10 Best Fixes For iCloud Photos Not Syncing to iPhone, Mac, and Windows

10 Best Fixes For iCloud Photos Not Syncing to iPhone, Mac, and Windows
We often take for granted that data synchronization between devices is real time. However, things are far from perfect. Recently, iCloud Photos failed to sync a new batch of photos from my iPhone with my PC or Mac. It was super annoying since I wanted to make some quick changes and I was running out of time.

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Fortunately, the problem was solved very quickly, but it is not as if there is only one solution to the problem. Various factors can prevent iCloud Photos from syncing your media library with other devices.

It is understandable that problems with iCloud Photos do not synchronize properly between your devices. Now let's go through several troubleshooting steps that can hopefully solve the problem for good.

1. Check iCloud.com

Many issues can prevent iCloud Photos from downloading photos from your iPhone in the first place. If this is the case, they will not be synchronized with your other devices.

It is better to exclude this before proceeding. To check if your photos are saved on iCloud, sign in to iCloud.com with the help of any web browser, then click Photos.

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If your photos are not present on iCloud.com, you must resolve any problem preventing the download of your photos on iCloud. You can use our troubleshooting guide for iCloud photo backups for this purpose. Otherwise, go to the next patch.

2. Check the status of iCloud

Your photos are accessible via iCloud.com, but they do not appear in the Photos app on your other iOS and macOS devices, nor in the Photos folder on your PC. If this is the case, the next logical step should be to check that iCloud Photos is not down because of a server-side problem. The best way to verify this is to visit the Apple System Status page.

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If the status next to Photos is unavailable (indicated by a red dot), continue to monitor the System Status page. You should see a problem notification resolved once Apple has taken over iCloud Photos.

3. Check the Internet connection

I can count on many cases where my Wi-Fi network has been activated and prevented iCloud Photos from syncing with my devices. Check if your devices have adequate access to the Internet. If connectivity seems mediocre, restart your Wi-Fi router or connect to another access point.

ICloud Photos does not sync photos and videos with all iOS devices with cellular data. This is true if he is not allowed to use mobile bandwidth. To check if this is the case, go to Settings iPhone / iPad> Photos> Cellular. Enable switches next to Cellular Data and unlimited updates.

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4. Low data mode (iPhone and iPad only)

If your iOS devices are on iOS 13 or later, you must make sure that the weak data mode is disabled for your Wi-Fi and cellular connections.

For Wi-Fi connections, open the Settings app, tap Wi-Fi, and then tap the i-shaped icon next to the connection network. On the next screen, turn off the switch next to the low data mode.

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For your cellular connection, go to iPhone Settings> Cellular> Cellular Data Options. Turn on the switch next to Low Data mode and you're ready to go.

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5. Enable iCloud Photos

Have you enabled iCloud Photos on all your devices? This is an apparent but common reason why iCloud Photos can not sync with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC. Follow the instructions below to check and activate iCloud Photos (if it is disabled).

Enable iCloud Photos – iOS

On the iPhone and iPad, go to Settings iPhone / iPad> Photos. Then, turn on the switch next to iCloud Photos.

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Enable iCloud photos – macOS

On macOS, open the Photos application. Then click Photos (menu bar)> Preferences> iCloud. Finally, check the box next to iCloud Photos.

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Enable iCloud Photos – Windows

In Windows, open the iCloud application. Then, click Options next to Photos, and then select the check box next to iCloud Photos.

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After enabling iCloud Photos for one of your devices, you may need to wait a while before your photos become available locally. This is especially true for Windows, where iCloud is rather under-optimized.

6. Check the Apple ID

Another reason why iCloud Photos fails to sync your photos is the use of different Apple IDs on your devices. If you are juggling two Apple IDs, do not be surprised to find that the problem has been resolved.

Check Apple ID – iOS

Open the Settings app on your iPhone, and then tap your profile. The email address associated with your Apple ID will be shown on the following screen.

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Check the Apple ID – macOS

On your Mac, open System Preferences from the Apple menu and click iCloud. You will see the Apple ID and the email address listed under the profile portrait.

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Check Apple ID – Windows

On a PC, simply open the iCloud application. You can find the Apple ID and the email address listed under the iCloud logo.

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If you encounter a device with a different Apple ID, you must sign out and sign back in with the same Apple ID that is used by the rest of your devices.

Important: Before disconnecting from any iOS or macOS device, make a backup to iCloud (or other manual means). Otherwise, you will lose all your data with this Apple ID.

7. Restart the devices

If iCloud Photos still can not sync your photos, restart the problematic device in question. You will be surprised how often he corrects things.

For those of you who are not familiar with the unorthodox shutdown procedure on iPhone X and newer models, hold down the Volume Up and Power buttons to turn off your device.

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8. Login / Logout

Connecting to iCloud is another viable solution that you can perform. While this may help solve the problem, it may also start reindexing or downloading your photos again. It can take a lot of time.

Important: On iOS and macOS, choose the option to keep your data locally (contacts, notes, etc.) when disconnecting.

Login / Logout – iOS

On the iPhone, go to the Settings app, tap your profile, and then tap Sign Out. Once you have logged out, restart your iPhone, and then reconnect.

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Login / Logout – macOS

On the Mac, click System Preferences on the Apple menu. Then, click iCloud, and then click Sign Out. Restart your Mac, then reconnect.

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Login / Logout – Windows

On Windows, open the iCloud application and log off. After rebooting your PC, reconnect.

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9. Update the device

Do not overlook the fact that persistent bugs and issues can also prevent iCloud Photos from syncing to your devices. And one of the best ways to fix these problems is to perform an update.

Update device – iOS

On the iPhone, open the Settings application, tap General, then Software Update. If updates are available, install them.

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Update device – macOS

On the Mac, open System Preferences from the Apple menu, click Software Update, and then install the updates, if necessary.

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Update Device – Windows

On Windows, you do not need to perform a complete update of the operating system. Instead, open the Apple Software Update Utility through the Start menu, and then install the available updates for iCloud and any associated Apple software (such as iTunes).

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If you are using the Windows Store version of iCloud, you must first launch the Windows Store application. Then go to the Downloads and Updates section to install new updates. However, you usually do not have to do this since Windows Store apps are automatically updated by default.

10. Ditch iCloud Photos

In the rare case that iCloud Photos still can not sync your photos, consider switching to another cloud storage service. I know. This is not feasible in most cases. However, if this means that your photos must be synchronized between devices until Apple publishes a patch, this is something to consider.

Google Photos is your best choice with its "unlimited" storage offering and massive cross-platform compatibility. However, this is going to have a cost for your privacy.

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I've also compiled a list of the best iCloud Photos alternatives. These storage services allow you to synchronize your photos with most devices, and even expand to platforms such as Android.

Things corrected

So, did you manage to repair iCloud Photos? I hope you did it. Having transparent access to your photos and videos is crucial for any experience of the Apple ecosystem.

Windows users can also check the troubleshooting guide of my iCloud Photos software to find other ways to access photos if the feature continues to work.

Then: Did you know that your iPhone can take pictures in older JPEG format, as opposed to HEIC? Here's how to do that.

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