Copying files from ext HD to iCloud drive and removing local iCloud file once synced - possible?

I am trying to work out a solution for some off-site backups. I have around 500gb of video files that are precious (family stuff, holidays etc etc). I use Home Sharing on a Mac so that I see them via Apple TV, and they are on external HDs connected to the Mac. But hard drives fail .. so I have a second copy on another drive that is regularly backed up. That's all well and good, until the house burns down! So an off-site backup is needed. Previously I had a simple solution - the backup drive would go to work with me and be swapped with another backup there. So there were always 2 drives at home and another 1 off-site. But, you know, remote working and no commute means that this simple but effective approach is not available anymore!

I had considered setting up Backblaze or similar, but then I do have available bandwidth on my iCloud plan. I should really use that, right? Except I can't use it to store these files because they have to remain on this external HD because of the small size on my internal HD.

Maybe automation is the way to do it. If I can get these files on to iCloud drive locally, allow them to sync, then remove the local version, that could do it. But I'd have to keep doing this. Not exactly set-and-forget territory.

So, I wondered if Keyboard Maestro in combination with some other tools might do this. Something like this, perhaps:

  • Set up a watch on a source folder (that is on an external drive)
  • Set up a watch on a destination folder (that is inside iCloud Drive)
  • When a file is added to the external drive:
    • Copy the file(s) to the iCloud (destination) drive
    • Once file has copied acrosss, iCloud Drive will automatically start to sync
  • Watch that file (or files) and monitor their iCloud sync status
  • When they are uploaded to iCloud, remove the local download (not delete)

End result:

  • File present on external drive
  • Copy uploaded to iCloud
  • Local copy on iCloud drive not present (but could be downloaded on demand)
  • Access to the iCloud drive files also pssible on other Mac/iOS devices

Theoretically, is this possible With Keyboard Maestro actions? Maybe with some Automator?

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@Lloydi I know it's not 2020 anymore, but have u solved it somehow? :slight_smile:

I would guess the reason this never got solved is that iCloud doesn’t work this way (just having files in iCloud but without copies on the computer).

As far as I know, you can’t choose folders to sync or not.

With Dropbox it is possible to choose which folders get stored on the local computers. But I don’t think that can be done with iCloud Drive.

Yea :confused:

I've had a genius idea using Keyboard maestro to schedule AppleScript to force download a specific folder and run it every minute, but sadly failed.