If you have no use for iCloud Drive on the Mac, you may wish to disable iCloud Drive in macOS. By turning off iCloud Drive, all documents that are stored in iCloud will be removed from the Mac, though you’ll have an option to keep a local copy when turning iCloud Drive off.

Note this is disabling iCloud Drive completely on the Mac, and not simply disabling iCloud Desktop & Documents which only stores those two directories in iCloud. By turning off iCloud Drive on the Mac, you will have no access to iCloud Drive or any files in iCloud Drive from that computer (unless you turn it on again, which we’ll also walk through below).

How to Disable iCloud Drive on Mac

Be sure the Mac has an active internet connection before attempting this procedure so that any decision on file downloading can be respected.

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose ‘System Preferences’
  2. Select iCloud settings
  3. Uncheck the box next to “iCloud Drive”
How to turn off iCloud Drive on Mac
  1. Confirm that you want to turn off iCloud Drive and remove the iCloud files from the Mac, then select the option for what to do with your files:
    • “Keep a Copy” – this will keep a downloaded copy of the files from iCloud Drive on the Mac, this is the recommended choice for most users to preserve their files
    • “Remove from Mac” – this will delete any files from iCloud Drive from the Mac
How to disable iCloud Drive on Mac
  1. Exit out of System Preferences when finished

By turning off iCloud Drive on the Mac, you’ll no longer have the “iCloud Drive” option visible in the Finder sidebar, or as an option in the Dock or elsewhere on the Mac, because the feature is disabled completely. Likewise, you won’t be able to save files to iCloud Drive from the Mac, nor will you be able to copy files to iCloud Drive or move files to iCloud Drive from the Mac.

iCloud Drive is a very helpful feature that allows you to easily share files and documents between your own devices (including other Macs, iPhones, iPads) by automatically syncing and copying files between devices, so disabling iCloud Drive should only be done if you do not actually use the feature at all on the Mac. There are some other scenarios where turning off iCloud Drive could be relevant too, for example if the Mac is never online, or doesn’t use iCloud whatsoever, or perhaps if the Mac uses another cloud storage service, amongst other various reasons.

How to Enable iCloud Drive on Mac

If you disabled iCloud Drive and now want to re-enable iCloud Drive on the Mac, here is how to do that:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and select ‘System Preferences’
  2. Select iCloud
  3. Check the box next to “iCloud Drive”

This will re-enable iCloud Drive as a destination for saving files, data, and for copying items to and from the Mac and other Macs using the same Apple ID, or other Apple devices using the same Apple ID, including other iPhone and iPads. Re-enabling iCloud Drive also brings back the default option in newer macOS versions to have iCloud be the default save location for some files.

If you have any particular experiences, thoughts, tips, or suggestions about using or turning off iCloud Drive on Mac, share with us in the comments below!