Apple moving 'Documents & Data' to iCloud Drive in 2022

Posted:
in Mac Software edited May 2021
The previously separate iCloud "Documents & Data" service will automatically be merged into Apple's iCloud Drive in May 2022 -- but users will have to take steps to continue seeing their documents.


"Documents & Data" is being discontinued


Apple's iCloud Documents & Data is a system that automatically synchronizes data from different apps and makes it available across all devices. Confusingly, it's separate to the "Documents & Desktop" iCloud service that makes your documents folder and Mac desktop available, and it's different to iCloud Drive.

Beginning in May 2022, Apple is attempting to reduce the confusion and streamline the different parts of iCloud storage. The Documents & Data service will be discontinued and all the data in it will automatically be moved to iCloud Drive.

Ultimately, the difference that users will notice is that they will be able to see and access this data directly in the Files app on iOS, or the Finder on Mac. However, while the transition will happen automatically, seeing the data in iCloud Drive will not. Users will have to separately enable this feature.

"In May 2022, iCloud Documents and Data, our legacy document syncing service, will be discontinued and completely replaced by iCloud Drive," says Apple in a support document. "If you use iCloud Documents and Data, your account will be migrated to iCloud Drive after this date."

"If you use the iCloud Documents and Data service, you need to turn on iCloud Drive using the steps below to see your files," it continues.

To turn on iCloud Drive -- if you are not already using it -- on iOS, you:

  1. Open Settings

  2. Tap on your name

  3. Tap iCloud

  4. Scroll down to iCloud Drive and turn it on

It's the same process on a Mac, except that you go via System Preferences, and you may be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID.

The removal of the old Documents & Data system follows Apple's move to make iCloud Drive more universally useful. In 2020, it added the Dropbox-like ability to share folders with other users.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,272member
    I’m still confused. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure it out by next year. 
    mobirdTomEomasoudoozydozen
  • Reply 2 of 13
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,268member
    Me too to be honest, I thought they were already merged.  Hopefully this will fix my persistent “stuck” iCloud back ups on my MacOS computers.  I have resorted to using iCloud on Safari to force back ups of these stuck files to my iCloud account.  In the end, I will end up with duplicate files I suspect.

    My iOS devices work well in this regard.  

    Hopefully the convergence of iOS and MacOS will end up in this becoming a nonissue.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    TomETomE Posts: 172member
    I sincerely hope that MacOS does not get dumbed down to the iOS level.  I want to understand what is going on with my files, etc.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    One more step in the integration of Macs into the bigger world of the iOS environment.


  • Reply 5 of 13
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 354member
    I wonder if this means every app using the soon-to-be-deprecated Documents & Data service will get their own visible folder for that data in iCloud Drive.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    XedXed Posts: 2,472member
    TomE said:
    I sincerely hope that MacOS does not get dumbed down to the iOS level.  I want to understand what is going on with my files, etc.
    Having online access and sync is not dumbing down macOS. There's no reason to worry.
    doozydozenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    RS232RS232 Posts: 8member
    The old Documents and Data was free. By moving it to iCloud we will potentially need to pay for it because it data will raise one’s iCloud usage.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    XedXed Posts: 2,472member
    RS232 said:
    The old Documents and Data was free. By moving it to iCloud we will potentially need to pay for it because it data will raise one’s iCloud usage.
    Here's an article on HowToGeek from 2017 that states:

    iCloud’s “Manage Storage” screen also allows you to manage  “Documents & Data.”. […] They count toward your iCloud storage, so you may want to delete any files you don’t care about.

    That is how I remember it. Can you show me when you could unlimited data into your Desktop and Documents folders without it incurring utilized space on iCloud?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    TomE said:
    I sincerely hope that MacOS does not get dumbed down to the iOS level.  I want to understand what is going on with my files, etc.
    Absolutely nothing here to suggest that’s happening. If anything, this makes your data more accessible.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    One more step in the integration of Macs into the bigger world of the iOS environment.


    Not really what’s happening here.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,394member
    RS232 said:
    The old Documents and Data was free. By moving it to iCloud we will potentially need to pay for it because it data will raise one’s iCloud usage.
    Wrong. Read the support doc before griping, FFS:
    If you use the iCloud Documents and Data service, you need to turn on iCloud Drive using the steps below to see your files. Upgrading to iCloud Drive doesn't change the amount of storage space your saved files use in iCloud. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    MicDorseyMicDorsey Posts: 100member
    TomE said:
    I sincerely hope that MacOS does not get dumbed down to the iOS level.  I want to understand what is going on with my files, etc.
    Macs have been going through a dumbing down for many years. Like a parent dangling the shiny keychain to distract the baby, Apple dangles pretty diversions like Emoji, Animoji and pretty new iMac colors to the fawning media.

    Meanwhile, the user interface is packed with hidden and inconsistent features. Yes, Steve is spinning.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    One more step in the integration of Macs into the bigger world of the iOS environment.


    Not really what’s happening here.
    Not really

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