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Alfred doesn't properly handle files that are stored in iCloud Drive, but locally evicted

Skip R.

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Alfred version & build number: Alfred 4.8 [1312]

macOS version: 13.5 (22G74)




For a while I've noticed that Alfred struggles to handle files that are stored in iCloud Drive, but locally not present on disk. To Alfred, they appear as ".filename.icloud" because that is how they are literally stored on the filesystem. Finder displays and handles these files specially, and takes care of uploading and downloading in a manner that is transparent to the user. 


Specifically, in Alfred, when searching for a file that is not present locally, attempting to open it shows a dialog from Finder that no application is designated to handle these files. The download begins in the background when Alfred tells Finder to open the file and the error dialog appears, but I need to search for the file once again to open it and gain access to the file's actual contents assuming the download has completed by then.


I am filing this as a bug because I think that the ordinary user would expect Alfred to handle these files in a transparent manner similar to Finder. Luckily, there are APIs available to handle these specific kinds of files, and I have even provided a code sample and outlined (what I assume could be) the necessary steps needed for Alfred to implement this support, alongside other useful tidbits with regards to iCloud Drive support. Please see this post: 



Extra steps might be necessary in order to make the experience as seamless as possible. For example: recognizing files that are not on disk ("evicted", as Apple calls them), presenting them differently in the results UI, and perhaps even showing download progress and potential failures. But I would be pretty happy if Alfred could just kick off the download in the background and open the file once the download succeeds, because having to search for the file again after seeing an error message, and having to do that for every file that doesn't happen to be on my Mac, is a little off-putting.


I am not sure if this is implemented in Alfred 5 and I am simply missing something, but I am willing to upgrade if this behavior is implemented exclusively on that version.





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9 hours ago, Andrew said:

@Skip R. I just noticed you're on Alfred v4 which doesn't have the logic I mentioned.


Could you try on Alfred 5?


Sorry, it does work as expected on Alfred 5. I apologize for not testing this on the latest version, which in hindsight was probably obvious to do. I think this was because I was subconsciously expecting Alfred 4 to get some maintenance updates and bug fixes (although I don't know if that's the case), and I do consider this to be a pretty big bug. I'll upgrade my license to Alfred 5 soon since this bugfix alone is a massive improvement to my workflow. Thanks, and sorry for polluting the forums!

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