If you saw my earlier post on my trouble with my Apple iCloud account it looked by the end of it I had found a resolution (original post here https://turtleblog.info/2019/03/08/the-painful-journey-to-abandoning-icloud/).
In summary it appeared (from my investigation) that my iCloud account somehow got corrupted or modified in such a way that it became unusable and I ended up disabling iCloud storage for documents and desktop amongst other things to fix it.
Except it didn’t entirely fix it.
For the past few weeks I’ve had endless problems with Finder being slow. Spinning ball and up to 10 seconds to change folders, open a fie dialog in any application – longer for dragging and dropping files. In addition Spotlight was broken, it would let me type a few characters then take around 10 seconds to fill in any suggestions which I then had to wait another 5 seconds or so to click on.
I tried all the fixes I could find including rebuilding Spotlight, removing the CloudMetadata.xml files and resetting preferences. Things were definitely “usable” but not the way I found acceptable ie. how it used to be. So last week I had a call with an Apple “genius”. Two resets, a boot into safe mode (which took 45 minutes and caused hin to exclaim “oh my god”) and finally I caved and reinstalled the OS entirely (which leaves everything else in place). The guy ended up ghosting me when I pointed out that he wasn’t actually identifying the problem, just hitting it with ever bigger hammers in the hopes it would go away and that if this final hammer (reinstalling the OS) didn’t work he better have a plan.
So this week I was back on my own with a Mac that was still slow and convinced even flattening and rebuiding wouldn’t necessarily help if the issue was related to my iCloud account. Then I read a few community comments that put me on the right path – I removed all internet accounts from under system preferences. In my case all I had was my iCloud account. To remove it it had to save a copy of all my iCloud data locally and remove all my credit cards. Then I removed the Cloud metadata (rm ~/Library/Caches/CloudKit/CloudKitMetadata*;killall cloudd) and restarted.
I reattached my iCloud account and configured what I wanted to sync, added my credit cards and went to bed. This morning everything is working as it should including Finder and Spotlight so we’re back to the status before the iCloud corruption. It seems the single only fix I needed was to remove the iCloud account from system preferences entirely and then re-add it.