A poll we ran yesterday reveals that the overwhelming majority of 9to5Mac readers are opting to switch off the new storage-management features introduced in macOS Sierra.


I noted my surprise at discovering that ‘Optimize Mac Storage’ – which automatically deletes local copies of files stored on iCloud when space gets tight – was switched on by default for me. Others echoed this in comments and tweets.

Then it turns on “optimise files” anyway, without my permission (no one who hasn’t read this article will even know this is happening).

In our poll, more than 70% of you said that you were switching off the feature, against only 17% leaving it on. A little over 10%, though, are going all-in with the ‘Store on iCloud’ feature, which stores all Desktop and Documents files on iCloud by default, retaining local copies only of recently-opened ones.


In addition to the concerns I raised about reliability and accessibility, readers also pointed to the impact on mobile data usage.

The reason I carry a hard drive of movies with me on trips is because I know my Verizon data plan isn’t going to let me stream all that much […]

The biggest ISP in the US, Comcast, continues on-going trials of metered service, and every cellular-based ISP includes limits on their “unlimited” Internet access. Not knowing exactly what is going to be pushed up to Apple’s cloud drive is going to be a problem. Retrieving data will inevitably become a problem when you hit your limit just when you need to get it back.

There was also widespread agreement for my view that offering just 5GB of free iCloud storage across all owned devices was grossly inadequate. One reader also pointed to another missing piece of the puzzle.

I can’t believe they released it without a Smart Finder Folder option to show all files that are ‘optimized’ (e.g. not stored locally).

Another reader noted that the settings found in different places are all interlinked, though in rather unintuitive ways, creating a video to illustrate the point.

While it’s certainly great to have the option, it appears that Apple may find limited uptake, and some angry Mac owners when they find out the hard way that local files have been deleted without permission.

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