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New macOS Sonoma 14.4 bug kills file versions in iCloud Drive

A new macOS Sonoma 14.4 bug breaks iCloud Drive file versions

The list of issues in macOS Sonoma 14.4 is continuing to grow, with a new bug uncovered that wipes saved versions of files stored on iCloud Drive.

Many apps offer the capability to save earlier versions of files, which allow users to revert the document back to a previous state. For users who save their documents to iCloud Drive, it appears that macOS Sonoma 14.4 may be breaking this functionality.

In a post on Monday, the Eclectic Light Company warns that users of macOS Sonoma 14.4 who save files to iCloud Drive and have Optimize Mac Storage enabled are in particular danger.

Usually, if a file is removed from the local version of iCloud Drive using the contextual menu's "Remove Download" option, the file is deleted locally but saved versions are preserved. When the file is downloaded again from iCloud Drive, the versions saved on that Mac were still accessible.

This is not the case since the update in macOS 14.4, as the versions are deleted along with the main file, and they cannot be recovered after a redownload from iCloud Drive as before.

For users with version 14.4 on their Mac, it is recommended to disable Optimize Mac Storage, so that documents stored in the local iCloud Drive aren't automatically removed, causing the bug to occur.

The bug has since been reported to Apple. It remains to be seen when a fix will arrive.

Other problems with macOS 14.4

This is not the only bug uncovered in macOS 14.4 since its introduction.

On March 12, it was discovered that USB hubs embedded in monitors were no longer working under macOS Sonoma 14.4. Two days later on March 14, issues with printers were uncovered, including the corruption of drivers.

Oracle stepped in on March 16, advising users who need to run Java to avoid updating to macOS Sonoma 14.4, since it causes Java to terminate unexpectedly.