Had a weird one today. When I opened the MacBook first think there were no desktop icons at all. I checked in Finder and the folder was empty. I looked through the Time Machine backup and the files had all gone some time this morning before 9am. The Mac had not been touched since last night and all was definitely there then.
Nothing in the waste – I wondered if I’d somehow deleted them all. Nope.
Googling (or, rather duckduckgo’ing – is that a thing?) threw up nothing spectacular so I restored everything from Time Machine. A little further investigation and heavier searching led me to find that there is an option to turn off and on the synchronisation of files between the Mac and iCloud and I guess I turned it all on when the facility became available some time ago.
The way to turn iCloud synchronisation off for the Desktop is via Settings -> Internet Accounts -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive -> Options and uncheck Desktop & Documents Folders. Don’t try this, it’s scary! No way I did that by accident!
Anyway, I turned it back on, at which instant it renamed Desktop to a similar named folder but within Desktop, brought the Desktop folder back from iCloud (which was pretty instant so the files must have already been there anyway), and promptly started to back top the folder it created back to iCloud, all 12Gb of it. I deleted that folder having checked that everything was in place and anyway, I have the Time Machine backup on a large disk that as yet to fill.
But how did it get switched off? I’d blame the hamsters but I know where they were…