Apple’s iCloud Is Useless Due to Bugs


When I worked at Apple I was spoiled and got 200 GB of free iCloud storage. I never worried about dropping stuff in there because I had so much space. Now that I’m an outsider I have to succumb to the measly 5 GB that is allocated to each user for free. I don’t mind playing that game; I can backup my $1200, 256 GB phone to my computer and delete files I’m not using in the cloud.

Let’s start with how many problems this has. I turned off my backup to iCloud and deleted the backups. Well, you can’t delete them! They just would not disappear, and I kept seeing 19+ GB of space consumed:

Wasted space in iCloud; you are basically forced to pay for more storage!!


If I click on the Backups item I would see that I have no backups:

Backups aren t deleted

This is logged for Apple in their Bug Reporter as radar://48338904. About a week after I logged the bug the backups finally disappeared. Ironically, when your iCloud storage is full you can’t receive any emails to your @me email address, which is what is associated with my bug reporter account. This is entirely stupid; if Apple’s software is not working right, you should still send emails from your bug system asking for information. I logged this as radar://48516386.

The backups are deleted, but I still had too much space consumed. I never used iCloud photos, but for some reason I had a lot of photo storage consumed. I turned off my Photo Stream, and this dropped the 8.6 GB that it consumed. I was surprised, because this actually worked!

Awesome! I figured I could use iCloud again to sync a few files to my systems. But no, I still have too much space consumed, and it was in “Documents and Data”. It looked mainly like Keynote documents were taking up too much space. I moved *all my files* out of iCloud on my desktop; this actually doesn’t work. You should see the move on one computer and deletes on other computers, but I never would see the files gone on any other systems (iOS or macOS). I had to delete them on *each system* using iCloud. This is logged as a bug with Apple as radar://48516300. 

However, some files were left in iCloud/iCloud Drive. I had to use System Prefs to try to delete them:

Screen Shot 2019 03 07 at 7 44 42 AM

The same error would happen on another macOS machine, and the same error would happen in iOS. Obviously a server issue. I logged this as radar://48675040 about three weeks ago. I checked it multiple times over the past month and it was giving the same errors each time. I checked again today, and they were finally gone! Magic. Or, someone finally got off their butt and did something on the server (however, my bug is still Open). 

Awesome! Can I now use iCloud? Nope. I still have 4.4 GB in iCloud drive, that I simply can’t get rid of. It doesn’t give any error anymore, but the data doesn’t go away. I’m sure it is the same stupid bug, so I’m not going to log it again. How the hell do people outside of Apple use iCloud??!! Do you suck it up and pay for more storage?

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 4 20 51 PM


Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 4 20 56 PM



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Rafael Schmitt

Sticking it to the man in this case is not a wise option. $35,88 (12x $2,99 for the 200GB plan) is a low price to pay for your time.


Corbin, I just left a long comment relating to your issue on Michael Tsai’s blog. Check it out to see how I finally got things deleted. It was only after I requested that Apple reset my iCloud Drive that I could delete hundreds of gigabytes of data. Hope it helps. Happy to discuss. Good luck.

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