Sync MacOS Downloads Folder Across Macs via ICloud

Warning: While this is incredibly convienent, you will not be able to recieve files via AirDrop on your Mac. Proceed with caution.

In today’s tech-centric world, where our daily tasks seamlessly transition from device to device, harnessing the power of cloud synchronization has become a game-changer. If you’re someone who frequently switches between multiple Macs, you’ve likely experienced the convenience of having your Desktop files synced via iCloud. But did you know that you can extend this convenience to your Downloads folder as well? In this article, I’ll give you the benefits of syncing your Downloads folder through iCloud and guide you through the simple process of setting it up.

Syncing Downloads for Ultimate Convenience:

As a multitasking Mac user, you understand the frustration of needing a file that’s tucked away in the Downloads folder of another computer. Imagine a scenario where you download an essential PDF while browsing a website and then need to access it on a different Mac or even your iPhone or iPad. This is where syncing your Downloads folder via iCloud shines, ensuring that your downloaded files are accessible from Apple device.

The Eureka Moment: Extending Sync to Downloads:

Inspiration often strikes unexpectedly, and it was during a session of exploring Parallels that I had a thought – why not extend the ease of Desktop file syncing to my Downloads folder? The idea of having all my temporary downloads available, regardless of the Mac I was on, seemed like a productivity dream come true. After all, what’s more frustrating than needing a crucial file only to realize it’s residing on another computer’s Downloads folder?

Setting Up Your iCloud Downloads Sync:

Before we dive into the setup process, ensure you’ve ticked off these prerequisites:

  1. iCloud Drive is enabled
  2. your Downloads folder is cleared out
  3. you possess admin access for each Mac you intend to sync.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to syncing your Downloads folder using iCloud:

  1. Launch Terminal: Start by opening Terminal, which can be found in the Utilities folder within your Applications.
  2. Clear Out Old Downloads: Enter the command sudo rm -rf ~/Downloads to remove your old Downloads folders. You’ll need to provide your admin password for this step.
  3. Create the Symlink: Input the command sudo ln -s ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/com\~apple\~CloudDocs/Downloads ~/Downloads and hit Enter. This command establishes a symbolic link (symlink), effectively making your iCloud Downloads folder function as your primary Downloads location.
  4. Remember to update any shortcuts to your Downloads folder, such as those in your dock or side panel, as they’ll now point to your iCloud-synced Downloads.

Embrace Seamless Access:

The advantage of this setup is a workflow that adapts to your mobility and device choices. Whether you’re downloading resources on one Mac and need them on another, or you’re reviewing downloaded content on your iOS device, iCloud’s Downloads sync ensures your files are always at your fingertips.

The marriage of iCloud’s synchronization prowess with your Downloads folder is a productivity hack worth adopting. From accessing crucial files regardless of your Mac to seamlessly integrating your workflow across devices, this setup simplifies your digital life. Embrace the power of the cloud and make every switch between devices a smooth and efficient experience. Give this simple method a try and enjoy the convenience of a synced Downloads folder across all your Macs.

Undoing This:

If you need to undo this process and restore to your non-synced downloads folder, here are your steps:

  1. Launch Terminal: Open Terminal from the Utilities folder within your Applications.
  2. Remove the Symlink: Enter the following command to remove the symlink that was created: sudo rm ~/Downloads You’ll need to provide your admin password for this step.
  3. Restore Default Downloads Folder: Input the command below to recreate the Downloads folder in your home directory: mkdir ~/Downloads
  4. Update Shortcuts: Remember to update any shortcuts or references to your Downloads folder, such as those in your dock or side panel, to point back to the default Downloads folder on your system.