Creative Cloud App Deletes Files in Hidden Folders on Mac

Reader Julie alerted me to an article on Ars Technica stating that the most recent update of the Creative Cloud Application Manager on the Mac was deleting files.  I did some investigation and this is what I have discovered.

Here's the link to the original Ars Technica article.  Are Technica is a reliable source and always does fact checking before posting.  

Adobe recently pushed an update to their Creative Cloud Application Manager.  Some users choose to let this app get updated automatically, others choose to update manually.  I have been using the Auto-Update because I was finding that I was not always getting notifications about App Updates.  Today, I may be regretting that choice.

Note that this bug ONLY affects users of Mac OS X.  Windows users are not impacted by this bug, as far as I can find.  When the new Creative Cloud Application Manager gets logged into (automatic for most of us) it may or may not delete the contents of the first hidden folder it finds.  This could be a serious issue, as it has been for Backblaze online backup clients because the files are deleted from a hidden folder called .bzvol and that folder contains history information about files being backed up.  If you are a Backblaze client, they have posted a solution for you here.

In my case, where the CC App Manager auto-updates, I don't know if anything got deleted.  The first hidden folder alphabetically on my Mac is .adobe  It still contains files from June of 2015 so I don't think anything was lost, but in truth I cannot tell.

This is a pretty serious flaw and while it took Adobe a while to respond, they pulled the update as of 1pm Pacific Standard Time on February 12th.  

Users may choose to change preferences to not auto update the Creative Cloud Application Manager, although I expect that issues caused by this application are not top of mind and will be checked with greater care.  

If you have not yet updated, or have updated but have not signed in to Creative Cloud, you can follow these steps to create a dummy hidden directory to protect yourself against deletions

  1. Open the Terminal Application (Finder | Go | Utilities and then double click Terminal)
  2. Type the following without quotes "cd /"
  3. Type the following without quotes "sudo mkdir .aaa"
  4. Enter your password when prompted
  5. Type the following without quotes "ls -a"  You will see a listing of files and folders, one of which will be .aaa
  6. Type "quit" without quotes to end the Terminal session
  7. Close the Terminal application

That's about it.  Adobe will likely release a new version within the next week to combat the issue.