I recently navigated to:

Users/gruberbastian/Library/Mobile Documents

There I saw tons of old iOS Apps I installed on my iPad over a year ago. Those folders are empty, but no matter how often I try to delete them (rm -r 'foldername'), they re-create themselves.

I even cannot find them under the

System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive

So for example I find a folder called


I type this in the command line:

rm -r iCloud~com~FireproofStudios~TheRoom3

Now the folder is gone, but after a few seconds, it reappears again.

How can I permanently delete old iCloud Apps and data?

UPDATE This is the Library/Mobile Documents folder

[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/Wtf

Apps like readdle~scanner~pdf (and many more) are not part of the iCloud Drive overview:

enter image description here

  • Can you possibly log into the account with the issue with an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc) and go into Settings > General -> Storage & iCloud Usage -> Manage Storage (iCloud) And check all devices for the old apps, and if they don't have any of the apps, manually delete the information under "Choose Data To Backup". Let me know how this goes. The data will always reappear if the apps are installed on a device that backs up.
    – Jahhein
    Jun 13, 2017 at 13:01
  • Could be an old device, though I deleted everything from there. Right now I own an iPhone and an iPad. Both of them don't have the old apps installed, and have rather new Backups.
    – ohboy21
    Jun 14, 2017 at 14:00
  • This Ask Different question might be related to this one: apple.stackexchange.com/q/180990/122152
    – intagli
    Feb 29, 2020 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


It would help if you would explain why you would like to do this. For example, do you just want to clear up the clutter on your disk? Do you want to erase every trace of deleted apps?

If you just want to save space, the relevant command is brctl which is part of bird. (brctl for "bird control", as Apple uses the metaphor of the bird flying through the iCloud). At least according to the official documentation, the closest command to what you would be looking for would be brctl evict, but this doesn't remove the folder, but instead remove the local copy. In your example, you would type: cd ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents brctl evict iCloud~com~FireproofStudios~TheRoom3

I would keep an eye on the brctl man page to see if they add that additional functionality for the future for getting rid of these folders entirely.

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