iCloud is a cloud storage and computing service offered by Apple Inc. It allows users to store and synchronize data on multiple devices that are signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID. While iCloud has made life easier for Apple users, storing and synchronizing documents and data on the cloud can sometimes create clutter and occupies precious storage space. In this blog post, we will explore the methods to delete iCloud Drive documents and data.

Video Tutorial:

What’s Needed

To delete iCloud Drive documents and data, you need:

  • An Apple ID
  • A Mac or iOS device with iCloud enabled and the latest operating system installed

What Requires Your Focus?

Deleting iCloud Drive documents and data can be a sensitive process as it involves deleting files that may have been saved across multiple devices. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you take the following precautions before you proceed:

  • Back up your files: Before deleting any document or data, ensure that it is backed up on another device or manually by saving them on your computer.
  • Check device storage: Ensure that the storage space on the device is sufficient before deleting files from iCloud Drive.
  • Delete selectively: Only delete files and documents that are no longer required. Deleting necessary files can result in permanent data loss, and there is no way to retrieve it once deleted from iCloud.

Different Methods to Delete iCloud Drive Documents And Data

Method 1: Delete Files and Folders from the iCloud Drive on a Mac

Deleting files and folders from the iCloud Drive on your Mac is a quick and easy way to free up storage space. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Click on "iCloud Drive" from the left-hand pane to open the folder.
  3. Locate the folder or file that you want to delete and right-click on it.
  4. Select "Move to Trash" from the drop-down menu.


  • Quick and easy to implement.
  • No additional software required.
  • Files move to Trash, where they remain available until the Trash is emptied.


  • Files are not permanently deleted and continue to occupy space in the Trash folder.
  • The Trash folder needs to be emptied to free up space.
  • If a file is deleted from the Trash folder, it cannot be recovered.

Method 2: Delete Files and Folders from the iCloud Drive on an iOS Device

If you are using an iOS device, you can delete iCloud Drive documents and data using the following steps:

  1. Go to the iCloud Drive app on your iOS device.
  2. Tap and hold the file or folder that you want to delete.
  3. Select "Delete" from the pop-up menu.


  • Easy to use, even for iOS device beginners.
  • No additional software required.
  • Deletes the file permanently from iCloud Drive, and it is not stored in Trash.


  • The deleted file cannot be recovered once deleted.
  • It is a slow process to delete multiple files through this method.
  • Deleting a folder deletes all files or documents within the folder, which may lead to important files being deleted accidentally.

Method 3: Delete iCloud Drive Entirely

Deleting the entire iCloud Drive may be the best approach if the folder is cluttered with unnecessary files and documents. However, before deleting the iCloud Drive, ensure that all files and documents are backed up.

  1. Go to System Preferences on your Mac and select iCloud.
  2. Uncheck the checkbox beside "iCloud Drive."
  3. Select "Delete from Mac" to remove all the iCloud Drive files from your computer.
  4. Sign in to your iCloud account on another device or computer.
  5. Go to iCloud Drive located here."iCloud.com" and navigate to the files you want to delete.
  6. Tap and hold on the file or folder and select "Delete."
  7. The deleted files are permanently removed from iCloud Drive.


  • Deletes all files and documents from the iCloud Drive permanently.
  • Useful when starting with a fresh iCloud account.
  • No additional software required.


  • Deleting the iCloud Drive cannot be undone, and all files and data are permanently deleted.
  • If not backed up correctly, important files will be lost permanently.
  • It may take time to sign in to your account on another device or computer.

Why Can’t I Delete iCloud Drive Documents And Data?

There can be several reasons why you cannot delete iCloud Drive documents and data:

* iCloud Drive is turned off

Ensure that iCloud Drive is enabled and backed up. Otherwise, you cannot delete any files or data from iCloud Drive.

* File size is too large

If the file or document size exceeds the storage limit or the available storage on the device, you cannot delete it.

* You don’t have permission

If you are trying to delete a file that is shared with you, you may not have permission to delete it. Only the owner of the shared file can delete it.

* iCloud is not syncing

If there is an issue with your internet connection or account settings, iCloud may not sync properly. Restart your device or check the iCloud settings to fix this problem.

Implications and Recommendations

Deleting iCloud Drive documents and data can be a sensitive process, especially if the documents are essential. Ensure that you have backed up all important documents before deleting them. To avoid the clutter in the iCloud folder, ensure that you delete files selectively and regularly.

5 FAQs about Deleting iCloud Drive Documents And Data

Q1: When I delete a file, does it get deleted from all connected devices?

A: Yes, deleting a file from iCloud Drive deletes it from all connected devices. Ensure that you have backed up the necessary files before deleting them.

Q2: Can I recover a deleted document or file from iCloud Drive?

A: If you deleted the file from the iCloud Drive folder, it moves to the Trash folder, where you can recover it. However, if you have emptied the Trash folder, the file cannot be recovered.

Q3: If a document is shared with me, can I delete it from iCloud Drive?

A: If you are not the owner of the file, need permission from the owner to delete it. Once granted permission, you can delete it from iCloud Drive.

Q4: Can I retrieve a document after I have deleted the iCloud Drive account?

A: No, deleting the iCloud Drive account permanently deletes all documents and data from iCloud Drive. Ensure that you have backed up all necessary files before deleting the account.

Q5: Will deleting unnecessary files from iCloud Drive free up space on my device?

A: Yes, deleting files from iCloud Drive frees up space on all connected devices as long as they are synced correctly. However, ensure that the trash folder is emptied to free up space.

Final Words

Deleting iCloud Drive documents and data is an essential task that every iCloud user should do regularly. The clutter created by unnecessary files and documents can take up precious space and make it difficult to manage files effectively. Follow the methods detailed above to delete iCloud Drive documents and data to free up space and improve your storage system’s efficiency.

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