Accessing iCloud Documents from the Finder

With Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), Apple integrated iCloud into the Mac. Applications that support iCloud allow you to save documents to iCloud instead of your Mac’s hard disk. This allows you to access those documents from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Apple chose to “silo” the documents on an application by application basis. For example, that means if you bring up Pages, you can’t see the documents you saved using Numbers.

Here’s a trick that allows you to access your iCloud documents, regardless of the application that created them, from the Finder:

Mobile Documents in Finder

How to do it:

1. From the Finder, press the following key combination: Command+Shift+G  This will open the Go To window.

2. In the Go To Window, enter the following path: ~/Library/  Then press the Go button. This will open the Finder window to your Library folder. (Be careful when working in this folder. It contains things that make your Mac behave properly. Delete or move the wrong thing and you can open a wormhole to the dark side.)

3. Locate the folder called “Mobile Documents”. This is where your iCloud documents can be found.

4. Make an alias of this folder by selecting the folder and pressing: Command+L

5. Drag the alias to the sidebar of the Finder window. Next, delete the alias folder. (NOT the original folder!!)

Now, when you select Mobile Documents on your Finder sidebar, it will take you to the folder that contains your iCloud documents.


Not as pretty as you’d like…

Inside the Mobile Documents folder will be a series of folders that contain your iCloud documents:

Inside Mobile Documents

The folder names will look a bit weird. But if you look closely, you’ll see the name of the respective applications at the end of the folder names. For example, the Pages folder is named “com-apple-Pages”. (DO NOT rename these folders!!)

Double click on one of the folders. Within that folder will be a folder called Documents. Double click that folder and you’ll see the files you created with that application and stored in iCloud.

And that’s it! Access to your iCloud documents from the Finder. 


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