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macOS Sonoma 14.4 error “Destroys saved versions in iCloud Drive”

Posted by Tim Hardwick

Apple's latest software update for macOS Sonoma 14.4 appears to contain another bug, this time affecting saved versions in iCloud Drive.


Versions are typically created automatically when users save files using apps that work with the versioning system in macOS. (To check if your Mac is running a legacy system, look for the Return To option in the app's File menu.)

According to Howard Oakley of The Eclectic Light Company, users running macOS 14.4 , have the Optimize Mac Storage feature turned on, should be aware that they risk losing all previously saved versions of a file if they decide to delete it from local iCloud Drive storage.

In Previous versions On macOS, when you delete a file from local storage in iCloud Drive [using the Delete Download option in the right-click context menu], all saved versions of it are retained. Download the file again from iCloud Drive, and versions saved on this Mac (but not other Macs or devices) will remain fully accessible. Do this in version 14.4, and all previous versions will now be removed and lost forever.

Oakley said his own tests have confirmed that this behavior does not occur in macOS Sonoma 14.3 or macOS Ventura. therefore it is exclusive to macOS 14.4. For users who have already updated, he suggests either not saving files to iCloud Drive at all, or disabling Optimize Mac Storage.

To do the latter, from System Preferences, click your Apple ID, select iCloud, and then turn off the switch next to Optimize Mac Storage. You may have to do this step twice – reports suggest it may turn back on on its own. For a more complete description of the issue, see the following Oakley post.

Several bugs were reported in macOS 14.4, and we've documented some of the more notable issues in a dedicated article that we've since updated. the story was published. Did the latest bug affect you? Let us know in the comments.

Related review: macOS SonomaTag: iCloud DriveRelated forum: macOS Sonoma [189 comments]

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