Moving iCloud from C

I use an iPhone and an iPad, and subscribe to 200 GB of iCloud storage which I also sync to my Windows 10 computer using the iCloud sync software. This means that the files I store to iCloud from my two Apple devices are also available on my PC.

The problem is that Apple’s iCloud software only stores these files on the C drive, which on my computer is already crammed to the brim with Windows, programs and games. I simply don’t have room for all my stuff on there! Which is why I’ve moved all my documents, photos and other files to the other hard drives. I definitely need to move the iCloud folder, too.

The bad news is that there’s no way to do this from the iCloud control panel, which is something that I consider an oversight or gross neglect on Apple’s part. The good news is that there are other ways around it. The downside again is that it’s a little technical, but don’t let that scare you from asking a friend.

Disclaimer: This guide is provided with the only guarantee being that it worked for me on my computer using the steps described below. Proceed at your own risk. There is always the chance that something could go wrong. To protect yourself against data loss, make a backup before doing anything that might harm your files. I’ll assume no responsibility for any mistakes on your part, or damages or loss of data thereof, or even whether this works at all on your computer.

Step one: Disable iCloud Drive

Open the iCloud control panel, and disable iCloud Drive by first removing the check mark next to iCloud Drive, and then press Apply.

This has the additional bonus of removing all the files in the iCloud storage folder on your computer, but don’t worry, they will remain in available your iCloud account, and they will be automatically downloaded after you’ve completed all the steps.

Note: Make sure that the original iCloudDrive folder is deleted, too. If it’s still there, delete it yourself.

Step two: Create a new folder on another drive

You will need to create a new folder on a different drive, preferably one that will have room for all the files that will be synced with iCloud. I’ll use the D drive in this example, and create a folder that I call “iCloudDrive”, making the path for the new folder “D:\iCloudDrive”. Your drive letters may be different, so use what you have.

Note: If you get an error message such as “Cannot create a file when that file already exists”, you may need to delete the original iCloudDrive manually.

Step three: Make a link from old to new

First we need to open the command line window as Administrator. To do this, open the Start Menu, type “CMD”, right-click on “Command Prompt”, and select “Run as administrator”, then click “Yes” to allow this program to make changes to your computer.

You now have a new window with a black background, and a few bits of text. This is the command window. We won’t bother with what’s written there, because it’s not important to what we’re going to do.

IMPORTANT: For the next step, make sure to use your own Windows username where it says “USERNAME”, and your own target folder path where I’ve put “D:\iCloudDrive”.

In the command window, type the following line, and press Enter.

MKLINK /J "C:\Users\USERNAME\iCloudDrive" "D:\iCloudDrive"

In response it will say something like

Junction created for C:\Users\USERNAME\iCloudDrive <<===>> D:\iCloudDrive

You can then close the window.

Step four: Re-enable iCloud Drive

Open the iCloud control panel, and enable iCloud Drive by putting a check mark next to it and press Apply. As soon as you’ve done this, it will begin downloading all your iCloud Drive files to the new folder. Be aware that this may take a while, depending on how many megabytes of files you have, and how fast your internet connection is.

And that should be it! Happy iClouding! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Moving iCloud from C

Add yours

  1. Hi, I have tried following these instructions based on your command paths and using my user name, however I get this response: Cannot create a file when that file already exists.

  2. Hi, and thanks for your feedback 🙂

    I’ve checked around a little, and found that one possible reason for this error may be that iCloud didn’t automatically remove the original “iCloud Drive” folder when you disabled it, and that you’ll have to delete it yourself. From what I remember, it did delete it by itself on my computer, but conditions may vary (for example, if the folder was in use by another program at the time), and I noticed that others have run into the same error. I’ll see about updating this in the description, just in case.

    Hopefully this should help with your problem.

  3. Excellent. Just make sure the previous folder that iCloud had on your C: drive is gone before you create the link. Works great! Thank you.

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