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Compare two iCloud Folders over network

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  • Compare two iCloud Folders over network

    Hi. First post to this forum so I'll apologize in advance if this has been asked before.
    I have two Apple computers that show two iCloud folders to be different.

    I would like to use BC to compare these two folders to identify where the differences are.

    Can't seem to figure out how to select the folder a networked machine.

    Help appreciated.

    Jim P

  • #2

    BC4's Browse dialog has a tiny dropdown arrow next to it, to swap between the internal Browse Using Profiles and the system level Browse File System.

    BC4 also supports drag and drop from a Finder window.

    Do either of these strategies help with your targets? If not, could we get more detail on the exact file path and protocol used to access it on which machine?
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3

      As a follow-up, this assumes the content in iCloud is being synchronized locally and you are comparing those local folders. BC4 can't remotely connect to an iCloud location/profile like it can with Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.
      Aaron P Scooter Software


      • #4
        Re Aaron's post #3: the setting to control this is "Optimise Mac Storage" in System Preferences > Apple ID, then you have to wait for everything to download (look for the absence of "cloud download" icons in the iCloud Drive folder in Finder).

        The actual comparison is not easy to do directly. What Finder shows as "iCloud Drive" is actually a synthetic view derived from several folders that get synced with iCloud. The details might vary between macOS versions and with various settings (e.g. the "Desktop and Documents" option is likely to be different - I'm not using that feature), but in my macOS Monterey system it appears that the local copy of the iCloud Drive files are mostly in folders beneath "~/Library/Mobile Documents", which has a long list of complex named folders which appear to be derived from applications which have folders in iCloud Drive, but list doesn't exactly match what Finder shows in iCloud Drive. Files I've manually added to iCloud Drive (not in an application-specific folder) appear to be in "~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs".

        The easiest solution is probably to use an external drive in a Mac-native format (HFS+ or APFS), connect it to the first computer, create a folder on the drive named to identify that computer, use Finder to copy everything from iCloud Drive to that folder, then eject the drive and repeat on the other computer, then compare the two local copies. The second computer could use a temporary folder on its internal drive, if space permits, but remember to Option-Drag when copying so you don't accidentally move files off iCloud Drive.

        Copying everything out of iCloud Drive will have the side effect of forcing Finder to sync with iCloud Drive before it can do the copies, which might fix the problem if one of the computers hasn't correctly synced with iCloud.
        Last edited by dempson; 08-Dec-2021, 03:18 PM. Reason: Clarification