University of Southampton


How do I turn off iCloud Drive when installing macOS Sierra on a University Mac?

On upgrading to macOS Sierra, you will be offered the option to log on to an Apple account. If you do this, Apple offer the option to store your Desktop and Documents folders on the Apple iCloud Drive service.

Please ensure you untick this box before continuing. This is for two reasons:

  1. The iCloud Drive should not be used to store University files as this will be in breach of University regulations. Storing University data on servers outside the EU potentially breaks data protection laws, and could leave you and the University open to prosecution with a penalty of up to £100,000.
  2. If this option is selected, trying to turn it off in system preferences could potentially lead to data loss.

If you have accidentally enabled this feature:

Please turn it off as follows:

  1. Open System Preferences


  1. Open iCloud


  1. Remove the tick from box next to iCloud Drive


  1. When it asks if you want to keep a copy of your iCloud data, click on “Keep a Copy”


  1. Your files will be moved to a folder called “iCloud Drive (Archive)” in your home folder.


  1. You can move your files from here back to your desktop and documents folders.


You can also switch off the iCloud Drive sync by opening the iCloud Drive options and unticking “Desktop & Documents Folders” DO NOT DO THIS. Your data will be removed from your Mac but kept in iCloud.

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