How to access your iCloud files from your Mac’s Finder

“iCloud documents are cached on your local machine so that you can open them even if you don’t have Internet access. The files can be accessed in the Finder in addition to the Apple application dialog boxes,” William Servator reports for OS X Hints. “You can access them at this location: ~/Library/Mobile Documents/

MacDailyNews Note: How to access your iCloud files from your Mac’s Finder:

1. In Finder app’s Go” menu, choose “Go to Folder…” (Shift-Command-G)
2. Go to the folder: “~/Library/Mobile Documents/”

That’s it, there is no step 3.

Access iCloud from Mac Finder

kirkmc adds, “If you move a file from one of these application folders to the Trash, you’ll see a dialog informing you that this also deletes them from iCloud, and asking if you’re sure that you want to delete them.”

More info via OS X Hints here.


  1. Apple’s philosophy of Cloud Storage and Apps managing Documents with limited access to the document itself seems flawed. See Desktop iTunes as an example. Dropbox’s philosophy seems much clearer. There is no App, just the document itself. the technology gets out of the way. Apple’s push in this direction of only Apps and no file system access troubles me.

    1. To me, it is a godsend. The file system has been a nuisance as it forced me to organise documents in order to be able to find them and manipulate them. Accessing them directly from the application removes this nuisance and makes things infinitely easier, simpler, more intuitive and less of a hassle.

      I’m sure there will be plenty people who will miss the old file system paradigm. Plenty more, though, will be happy to see it gone.

      1. Are you nuts? Is your garage a mess of boxes jumbled up in an untidy pile? Do you do no sorting of documents in their respective project folders? How do you find anything? Do you feed your cat dog food because you stack them in an unsorted pile?

        1. @Ballmer’s left nut – Is your garage a mess of boxes jumbled up in an untidy pile?

          Ahhh. I see from your post you have been snooping in my garage… 😉

          I was mad at Apple when they dropped the floppy disk, then again as they have been dropping DVD media. In my opinion, Apple is creating a new way of thinking about document storage once again. Old school techies will not like it – they have never subscribed to “think different.” unless it was their idea, and for Apple, I think being innovative means throwing away the conventional from time to time. The market decides if it’s genius or stupidity, although it can be both at the same time. My office has done about 300 iPad trainings for school administrators, many of them totally non-techie (surprise). They may have clean garages at home, but their file organization on their PC’s is terrible. Apple is moving in their direction, and lots of people are comfortable with the iOS file storage method. Those that aren’t buy Android. Think about it. Apple is going to toss out technologies as they move on to other things. It is how they do business, and they wouldn’t be Apple if they didn’t. I admit it is often uncomfortable for me (natural scrolling anyone?) but I’m adjusting because I love that cutting edge feel of unboxing the next iGadget 😉

        1. would it not be nice if when you needed socks that they where in the (app) when you went to get them? It’s about making organizing easy not to have more work doing it manually. Put away the MS thinking and think of iOS.

          1. “would it not be nice if when you needed socks that they where in the (app) when you went to get them?”

            No it wouldn’t. The app is just a tool. It is SO unimportant in classification of information. I don’t want to look for a particular report under the TOOL any more than I want to look for a book at the library under “Heidelberg” or other type of press it was printed on.

            I have one particular folder under a particular client holding a particular KIND of information. There are only — documents, 3 Pages, 2 Word, 1 rtf, 1 Excel, 1 PDF and 1 text clipping. So how is it advantageous to look in all these different apps? And “searching” — I have tens of thousands of documents under just one major client — maybe a hundred thousand documents altogether. Categorization is way easier than searching. How about I don’t think of the right search? Fortunately the hierarchy isn’t wiped out. I hope it never will be.

            1. I agree with Seamus. But it really comes down to the needs of the individual user. As a lawyer with many clients, it would be a nightmare indeed if I couldn’t organize and sort my files based on client names and matters. There’s just too much for me to remember and a good filing system is critical.

  2. Strange…in 10.8 this menu item has disappeared from the “Go” menu. Also Finder Preferences is gone from the Finder menu. it took some digging but the “Go to Folder…” is now available under the Finder’s dock icon. Right-clicking the Dock icon brings up several menu items, including the “Go to Folder..” item.

    I’m also running TotalFinder so perhaps that has something to do with it. 🙁

    1. Also, in my ~/Library, the folder is called /Mobile Documents.11291073 so the final slash ( / ) character had to be removed for “Go To Folder…” was able to locate it.

      Thus, enter ~/Library/Mobile Documents will work fine.

    2. You now need to hold the Option key down when clicking on the Go menu to see the Library choice.

      TotalFinder adds its own tab to the Finder’s Preferences window, and the Finder still has the Preferences option (second option down under ‘Finder’ up in the menu bar). If you’re missing that then something is amiss.

    1. That would be AWESOME! My major bitch about iCloud is that if you want to email a document that you saved to iCloud you have to go to the app that made the document and do it from there. You can’t do it from Mail.

    2. When you do this, the window title shows a cloud icon and says “iCloud” – this should be in the Finder sidebar like Dropbox. It can’t be that hard to do.

  3. Im confused, guess I will stick with Drop Box in my finder!

    I will never use something that is app centric, I have projects sorted by name with everything in the one folder
    Or sub folders

  4. Apple is wayyyyyy off on this no need to organize documents BS

    It is coming from people who haven’t had to actually do any real work on a computer for decades.

    It’s complete utter ballony bullshit with crap on top.

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