What to do when iCloud storage available is incorrect ?

You just remove a few tens of thousands of files in iCloud Drive. You expect, logically, to find a few tens of gigabytes of storage space in the cloud. Problem : after fifteen days, not only the storage iCloud has not been released, a goal that Apple asks you to move to the higher package because of files that you have added in the meantime ! What to do ? Here are some tracks to solve the problems of improper storage.


Image Apple/MacGeneration.

How the problem manifests


The problem usually occurs when you decrease the package of iCloud storage. Let’s take an example :



  • you are subscribed to the package 2 To 9.99 € per month ;

  • you store 450 Gb in the cloud ;

  • you delete 300 Gb of data ;

  • you store now 150 Gb in the cloud ;

  • you go to the package 200 Gb to 2.99 € per month ;

  • the gauge goes to 450 Gb, and the system informs you that your storage space in the cloud is full.


In this situation, you can add or remove files ad nauseum without the gauge to the iCloud storage, it does not move. The synchronization works in fits and starts, you can’t manage the list of devices connected to your account, or change sharing settings family. It is as if your iCloud account was frozen.


425,6 Gb used Apple…

…purpose only 18,04 Gb in reality.

The worst ? System Information have the right information.

Usually, this problem comes in the order after a few days, the time that your devices — and especially Apple’s servers — find their small. Purpose sometimes, it takes several weeks, even several months, during which your account is virtually unusable.


Check the deletes recent


Even if you have emptied your recycle bin, the files stored in iCloud are not deleted immediately. They are placed in a sort of ” recycle bin in the cloud “, where they can be recovered :



  • the files and folders stored in iCloud Drive are kept for 30 days in the folder Deletions, recent, before they are permanently deleted ;

  • the photos and videos stored in the photo library iCloud are stored for 30 days in the album and Deletes recent, before they are permanently deleted, which can take up to 40 days additional ;

  • the application notes of the same name are stored for 30 days in the folder Deletions, recent, before they are permanently deleted.


The deleted files are not counted in the quota of iCloud storage,… in normal times. Visit the various folders, deletions, recent, and permanently delete the files they contain :



  • in the section of iCloud Drive of the site icloud.com gold in the Files app (iOS) for files ;

  • under the heading Photos of the site icloud.com gold in the Photos app (macOS and iOS) for photos and videos ;

  • in the topic Notes site icloud.com gold in the Notes application (macOS and iOS) for the notes.


You will probably need to take a few times, especially if you have deleted tens of thousands of files.


Check the old ” recycle bin in the cloud “


This is not enough ? Check the old system of ” recycle bin in the cloud “, is still used by the web versions of the applications in the iWork suite. Once connected to the site icloud.comclick on account Settings under the welcome message, and then scroll to the bottom of the settings to find the link to Restore files.


To restore files. The display of the list of files may take several minutes.

Sometimes, you just have to let the machine to mill it for a few minutes to search the recoverable files, and everything returns to order. Most often, you will need to select all files, and delete them permanently before their expiration. Again, you will probably have to take several times.


Turn off iCloud Drive on all your devices


The difficulty posed by the problems of iCloud is the fact that they involve not only the Apple’s servers, but also your devices. If the deletion of the files is not enough, the problem may be a communication problem between your devices, especially when you have deleted files stored in iCloud Drive.


Turn off iCloud Drive, or at least the synchronization of folders, ~/Desktop and ~/Documents, on all your devices. Go to the section iCloud heading Apple Id in System Preferences (on Mac) or Settings (iOS) to turn off iCloud Drive. In the same section of System Preferences on the Mac, you can click on the button Options… to disable the synchronization of documents only.


The problem is finally solved !

Wait for a few days, then re-enable iCloud Drive or the synchronization of documents. In the majority of cases, after all these manipulations, the problem should be back in order. Your storage is correctly subtracted, the synchronization resumes, and you can again administer your account.


If nothing works…


Purpose sometimes, nothing can be done. In this case, you will have no other choice than to call the telephone support from Apple. The call three times, even, to motivate the” escalation ” process until year engineer, who will be able to restore your iCloud storage Drive to zero. Before you use this ” nuclear option “ back up your files so you can restore those that have been deleted in the passage.


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