By Nicky / Last Updated December 29, 2020


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What is Apple iCloud Drive and how does it work?

iCloud is a cloud-based storage service provided by Apple, which allows us to synchronize documents and files on all iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. The program used to access these files is called iCloud Drive, which you can use to sync files across all devices in supported third-party applications and Apple’s built-in programs.

Apple provides you with 5GB of iCloud storage space for free, but the free storage will be run out of quickly if you start to sync all the documents, files, and photos in the cloud. The price of subscribing to more storage space ranges from $0.99 to $9.99 per month and the capacity you need depends on what you use iCloud for.

Icloud In Mac

Can I let iCloud Drive only sync certain folders?

Generally, Macs running macOS Sierra and later versions allow you to sync files and folders on your desktop to iCloud and access them from any device using iCloud Drive. After enabling the sync, every photo, file, and folder saved to the desktop will be automatically saved in iCloud.

For most Mac users, they prefer to backup Mac to iCloud directly because iCloud works well with Mac. However, there are circumstances where you will not want to sync a folder to iCloud. Whether it's because you store large files that you don't want to take up cloud space or because it's a temporary folder that you don't want to have constantly syncing.

No matter what reason you'd want to stop a folder from automatically syncing with iCloud for, may wonder how to let iCloud Drive only sync certain folders and how to stop a specific folder from uploading to iCloud on Mac. Although there is no selective sync feature in iCloud Drive, you can follow the methods in the following contents to achieve that.

How to let iCloud Drive only sync certain folders?

1. Launch System Preferences on your Mac.

2. Click Apple ID at the top right corner.

Icloud Apple Id

3. Click Options next to iCloud Drive.

Icloud Options

4. Check off the box for the folders you want to sync to iCloud.

5. Make sure the checkbox is green for the folders you need, then click the green Done button.

Icloud Done

How to stop specific folders from uploading to iCloud?

The steps below show you how to stop a folder from uploading to iCloud:

1. Launch System Preferences on your Mac.

2. Click Apple ID at the top right corner.

3. Click Options next to iCloud Drive.

4. Un-tick the checkbox for the folder that you want to exclude from iCloud (so it should be OFF).

5. Click Done to save your changes.

Icloud Done

Bonus tip: Backup your Windows folders to cloud

As we all know, iCloud works seamlessly with other Apple products like iPhone, iPad, etc. Although it offers a special version for Windows PC, it is not a good cloud backup or storage choice for Windows PC users. Therefore, I want to recommend a more easy-to-use and cost-effective cloud backup called CBackupper to Windows users.

CBackupper is a professional cloud backup for Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 PC files protection. With it, users can back up their PC files to its secure and stable cloud server called AOMEI Cloud. The data backed up to AOMEI Cloud will be kept safe and you can restore backups in the cloud to the original or a different location at any time.

In addition, the paid plans for CBackupper is very reasonable. You can start with a 15-day free trial (1000 GB) and subscribe to the 1000 GB storage plan for $6.00 per month and $60.00 per year only. The backup space that CBackupper offers is large enough and the pricing is affordable for most users.

Let’s see how to backup to protect your PC files with the best Windows cloud backup:

1. Download and install it on your computer. Run it and sign up.

Sign In

2. After logging in, click on the Task tab and click on the New Task button.

Create Task

3. Click on Add Source to select the PC files that you want to backup to AOMEI Cloud. After selecting, click Start Backup.

Add Source

Note: Before clicking on the Start Backup, you can click the Settings button to use the File Filter feature and enable Email Notification.


That’s all about how to let iCloud Drive only sync certain folders on Mac. The steps are very detailed and easy to operate even for the users who are not familiar with the computer. If you are a Windows user, you can use the CBackupper to protect your PC folders with ease. It offers a 15-day free trial, why not give it a chance?