NOTE: Please don't simply link me to an existing similar question unless it offers an approach I haven't tried. I have researched thoroughly, and spent several hours on this.

My iCloud Drive is full. It contains old 'Downloads' and 'Desktop' folders, totalling 10GB. I have tried every way imaginable to remove these folders, nothing works.


This is what I've tried:

1. iPhone

iPhone -> Settings
-> [me]
-> iCloud (shows 5GB/5GB used)
-> Manage Storage
-> iCloud Drive (10.4GB)
-> Documents and Data (10.4GB)
-> Delete Documents and Data (in red)

But it doesn't seem to delete anything.

I repeat the process and I'm still seeing 10.4GB used.

-> Settings
-> [me]
-> iCloud (shows 5GB/5GB used)
-> {Disable iCloud Drive}

It warns me about permanently deleting these two folders. I 'ok' it.

Now I reboot the iPhone.

No luck.

2. iCloudDrive Web

There was a problem deleting "Desktop"
Try deleting the folder again later.

Doesn't matter how many times I delete them, they always come back.

3. Old MacBook (Catalina Beta)

System Prefs
-> Internet Accounts
-> iCloud
-> (Shows I have 10.68GB used in "Documents")
-> Manage
-> "The documents stored in the top level of your iCloud drive Folder take up 10.4 GB.To free up storage, open iCloud Drive in Finder and delete documents."

Finder -> iCloud Drive
"Turn on iCloud Drive to store your files in iCloud and access them any time on all your devices"

This shows me that I have disabled iCloud Drive.

Now I'm cautious of enabling it, as maybe it is going to try to 'synchronise'. I have an old MacBook and a new MacBook, with different contents in these two folders (Documents and Desktop). And whatever is in iCloud Drive for these two folders will be out of date. So on each MacBook I make a copy of these folders.

System Prefs -> Internet Accounts -> iCloud -> {enable iCloud Drive}

-> iCloud Drive
-> OPT+CMD+Delete Documents and Desktop folders

I now repeat steps for iPhone and iCloudDrive Web

Still no luck.

New MacBook (Mojave)

I repeat steps from Old MacBook -- this time the offending folders do NOT appear in my iCloud Drive.

Both MacBooks

I now delete iCloud from both machines, reboot both.

I now repeat steps for iPhone and iCloudDrive Web

STILL the folders keep coming back when I delete them from iCloudDrive Web.

Something is badly broken here.

Can anyone suggest a cure / diagnosis?

Also, please could someone recommend an appropriate channel for opening a discussion with Apple support?

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