iCloud drive/desktop issue


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Hello

I'm having a bit of a panic about something I've done, which seems to have had an impact on iCloud that I hadn't anticipated.

2 days ago I created an 'alias' on my desktop for all my RAW format photos to make it easier to access them. I understand this to work like a shortcut.

Next day I receive an email stating my iCloud storage is full. I didn't understand this as I don't store huge amounts of stuff there (e.g. not my RAW photos as they're so big and are backed up on time machine). But as this happened immediately after me creating the alias, I wonder if that's caused a problem.


So I log into iCloud and look at 'desktop', but no, only my jpeg photos are there like before, yet it's telling me my storage has completely filled. Finally I notice 'recently deleted 2' on the bottom right. I click on this, and there are 3 years worth of my raw photos (approx 90GB) with '26 days' underneath. So seemingly, iCloud Drive will try to upload anything within an 'alias' on the desktop? I really didn't want it to do this, I just wanted a desktop shortcut to those folders.

So l think my questions are:

1. Why has this happened, does iCloud try to save stuff within an alias folder, can I not have a desktop shortcut that iCloud ignores?

2. I'm worried that on iCloud ALL of those photos are in the 'deleted' bin. Why, I didn't delete them, or even know they were there?

3. What will happen when the 26 days are up? Assume they will disappear from the Cloud, but will this synch with the Mac and thus delete them also from my hard drive? (Apologies I have limited understanding of how iCloud works as generally use external backup) Am I at risk of losing these files? (I know I could get them back from Time Machine but want to avoid if possible as it might mess up a project I'm doing in Lightroom)

Sorry for long post. Would really appreciate any help, it's making me feel ill seeing my RAW files in a 'deleted' environment!

Macbook Pro
OS Mojave v 10.14.1
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

It sounds to me like System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive is setup to sync you Desktop and Documents Folders. If so, and the alias you created resides in either of those folders, it could have synced many GBs of files quickly. Also, do you have iCloud Photo Library enabled? Where is the folder located that you made an alias to?

C
 
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Hello and welcome.

It sounds to me like System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive is setup to sync you Desktop and Documents Folders. If so, and the alias you created resides in either of those folders, it could have synced many GBs of files quickly. Also, do you have iCloud Photo Library enabled? Where is the folder located that you made an alias to?

C
Thanks so much for replying.

Yes iCloud is set to sync Desktop and Docs. I don't have a reason for this, that's just how it's been set all along so I didn't change it.

The alias is on the desktop, but the location it points to is MacintoshHD/users/username/Pictures and all my RAW photos are in folders within that. I thought that the alias would be ignored by iCloud as it's not data as such, just a shortcut.

I have iCloud photos enabled but I don't really use it as it doesn't fit in with my workflow (I'm a serious/hobbyist photographer) and my RAW files are too big to store on the cloud.

I feel like I want to just delete the alias and then everything will go back to normal? But I'm very worried about all those files being at 'recently deleted ' status on the cloud and what the implications of that are.

I've read that if you switch off 'sync to Desktop and Docs ' your files that are on iCloud drive disappear from your hard drive which will be my worst nightmare.

Thanks
Lin
 
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Cory Cooper

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No worries.

Not sure why the photos in that synced folder would sync with iCloud, as it is just an alias. They would show as recently deleted, if they were ever in iCloud or synced via iCloud Photo Library, and were then deleted. You should be able to delete an alias, but see below.

IMPORTANT: I would make a Time Machine or other backup of your entire HD as soon as you can, and before you try deleting anything. I would hate for you to lose your data.

Also, you could increase your iCloud storage for little monthly money - 200 GB is only $2.99/month.
 

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