Switching from Dropbox to Apple’s iCloud

“I’ve been a happy Dropbox subscriber for several years,” Mike Flaminio writes for Insanely Great Mac. “The service works great, but I’ve been having some challenges and I want to consolidate my paid cloud services… [Also], I want to take advantage of macOS’s storage optimization.”

“In recent years, the challenge with Dropbox is syncing to devices with SSD storage. Everything was good when there was hundreds of gigabytes of storage on laptops and terabytes on desktops. It now, however, can be a challenge to sync across all devices when the contents of the cloud accounts could fill up drives,” Flaminio writes. “macOS solves this by automatically removing older, larger files as needed from local storage.”

“Another problem I’m looking to solve is, at least to my understanding, my Dropbox files must live locally somewhere,” Flaminio writes. “My solution has been a desktop with a large storage to house a master of my large files. iCloud Drive doesn’t work this way…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We stopped using DropBox with the advent of iCloud Drive in September 2014 and have never looked back!

More info about Apple’s iCloud Drive here.

Biting the iCloud storage bullet – June 22, 2017
Apple doubles storage on $9.99/month iCloud tier to 2TB; iOS 11 lets you share single plan with whole family – June 6, 2017


  1. I didn’t like the fact that ALL my files had to live locally (including any that people shared with me from their DropBox accounts)…
    However, I recently found that if you log into your account online, you can deselect folders from syncing with your desktop app. It’s like excluding folders or files from Time machine backup.

  2. I prefer local storage, no challeneges to me (retired), I’m not forced to the high mobility of a professionally active user. So, no more umbilical cord to mother Apple. I keep that other storage, that other note service, and the amount of storage of a free account suffices in both cases. I like to have my things largely under my very own control.

  3. As the girl in the Old el Pado ads wisely said, “why not have both?” 🎊

    I use iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Backblaze, and OneDrive for different but complementary purposes:

    • Dropbox is used for friends and colleagues who want to share a file or folders.
    • OneDrive contains documents I want to edit anywhere on the road no matter which device.
    • iCloud Drive contains my iOS and Mac app-specific files, and I also use Photo Stream to keep my photos safe.
    • And if I need to get my hands on a file that doesn’t sit on one of those AND I can’t remotely access my home Mac, then Backblaze will have it prepped and ready to go after a short wait.

  4. Flaminio needs to do his homework. One’s iCloud stuff is also stored locally just like Dropbox. The location on your Mac is Users > YourName > Library > Mobile Documents. Essentially, when one saves to iCloud, one is really saving to this local folder which then gets mirrored in the iCloud.

    1. Yes, but iCloud Drive has the option to purge the local files (that are already in the cloud) if your drive is running low on space. My understanding is that Dropbox may offer that functionality for business accounts, but not personal ones.

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