macOS Sonoma 14.4 Bug ‘Destroys Saved Versions in iCloud Drive’

Apple’s latest macOS Sonoma 14.4 software update appears to be guilty of another bug, this time affecting saved versions in iCloud Drive.

Versions are normally created automatically when users save files using apps that work with the version system in macOS. (To check if your Mac is using the system, look for a “Revert To” option in the app’s File menu.)

According to The Electric Light Company‘s Howard Oakley, users running macOS 14.4 that have “Optimize Mac Storage” enabled should be aware that they are at risk of losing all previously saved versions of a file if they opt to remove it from iCloud Drive local storage.

In previous versions of macOS, when a file is evicted from local storage in iCloud Drive [using the Remove Download option in the right-click contextual menu], all its saved versions have been preserved. Download that file again from iCloud Drive, and versions saved on that Mac (but not other Macs or devices) have remained fully accessible. Do that in 14.4, and all previous versions are now removed, and lost forever.Oakley said his own tests confirmed that this behavior does not happen in macOS Sonoma 14.3 or macOS Ventura, so 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 turning off Optimize Mac Storage.

To perform the latter in System Settings, click your Apple ID, select iCloud, and then toggle off the switch next to “Optimize Mac Storage.” You may need to perform this action twice – reports suggest it can turn back on by itself. For a more exhaustive account of the problem, see Oakley’s subsequent post.

There are several bugs reported in macOS 14.4, and we have recorded some of the most prominent issues in a dedicated article that we have updated since this story was published. Have you been affected by the latest bug? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: macOS Sonoma
Related Forum: macOS Sonoma

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