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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When my wife's 2019 MBA running Mojave was having Chrome browser problems, I ran OnyX as I would on my own Mac.

When it restarted every single file (dozens to hundreds) was GONE from her Desktop!

Why, and how to get them back? She can't work without her files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, no! If iCloud didn't save them, is EVERYTHING gone?!? Last b/u Sept 1. Two months work will be gone. Workaround, please!!!
 

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This is odd. I’ve used onyx for years and I don’t recall it deleting files. Perhaps there a cleanup fiction I’m not aware of.

If you know the filename of any of the files can you do a file search? Maybe it was moved?
 

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Try going to the Finder preferences and make sure that the items have not been made invisible:

Rectangle Font Screenshot Parallel Number
 

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When my wife's 2019 MBA running Mojave was having Chrome browser problems, I ran OnyX as I would on my own Mac.

When it restarted every single file (dozens to hundreds) was GONE from her Desktop!
Unless you changed some settings in Onyx from its default settings, her UserName Desktop folder with all her files should still be on the drive somewhere.

Try running the Find Any File.app and search for any name that 'equals' "Desktop" (no quotes) and the file type is a Folder.

The appropriate Desktop folder should show up in the items found list hopefully with all her files in it as it was left.

Don't be surprised if you see other folders with the name desktop or Desktop that aren't the real Desktop folder she was expecting.


- Patrick
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, thanks for all your help. I believe it was an iCloud 'storage full' problem, not oNYx (brilliant app!). And FindAnyFile is far superior to Spotlight.

After many hours on this, I found a folder in ~Users/diskname named "iCloud (archived)". In it were two folders, Desktop & Documents. It appears that (likely) everything is there. Perhaps this is overflow from when iCloud became full; she's been ignoring those messages for a long time.

However, this raises bigger questions about iCloud. Apple's current strategy is tiny SSDs (c'mon 128GB?!?), backed up in iCloud. When iCloud is full, pay more to a trillion-dollar company after buying a $3k MBP, a $1.5k iPad and a $1k iPhone. It's a greedy ripoff.

My second point is, that if all files are actually resident on the SSD, how is it possible for iCloud to wipe one's Desktop clean. I'm certain I'm not the first user who's unticked that box. This is a bug not a feature.

I found out that all deleted files are supposedly kept in iCloud for 30 days. But I didn't delete them, I only unticked that box. This will require a phone call to a Genius (because I'm not).

Lastly, wife & I share the same iCloud. Hopefully, that Genius will tell us how to have an amicable divorce, giving us each 5TB iCloud storage which should be adequate with careful management.

Thank you, All!
 

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Lastly, wife & I share the same iCloud. Hopefully, that Genius will tell us how to have an amicable divorce, giving us each 5TB iCloud storage which should be adequate with careful management.

Thank you, All!
I'm glad you seem to have things resolved and recovered and pretty well sorted out.

- Patrick
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fingers crossed! Thanks, Patrick!

There are so many instances when ehMac is the first place to turn for help. Great community!
 

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Wow, thanks for all your help. I believe it was an iCloud 'storage full' problem, not oNYx (brilliant app!). And FindAnyFile is far superior to Spotlight.

After many hours on this, I found a folder in ~Users/diskname named "iCloud (archived)". In it were two folders, Desktop & Documents. It appears that (likely) everything is there. Perhaps this is overflow from when iCloud became full; she's been ignoring those messages for a long time.

However, this raises bigger questions about iCloud. Apple's current strategy is tiny SSDs (c'mon 128GB?!?), backed up in iCloud. When iCloud is full, pay more to a trillion-dollar company after buying a $3k MBP, a $1.5k iPad and a $1k iPhone. It's a greedy ripoff.

My second point is, that if all files are actually resident on the SSD, how is it possible for iCloud to wipe one's Desktop clean. I'm certain I'm not the first user who's unticked that box. This is a bug not a feature.

I found out that all deleted files are supposedly kept in iCloud for 30 days. But I didn't delete them, I only unticked that box. This will require a phone call to a Genius (because I'm not).

Lastly, wife & I share the same iCloud. Hopefully, that Genius will tell us how to have an amicable divorce, giving us each 5TB iCloud storage which should be adequate with careful management.

Thank you, All!
What happened was for some reason when you ran Onyx it signed you out of iCloud or turned off iCloud Drive. When that happened her Desktop and Documents were not synchronized with the Desktop and Documents folders in iCloud anymore. Luckily iCloud moved all her files to the archived folder. Normally when you sign out of iCloud it asks you what you want to do with those files, if you want to keep them on the Mac or remove them entirely.

iCloud drive comes in handy for example if you have multiple computers and want to synchronize your Desktop and Documents, or if you’re running out of space on your computer it will store them in iCloud drive and put what is basically an alias of the files on the computer, and if you need to access a file it will download them to use the file you want to use.

If neither of these scenarios applies to her you can turn off iCloud drive and just save the files locally like before iCloud drive came into being.

I’ve been a Mac tech for close to 30 years. I almost never run anything like Onyx, just for reasons like what happened to you. With OS X it’s not necessary. It does it’s own house keeping quite well. The only thing I may do is use Font Fagler to clear the font caches.

If one app is acting up, like Chrome, you could’ve just manually gone in and cleaned the chrome cache. Running Onyx to fix that is like using a stick of dynamite to kill a fly.

Glad you got it sorted out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, Reboot. It was my own lack of familiarity with iCloud. When I spoke with an Apple tech, he told me iCloud was mostly for iPhones which have little storage.

My beef is that MacOS now aliases all files rather than leaving them resident on the local disk. To me, that makes them more vulnerable to loss. And I don't want to pay every month; Apple's too greedy already.

Whenever I have a glitch, usually OnyX seems to fix me up. It was my stupidity not OnyX which unticked that box. But it took a tech to sort this out.

I know I'm a curmudgeon but I'm not a fan of synchronisation or convergence. I still use High Sierra which, I believe, does not alias files. Not sure how long I'll be able to get away with this, particularly when I have to replace my Mac. My wife made the mistake of 'upgrading' to Mojave.

Thanks for your great help!
 

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Thanks, Reboot. It was my own lack of familiarity with iCloud. When I spoke with an Apple tech, he told me iCloud was mostly for iPhones which have little storage.

My beef is that MacOS now aliases all files rather than leaving them resident on the local disk. To me, that makes them more vulnerable to loss. And I don't want to pay every month; Apple's too greedy already.

Whenever I have a glitch, usually OnyX seems to fix me up. It was my stupidity not OnyX which unticked that box. But it took a tech to sort this out.

I know I'm a curmudgeon but I'm not a fan of synchronisation or convergence. I still use High Sierra which, I believe, does not alias files. Not sure how long I'll be able to get away with this, particularly when I have to replace my Mac. My wife made the mistake of 'upgrading' to Mojave.

Thanks for your great help!
As usual the Apple tech wasn’t exactly right or knowledgeable. Chances are they were reading from a spec sheet and had no idea and had probably never used iCloud. iCloud is also used for computers that don’t have enough storage, not just iDevices. And it’s not just for that. It’s used to synchronize files between multiple devices or computers.

iCloud aliases files on the computer or on the phone or iPad if you don’t have enough physical storage. If your storage space is big enough the full file is stored on the computer or device along with being up in iCloud. You do have an option on both the computer or your device to store aliases of your photos instead of the full res file.

A 2.5 trillion dollar company and Apple still can’t get it right. I miss Steve Jobs. I’ll always be an Apple fanboi but I just shake my head sometimes at their tech-support. Or should I say lack of.

Glad things worked out for you especially since your wife would not have been happy for you to lose a weeks worth of work for her. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, Reboot. Yes, the new Macs can come with precious little storage. A 128GB computer?!? Harumph! Apple techs have been mostly good to me.

Actually, two months since we backed up so this would have been a serious loss. She has plenty of storage left but somehow those files were only in iCloud so I was assuming they were aliased.
 

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Actually, two months since we backed up so this would have been a serious loss. She has plenty of storage left but somehow those files were only in iCloud so I was assuming they were aliased.
I dare say that portable external hard drives are certainly readily available and cheap enough these days and work will with backup cloning software such as Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper.

I would strongly suggest getting into the habit of using them and doing more frequent backups, 😏


- Patrick
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Thanks, Reboot. Yes, the new Macs can come with precious little storage. A 128GB computer?!? Harumph! Apple techs have been mostly good to me.

Actually, two months since we backed up so this would have been a serious loss. She has plenty of storage left but somehow those files were only in iCloud so I was assuming they were aliased.
If they were originally on her desktop and then after the reboot you found them in the archived folder something happened when you ran onyx that turned iCloud drive off and moved the files there. My guess is they were not aliases on the desktop they were the actual files that were just moved for some reason. iCloud drive will keep originals on the computer unless you start running out of space and have optimize mac storage turned on.
 

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Thanks, Patrick. I need to encourage that habit!
When it comes to backing up a laptop I recommend that my customers use something like crash plan, iDrive, etc. People will not remember to plug in an external drive to back up. I see it over and over. Even on my desktop mini I have an external drive doing time machine plus I use crash plan on top of that in case of the nuclear scenario where everything at home is destroyed or stolen etc.
 
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