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iCloud Preferences syncing unreliable

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I'm getting this error, even though I haven't changed anything about my setup. I've already tried rebooting, resetting the sync location, restoring preferences from a backup in various locations (the one in the error message, Application Support, etc.).


My workflows, snippets, etc. are just gone!


"You have a sync location set, but the preferences package is missing from: 


~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Alfred


This could be due to the Volume not yet being mounted, or the preferences being deleted.


If you continue, Alfred will use the default preferences location."

Screen Shot 2021-05-10 at 11.58.11 AM.png

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I get this periodically on a machine where my preferences are in an external drive with a bad cable that ejects occasionally….are the rest of your iCloud Drive files available when this happens?

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Thanks for the reply, that led me to explore. iCloud was working overall but the Alfred folder seemed to be stuck with the cloud icon and wouldn't download. So you are right I think that's where the trouble may have originated.


But then it still wasn't explaining why my recent backups weren't working in a new directory. So I went back even further to a backup from months ago, dropped that in the new directory, and it's golden. Everything is back to normal!


So maybe the iCloud problem somehow messed up my preferences file and I just haven't restarted my computer in so long that I never closed out and opened the "new" preferences.


Either way it's working so I'm happy, thanks again.



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@rwmleach What you've experienced is precisely why we advise against using iCloud for syncing Alfred's preferences. iCloud has continued to be unreliable over the past few years, sometimes syncing properly, other times syncing partially or not at all.


If you choose to use iCloud, first ensure that Optimised Storage is disabled, and make sure your data is backed up via Time Machine or other regular backup so that you have preferences to go back to if iCloud fails.



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  • Vero changed the title to iCloud Preferences syncing unreliable

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