Why Move Files from iCloud Drive to Desktop?

Move Files from iCloud Drive to Desktop
Move Files from iCloud Drive to Desktop

Moving iCloud files to the desktop can be useful for a variety of reasons. Here are a few possible reasons why someone might want to learn how to move files from iCloud Drive to desktop:

  • Offline Access: By moving files from iCloud to the desktop, you can have immediate access to them even when you don't have an internet connection. This can be particularly helpful if you're in a location without internet access or if you prefer working offline.
  • Organizational Convenience: Having your files on the desktop allows for easy organization and quick access. You can create folders, arrange files, and customize your desktop layout according to your preferences, making it more convenient to find and work with your files.
  • Backup: Copying your iCloud files to the desktop can serve as an additional backup method. Although iCloud already provides cloud storage and backup, some people prefer to have an extra local copy of their important files like copying photos on iCloud to their computer's hard drive for added peace of mind.
  • Integration with Local Apps: Certain applications or software may work better or offer additional functionality when accessing files from the desktop rather than directly from the iCloud drive. Moving files to the desktop can facilitate seamless integration with these applications and make your workflow smoother.

How to Move Files from iCloud Drive to Desktop [3 Best Ways]

Now, you know that moving iCloud Drive files to desktops truly brings us some conveniences. And this section will show you 3 ways to move files from iCloud to desktop through iCloud.com, iCloud Drive desktop, and dragging and dropping. Whether you want to transfer files to a PC or Mac desktop, there is a way for you.

Way 1: Migrate iCloud Files to the Desktop via iCloud.com Website

Step 1: Open a web browser and visit iCloud.com. Then sign in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password.

Step 2: Click on the "iCloud Drive" icon and tap on the “Browse” button.

Choose iCloud Drive
Choose iCloud Drive

Step 3: Browse through the files and folders to select the file you want to move and click the download icon. Then choose your desktop as the downloading destination in the pop-up window and tap “OK”. After that, you can refresh your desktop to see if there is any new file.

Upload iCloud Drive Files to Desktop
Upload iCloud Drive Files to Desktop

Note: If you want to download photos from iCloud to pc, you should choose Photos instead of iCloud Drive when you enter the iCloud.com website.

Way 2: Transfer Files from iCloud to PC Desktop via iCloud for Windows

Step 1: Download iCloud for Windows in the Microsoft Store.

Step 2: Launch and log in to your iCloud account.

Sign in to your iCloud Account
Sign in to your iCloud Account

Step 3: Tick the box next to iCloud Drive and your can also tick other features below. Then click the “Apply” button in the low-right corner.

Click the Apply Button
Click the Apply Button

Step 4: Open the iCloud Drive folder in File Explorer. Then drag the files you want to move and drop them to your desktop. Till now, you finish all your operations on how to move files from iCloud Drive to desktop on your Windows PC.

Open iCloud Drive Folder in File Explorer
Open iCloud Drive Folder in File Explorer

Way 3: How to Move Documents from iCloud to Mac Desktop via Copy & Paste

Step 1: Open a Finder window on your Mac and click on "iCloud Drive" in the left bar.

Step 2: Look through the files and folders in your iCloud Drive to find what you want to move. Then right-click on the file you wish to transfer to choose “Copy Documents” and paste them to the desktop on your Mac.

Copy Files from iCloud Drive in Finder
Copy Files from iCloud Drive in Finder

Bonus Tip: Backup iCloud Drive Files to Another Cloud via MultCloud

It is mentioned in the first section that moving files from iCloud Drive to desktop can be a backup. However, saving too many files on your computer may have a bad influence on its performance, so you can backup files to other clouds instead. To backup files from iCloud Drive to another cloud, you can try MultCloud.

Using MultCloud Cloud Backup, you don’t need to go through the difficult process to connect the 2 clouds or turn to various website for transferring files. With just 3 steps, the backup will be finished very soon.

Step 1: Sign up for a free MultCloud account after entering its website.

Step 2: Connect iCloud Drive to MultCloud by clicking “Add Cloud” and the iCloud Drive icon. Then go through the two-factor authentication. Also, you can choose another cloud (eg. Google Drive) to MultCloud by repeating the operations.

Add iCloud Drive and Google Drive
Add iCloud Drive and Google Drive

Step 3: Click “Cloud Backup” and choose iCloud Drive in the left box and another cloud in the right box. Then tap on the “Backup Now” button to initiate the process for backing up iCloud to Google Drive.

Backup iCloud Drive to Google Drive
Backup iCloud Drive to Google Drive

Note: If you want to regularly backup your iCloud Drive files to the selected cloud, you can use the Schedule feature. Once you keep the Schedule setting, when the appointed time arrives, the backup process will run automatically.

Cloud Backup Schedule
Cloud Backup Schedule


Now you know 3 wonderful solutions on how to move files from iCloud Drive to desktop and you can follow the steps shown in the post to realize the migration. Besides, you can try the MultCloud method to backup files from iCloud to Google Drive, OneDrive, or any cloud that you can find on MultCloud.


1. How do I remove files from iCloud but keep them on Mac?

You can use the steps shown above to save the files on your desktop or other place on your computer before you delete them on iCloud.

2. Does deleting files from iCloud delete from Mac?

No, deleting files from iCloud does not automatically delete them from your Mac. iCloud is a cloud storage service provided by Apple that allows you to synchronize and access your files across multiple devices, including Mac computers. When you delete files from iCloud, they are removed from your iCloud storage but are still stored on your Mac.

3. Can I transfer iCloud photos to PC?

Yes, there are several ways to move your iCloud Photos to PC. For example, if you begin to use MultCloud, you can download photos by using the “Download” feature on it.

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Wondering how to sync iCloud to an external hard drive? Don’t miss this post. It provides the 4 simplest ways for you. Whether you are a macOS user or a Windows user, you can find the solution. Besides, the post will give the best way to sync iCloud to other clouds by MultCloud which is free and secure.

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