iCloud Not Syncing? How to Solve iCloud Sync Issues

Eric Watts

iCloud is Apple's cloud-based service allowing Apple users to keep all their devices in sync and connected wherever they might be across the world. iCloud stores all your contacts on your cloud storage profile and keeps updating contacts across all your devices. Now the problem occurs when you update contacts on one of your Apple devices like iPhone or iPad, but it doesn't reflect on your other devices. The syncing engine is facing contacts not syncing to the iCloud problem as in real-world technology, and tools don't always work seamlessly and effortlessly. iCloud admittedly faces sync issues annoying many users; 




When it works, iCloud feels like magic. Create a note using your Apple Watch, it’s ready and waiting when you open your MacBook. Snap a picture on your iPhone, it automatically appears on your iPad. The same goes for contacts, calendars, files, and so much more.


Like I said: When it works, iCloud feels like magic. But it doesn’t always work.


Sometimes a syncing problem occurs with iCloud; other times it doesn’t sync at all! Photos fail to upload, you get duplicate documents, and there’s a mishmash of content across your Apple devices and PC.


This is not a fun situation, and it’s far from the cloud-serviced utopia Apple envisioned. But we’re here to get you back on track. If you’ve got iCloud syncing problems on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC just follow the instructions in this guide to fix it.


1.Check if you have enough iCloud storage




If the iCloud sync is still not working, make sure you have enough iCloud storage left in your account. Structured won't take up much space in your iCloud, but needs some to work. If your iCloud is full, check your iCloud storage plan or try to delete some stuff you no longer need.


2. Restart and Wait


iCloud can take some time to kick in when you make a change. According to some reports, this can be up to 10 minutes.


You might find that your problem resolves itself with a bit of patience, but while you’re at it, you can also try restarting all affected devices. You also may want to plug your device in—sometimes, you’ll find that photos won’t sync to iCloud until your iPhone is charging.


On a Mac, iCloud not syncing might be because you have disabled Power Nap, which allows your device to check for iCloud updates while asleep.


3. Ensure You’ve Enabled iCloud for Your App




There are some elements you can change in your Settings (iOS) or System Preferences (macOS) in order to remedy apps that won’t sync.


On your iOS device, head to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud and make sure the app you want to sync is listed and enabled. You can also try toggling this off and back on to restart the sync process.


Apps that have access to iCloud on macOS will appear under System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud.



4. Check That Apps Have Cellular Access


Do you have trouble syncing to iCloud while on mobile data but not on Wi-Fi? You may have disabled cellular access for some apps.


Head to Settings > Cellular or Mobile Data and scroll down to find a list of apps on your phone. Any apps that have their slider turned off will only work on Wi-Fi. Try enabling data access for any apps that you want to sync all the time, but note this may increase your data usage.


5. Check You’re Using the Right Account




It might sound obvious, but if you’re not using the same iCloud account on both devices, then they’ll never sync correctly. This might be the reason why iCloud on your Mac isn’t syncing with your iPhone. Head to Settings > [Your Name] on iOS or System Preferences > Apple ID on macOS and check which account is currently associated with the device.


You can only have one iCloud account signed in at a time, so make sure they match up. If they don’t, you will need to sign out of the incorrect account and log in with the correct details.


6. Make Sure iCloud Is Working Properly




Every service experiences downtime at some point. While most planned outages occur at night, when you’re asleep, catastrophic failure or human error can sometimes bring even the most reliable services down.


To check Apple’s current iCloud status, head to Apple’s System Status page and look for the green dots. Any ongoing issues should appear at the bottom of the screen.


7. Check That You’re Syncing the Right Folder


For apps that allow you to customize which folder you use to store data, ensure that the paths match up in both instances. You should make sure that your various iOS and macOS apps are looking for data in the same location, if applicable.


8. Reset and Restore Your Device


If none of the above has helped, and your device won’t access or sync iCloud data at all, you might want to take a stronger step and erase your iPhone to clear up any lingering issues. Before you do so, you should back up your phone to avoid losing any data.


To reset and restore your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone and select Erase All Content and Settings at the bottom.




You can restore the backup you made when you set up the phone afresh. Wait for the Apps & Data screen to load, tap Restore from iCloud Backup, then sign in with your Apple ID. Once you’re finished, your device will be near-identical to how you started, except you’ll need to add or authorize your various accounts again.


Hopefully, this will clear up whatever issue you had with iCloud Drive. If it still doesn’t work, check out some of the most common iCloud issues and how to fix them.


9. Use an iCloud Alternative


Many applications give you a choice of whether or not to use iCloud. If you can avoid using it, you’ll sidestep many of the issues that have plagued the service.


For example, apps like Day One and 1Password both allow you to use Dropbox. Plus, third-party cloud storage solutions often provide you with more space and less hassle. And don’t worry, you can still use other iCloud features, like Find My and iCloud email accounts.


Some of the best cloud storage alternatives include Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.


10. Rule Out Date and Time Discrepancies




You can run into a lot of problems when your iPhone’s date and time aren’t current. Many apps will simply refuse to connect to the internet at all. In order to avoid these problems, you can set the time to automatically update, which will keep your devices in sync and avoid these issues.


On iOS, head to Settings > General > Date & Time and toggle on Set Automatically. On macOS, you can do this from System Preferences > Date & Time > Time Zone. After that, click the lock icon at the bottom and verify your identity to change the time zone settings. Check the box to Set time zone automatically using current location.





Contact Apple Support if iCloud still isn’t syncing

If you still experience problems with getting iCloud to sync across your devices, it’s time to speak to Apple directly. You can easily reach out to Apple’s support team by visiting GetSupport.apple.com, then select Apple ID > iCloud, FaceTime & Messages.


You can choose to speak to Apple right now or schedule a callback for another time. Apple’s experts can walk you through detailed troubleshooting steps to fix iCloud, but be sure to link them to this post so they know what you’ve already tried.

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