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How to fix iCloud sync is stuck error?

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  • 5 min read

Apple makes great hardware but it’s the cohesive software experience that makes its products truly a joy to use. That said, as good as Apple’s software is, it isn’t immune to random bugs and glitches from time to time. 

In this article, we’re talking about iCloud’s sync issues, their causes and what you can do to fix the problem. 


What causes this error?

There are a number of reasons why you might see this error show up during iCloud syncs. Some of the most popular reasons include:

  • Internet connectivity issues.
  • Issues with iCloud login. 
  • Apple services might be down. 
  • Active VPN or Firewall.
  • Outdated phone software. 

Also read: How to unlock your iCloud account?


How to fix this?

Here are seven fixes you can try out. 

Restart your iPhone 

One of the first things you should do is try and restart your iPhone to see if that resolves the issue. Restarting your device can solve many seemingly random issues that would be tricky to debug.


Check your internet connection

You need a stable internet connection to be able to access your iCloud storage. Check to see if your device has an active internet connection. If you’re connected to a WiFi network, ensure you have enough signal strength and speed. If you’re on mobile data, check to make sure that you’ve got good network coverage and that it’s actually enabled. 


Check Apple’s server status

Another rather popular reason for the error is a server outage at Apple’s end. Even if the servers are live, high traffic such as when pre-orders for a new iPhone open, can cause such errors. Check Apple’s Service Status site for any problems and try again later to see if that helps. 


Log out and log in again to the Apple Cloud

This is a far-fetched shot, but sometimes logging out and logging back in again to your Apple Cloud can fix problems with iCloud sync. 

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  • Open iPhone settings and head over to iCloud.
  • Tap Sign out. 
  • iCloud will ask you if you want to keep your notes, Safari data and other information on your phone. Tap Delete from My iPhone.

Now, wait for some time before restarting your iPhone. Once done, log in to iCloud again and test the sync.


Update your iPhone

If you’re experiencing sync issues, chances are Apple has already released a patch to address the problem. 

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  • Head over to the settings and tap on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
  • Ensure that you’re on the latest update available. If not, update your device immediately.

Once updated, test your iCloud sync again and the error should be fixed. 


Reset network settings

Open your iPhone or iPad’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to reset network settings.

  • Scroll down and tap on General.
  • Tap on Reset.
  • You’ll find a Reset Network Settings button there. Tap on it to reset your network stack.

Reset your iPhone

Lastly, if nothing else works, you can try resetting your iPhone to check if that resolves the sync issue. 

Every year since the release of the first iPhone in 2008, Apple releases a new iteration of the device with the latest ones being iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. If you're planning to switch to a newer version of the iPhone and are planning to sell or trade your old iPhone, it makes sense to wipe off all the data and restore the device to the factory settings. This not only ensures that none of your data gets in the hands of someone else but also gives the device a fresher look if you're planning on selling.  Before you go ahead and factory reset your iPhone, you should back up its data via iTunes or iCloud, so that you're able to restore it to the new device.  In this article, we've put together a simple guide to help you factory reset your iPhone in three simple steps.  Also read: How to use your iPad in Split Screen mode?  How to factory reset an iPhone?  Go to your iPhone's Settings. Scroll down and tap on General. On the next page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset. On the next page, tap on the second option from the top Erase All Content and Settings.  Once the factory reset of the iPhone is complete, it will restart from the Hello screen.  Note that if you don't want to erase your data and just wish to reset the factory settings of the device, you can do so by tapping on Reset All Settings, which is located right above the Erase All Content and Settings option. In addition to the aforementioned, users can also individually reset their Network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout and location & privacy settings by tapping on the other options on the same screen.  Also read: How to switch off WiFi and Bluetooth in the iPhone?
  • Head over to the settings and tap on General.
  • On the next page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset.
  • On the next page, tap on the second option from the top Erase All Content and Settings.

Resolving iCloud sync issues on macOS

If you’re experiencing this problem on macOS, here are a couple of fixes you can try out. 

Restart your Mac

Restarting your Mac should fix any software glitches or connectivity problems with the OS that might cause iCloud sync to not work as expected. Alternatively, it’s also a good idea to check network connectivity and restart your router as well to iron out any connectivity issues you might be facing. 


Force stop the iCloud sync process

Force-stopping the iCloud sync process and letting macOS restart it can also resolve the issue. Just open the Activity Monitor, search for bird and force stop the process. MacOS will automatically relaunch it after a while and your sync should be working again. 

Also read: What is iCloud private relay? Is it better than a VPN?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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