While upgrading to macOS Sierra I accidentally enabled storage of my Desktop & Documents Folders in iCloud. I quickly reversed that by disabling the option, then moving my files back to their place on my local drive.

Even though the option is now disabled on all my macOS account, I still cannot delete the Desktop and Documents folders from iCloud Drive. No matter what I do, they keep coming back moments after being deleted.

I tried the following with no success:

  • Delete the folders from the affected macOS account;
  • Delete the folders from another macOS account connected to the same iCloud account (I never enabled the option on this account);
  • Turn off the MacBook and delete the folders from Files on iOS;
  • Delete the folders from icloud.com;

No matter what I do, these two folders keep coming back moments later. This leads to the Dektop and Documents folders local to my MacBook being renamed to Desktop — Local and Documents — Local respectively, which is quite annoying.

How can I delete these two folders from iCloud Drive?


From my MacBook's Finder window, I deleted the empty Desktop folder from iCloud Drive and then immediately emptied the trash before the folder had time to reappear in iCloud Drive. The folder did not reappear.

After a few seconds iCloud refreshed and the Documents folder was deleted from my iOS device as well!

I then followed the same steps to delete the empty Documents folder.


  • 3
    Amazing, that worked! – Gabriele Cirulli Oct 3 '17 at 15:09
  • 1
    Ridiculous that that's what I had to do, but it did the trick. – Adam_G Oct 13 '18 at 23:25
  • Astoundingly effective! – alexh Dec 2 '18 at 9:49
  • Now that's TRASH! – Tyler Feb 19 '19 at 2:09
  • I'm really sad that's the fix. But alright. – Urda Aug 16 '19 at 5:20

This works, and will also work if you use delete immediately (in case you don't want to empty trash, also easier than racing to beat the iCloud Drive restore of Desktop and Documents). To delete immediately, just click OPT+CMD+Delete and answer the questions correctly!

  • Thanks for sharing this option, on a bigger screen it was hard getting back to empty trash before it was restored. This did it straight away. – Lee Sep 8 '19 at 11:43

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