iDropCloudBox – Bringing iCloud and Dropbox Together

This is another guest blogger post on Knghtwise.com, this time from Keith Murray (@kdmurray) who brings us a tip for linking your iCloud and Dropbox accounts.


One of the great things about iCloud is ubiquitous access to your files and data on all of your devices, seamlessly and behind the scenes. There are just a couple of caveats:

  1. your applications need to support iCloud, it’s not a feature of the OS
  2. you have to have Apple gear

While the first one can be a bit of a downer when you realize your favourite application doesn’t yet support iCloud, the second one can be a deal-breaker. Those of us who spend our days moving across platforms as easily as most others cross a room will often find that iCloud is less than useless when it comes to synchronizing content across our devices. If only iCloud worked more like Dropbox, maybe we could have the freedom of choice on our platforms and still keep some of the ubiquity across the Apple devices that we do have.

Enter the symlink.

I just did a post on my blog a couple of days back on using Symlinks to centralize content which is scattered about your computer into a nice shared space in Dropbox. It turns out you can do the same with your iCloud documents as well. While application specific, you can synchronize some or all of your iCloud documents to your Dropbox using the same technique I discussed before.

ln -s ~/Library/Mobile Documents/N24PMNAXEV~com~metaclassy~byword/Documents ~/Dropbox/Apps/Byword

All of your iCloud data is stored in application specific folders inside your Library folder. If you want to browse the files you can see them in the Finder:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Pull down the Go menu
  3. Press the option key Click on Library
  4. Open the folder Mobile Documents

Voila! Your iCloud apps reveal themselves. Each one of the application folders contains a Documents folder which is where your files for that app live.

If you want to be less discriminating you can try syncing all of your iCloud data with someething like this:

ln -s ~/Library/Mobile Documents/ ~/Dropbox/iCloud

If you try this approach, just make sure your Dropbox account has enough storage to take on what you’re giving it. The default free space in iCloud is more than twice the free default in Dropbox. Now go forth and sync your iCloud and Dropbox data!


Keith Murray is a software architect and developer who blogs about technology and science at kdmurray.net. He can also be found on twitter as kdmurray.

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