Critical Bug With iCloud Drive & Sparkle

I like to store my Sparkle files in iCloud Drive.

Sometimes, when I open these files through the Sparkle menu-bar or recently opened files the file will claim its read only, show “locked” on the top of the window, and then when I close…the file is DELETED. The file cannot be edited or saved. Only duplicated.

Yes, this means that if someone does not have a backup…Sparkle files will delete themselves without much warning.

I assume this must have something to do with iCloud Drive handling? I have not seen it occur when I open an iCloud Drive file through finder by double clicking. It seems to happen to me when I open files through Sparkle. That being said, it’s not a problem that consistently happens.

Maybe that is more dangerous…for files to inconsistently disappear from your system. Not in the trash…disappear. Luckily I have Time Machine and I’ve used that multiple times to recover my files.

This needs to be looked into immediately before someone loses their website without having a backup.

My warning to people is to duplicate files if you see the “locked” bug.

I am on the latest Big Sur and Sparkle update.

Totally agree @zenith22, everyone should have a backup of their Sparkle file by default just in case!

As for the iCloud bug you described it would be great if you passed that onto @duncan via so it can be looked into.

There’s very little in terms of special support that’s needed for an app that, like Sparkle, uses the system frameworks for document management. That’s what powers autosave, dragging the little icon next to the title straight to an email, stuff like that.

If there’s some issue there, it’s Apple’s bug I’m afraid. Last I checked Time Machine doesn’t backup iCloud by the way (no need, files are in the cloud—ha!).

Two things here…

(1) Time Machine DOES backup files stored in iCloud. The files in your iCloud drive folder are mirrored locally. This is why you are able to recover this file with Time Machine. Time Machine backs up this local folder unless you specially exclude it or you have optimization turned on and your Mac is low on storage.

If you look at the contents of this folder, you will see it is a copy of your iCloud drive folder. This is the actual folder backed up by Time Machine. This Library folder is a hidden folder, so you need to hold the OPTION key down in Finder to see it.

(2) I’ve seen this happen when a file is accidentally locked or the files Sharing & Permissions setting is set to no access. Go to Finder on your Mac and right click on and select Get Info. Is the Locked box checked? uncheck it. Go to the bottom and open Sharing & Permissions. Change every entry to Read and Right.

If everything looks okay and the issue persists, move the affected Sparkle file to your Mac, not on the Desktop or in Documents. You want to see if this happens to a file not stored in iCloud. Last option is to reinstall Sparkle as there is a conflict between iCloud and Sparkle. Technology is great when it works!

iCloud combined with Time Machine is the best backup and versioning strategy I’ve found. And I’ve tried them all. I store all my files in iCloud with Time Machine running. I’ve never lost a file or a version of the file.


I had to be a bit of a bug and bump this topic, but I do believe this is a common issue with Sparkle that hasn’t happened with any other app. Of course, I have no idea what causes it. If you could take a closer second look at this and attempt to recreate it that would be great. Although the document handling is standard maybe some bug with the iCloud document provider extension. In fact, my entire Sparkle iCloud folder with the little icon has decided to vanish from the iCloud folder. Luckily, I have a Time Machine backup. Maybe the common thread is the provided application specific “Sparkle” folder with the icon.

This has not happened with any other app! And it seems similar to the type of issue you have with the thumbnails not working. It’s easy to blame on macOS, but the truth is no other application shows this behavior.

I’ll just chip in and say that I run a few of my client projects in iCloud (via sharing the folders) and I have not once had an issue where the folder disappears, or the Sparkle file disappears!

Maybe it is more to with your OS version, how it has been setup, conflicting program, or virus, etc…?