Frankly speaking, we must admit that any new feature in OS X or iOS little by little makes the system more and more complicated. The function of documents synchronization that appeared in Mountain Lion is just an example.

For some people it will raise the productivity of work and will be very useful, for others it may just be a problem. But if you don’t like this new feature you may simply turn it off with a couple of clicks.

How to turn on synchronization?

If you iCloud turned on and set up then synchronization of documents should happen by default. You may check it at System settings iCloud.

What’s the purpose of synching the documents via iCloud?

The talks that the OS X users should not be able to access file system have been going around for a long time. But it’s only in Mountain Lion where Apple has begun to implement such a feature. The idea is that every application should work only with its type of files which would be kept in one place and would be synchronized with all devices.

Now each time you open a program that supports the synchronization function (Byword, for example) or press Cmd+O in it, you will see a dialog box with all the documents that were created previously.

After that you may do whatever you want with these documents. You may group the documents; delete, move, duplicate the documents; drag other files into the window.

Files that you see in this window will be automatically synched with the devices and can be opened in the appropriate program (for example, Byword for iPad or iPhone).

If you want to open a file not from iCloud, then you should click On my Mac on the top left.

How to save a document in iCloud?

When saving a document choose iCloud option and change the destination folder (if necessary).


First of all, copies of all documents will be automatically synched with all iDevices. Secondly, all documents are gathered in one place and not scattered about your disk space. Apart from that, you see only those files in iCloud that were created by a current application.

Also, you may find iCloud documents with the help of Spotlight or such utilities as Alfred, for example. But you’ll be able only to open a document with the application it was created with; you won’t be able to see its location on a drive.


The main disadvantage is that you work with files from iCloud window of each application. That means that in case you want to send a document by email you have to launch the program (Byword, for example)each time in order to choose the document.

And here we have another disadvantage. If you sort all files according to projects, for example, an article with screenshots, then you’ll have to keep everything apart. iCloud and collective work are incompatible things. Surely you can drag the files to the above mentioned window but you will still have to launch Byword in order to get access to them.

Another point is that in case you switch off the function of synching data and documents, you won’t be able to synch data from your Mac at all. Taking into consideration the fact that these data may include some application settings, saves, etc., synching may be really useful.

Where the files are kept on my drive?

The files are kept in User → Libraries → Mobile Documents. But this folder is not for work. It is hidden and information there is presented in the form you can hardly read.

In order to see the Libraries folder do the following command:

$ chflags nohidden ~/Library/

If you move other files into this folder manually they will be automatically synchronized with devices.


Synchronization via iCloud is pretty handy and useful thing. As for me, I like it, though I had to get used to it. But if you with files collectively, in different programs or you’re just not going to open on either iPhone or iPad, then I think you’d better turn the synchronization off. Otherwise another dialog box may just drive you mad.


Guest Author Eugene Rudenko is a tech writer for IT company Intellectsoft (you may visit their site here. He writes about the latest news and trends in the world of mobile applications and development for Blackberry.

By Techwacky

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