggle.
    Desktop & Documents Folders toggle highlighted in iCloud Drive system settings on macOS

Being able to disable the automatic syncing for the Desktop and Documents folders on macOS is certainly a welcome option. After all, many users don't want to store potentially large files in these folders on iCloud. And if there are exceptions in these folders, then users could always copy them manually to an existing iCloud folder, without needing to sync the entire folder.

MacBook Pro 2023
Apple MacBook Pro (2023)

The 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) models adopt the same exterior chassis first introduced in 2021. They offer boosted M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support, HDMI 2.1 compatibility, a notched display, and more.