Apple’s File Provider Forces Mac Cloud Storage Changes

I have not used the Dropbox app because I have no interest in synchronizing files. You cannot use Dropbox simply as an external drive, at least the last time I checked. Even if you designate a file as “online”, it gets downloaded to your computer when you open it.

I currently use Dropbox as an external drive by running CloudMounter and Mountain Duck.

These look like fascinating apps! Thanks for sharing.

Do you use both of them? If so, why isn’t just one of them sufficient?

Thanks again.

I find CloundMounter to be more reliable than Mountain Duck. I had problems MD when updating/deleting files. But that was a couple years ago. They may have fixed it since then.

CM is quicker but it only displays generic icons. I prefer to see thumbnails when I’m working with photographs. I use MD then.

Great article. Made an account just to ask this question: why are iCloud files no longer stored in the cloud storage folder? It would seem logical to put all cloud storage under the same umbrella, but iCloud files now get their own folder, which means they need to be special-cased in every script/automation.

It’s a good question, but I doubt anyone outside the iCloud team knows. ;-) My best guess would be that Apple needs to do special things with iCloud given how deeply it’s integrated into macOS, and some of those preclude being located in ~Library/CloudStorage.

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Can someone do a sanity check for me? I’m trying to use the Finder window’s search field to find a file that I know exists in Dropbox. (The same problem applies with Google Drive.) When I select Dropbox in the sidebar and then limit the search to Dropbox, it never completes. However, if I change the scope to This Mac, the file appears instantly. So it is indexed!

Finder 2023-03-21 at 12.20.21
Finder 2023-03-21 at 12.20.25

I’m seeing the same problem on my M1 MacBook Air, and both it and my iMac are running Ventura.

Do others see this behavior too? If so, it could be a problem with the File Provider architecture.

I don’t see that problem with either of my Google Drive folders. When I did the search, the process FinderHelper did ask for access to the files managed by Google Drive. Revoking that access didn’t make any difference with the search results.

I do see the problem, but not necessarily limited to cloud storage. Seems to me like a problem with finding in a particular Finder folder.

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As shown below, the web interface to Google Drive has three categories of storage, namely:

  1. My Drive
  2. Shared drives, and
  3. Shared with me

But, Finder shows only:

How do I get “Shared with me” to be accessible from the Finder?

Huh! Curiouser and curiouser. I’m using Ventura—what versions of macOS are you two using?

Anyone else?