The latest operating system for Macintosh computers, called macOS Sierra (and also know as OSX 10.12) has been with us for about 6 months now. It has some decidedly different features that many people found out about by default, painfully!
I'm referring to iCloud Drive which is turned on by automatically. This means if you don't want it on you have to un-tick it during the installation process when a window asks if you want iCloud Drive. Most people leave everything ticked when installing almost anything so it begins the process which has caused so much pain!
Here in the Northern Rivers we have lousy internet. That's just a fact of life unless you are one of the few with NBN broadband, either wirelessly from one of the towers which means you are on a rural property, or in the Tallowood Ridge estate outside Mullumbimby.
iCloud Drive moves your Desktop and Documents folders onto Apple's Cloud servers. The advantage is that you can access these files from any computer or iDevice and they are backed up on said Cloud. The decided disadvantage is that it can take an age to get the documents up there on our internet system and another age to download them when needed. Depending on how much data you have in your Desktop and Documents you will also easily outgrow the free 5GBs of data that Apple allows for free and find yourself paying for extra space.
I would have been so much happier if iCloud Drive was un-ticked during installation and could be activated anytime afterwards.
So what to do if your computer and/or internet has slowed down since installing Sierra? Go to System Preferences/iCloud click the Options button and see what is turned on. You can see from this image I have turned off everything!
Apple wil thenl copy everything from their servers into a backup on your Mac. From there you can move it back onto your Desktop and Documents and everything will be as normal. Normal as in pre-iCloud Drive that is.
I find iCloud is very usefull for syncing our devices, Contacts and Calendars are mirrored across our iPhones, iPads and Macs, but until our internet is upgraded to NBN it's not much good for storage. Apple's 5GBs of storage is plenty for this syncing role.
If you are considering the move to Sierra, perhaps having being prompted by exhortations from the App Store on your Mac, be careful! It is not suited to older machines nor to any computers with less than 8GB of RAM. It runs like a dog on these so stay with Yosemite Mac OSX 10.10 if you are still on that system.
One day we will have super-fast internet and cloud storage will be a welcome part of life but until then beware!