How-To

How to Fix iCloud Problems on Your Apple Devices

Apple’s iCloud service is used by millions of users each year to backup documents and data across many devices, including iPhone and iPad. Occasionally, however, problems arise. Here’s a look at how to fix common iCloud problems and get on with your day.

Fixing iCloud Problems: The First Step

Regardless of the problem, some iCloud issues can get resolved just by rebooting your mobile device. Therefore, try this step before all others.

To reboot your iPhone X, 11, or 12:

  1. Press and hold one of the volume buttons and the side button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

To reboot your iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE (2nd Generation):

  1. Press and hold the side button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

For all other iPhones:

  1. Press and hold the top button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. Press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.

For any iPad without a Home button:

  1. Press and hold one of the volume buttons and the top button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. Press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.

For an iPad with a Home button:

  1. Press and hold the top button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
  3. Press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.

Now, let’s take a look at the most common iCloud problems and ways to fix them.

Sign In or Verification Problems

Once you’re logged into your iCloud account with your Apple ID or email, you shouldn’t have to sign in again. When you are asked to sign in again (or for the first time) on your device, the problem could be on Apple’s end. Before moving on, check with Apple to see if something is wrong. Don’t worry: this doesn’t including contacting Apple support. Instead, head to Apple’s System Status page.

From this website, you will find the current status of all Apple services — including iCloud. Rather than simply listing iCloud, the page breaks down iCloud into 12 sections, including iCloud Account & Sign In, iCloud Backup, iCloud Bookmarks & Tabs, iCloud Contacts, iCloud Drive, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Mail, iCloud Notes, iCloud Reminders, iCloud Storage Upgrades, and
iCloud Web Apps (iCloud.com).

If there’s a universal sign-in or verification problem with iCloud, it will show up here. If there is an identified problem, the system status page should let you know how long the service might be down and when the issue could be resolved.

Fix iCloud Problems: iCloud System Status

Further Steps

If Apple says all systems are working and you still can’t log into iCloud from your device, following these additional steps in the order they are listed.

  1. Reboot your device (see above).
  2. Make sure your device is connected to the internet. You must have an active connection for your device to communicate with the remote iCloud services.
  3. Tap the Settings app on your device, then select your name at the top. Choose Sign Out. At the prompt(s), you don’t have to keep your data on your device.
  4. Go back into the Settings app; this time, Sign In with your iCloud login and password.
  5. If this didn’t help, reset your Apple ID from the company’s iForgot website.
  6. Repeat steps 2-3 using the new username/password.
  7. If things still aren’t working, you’ll need to back up and restore your mobile device.

The above steps should be used when you have sign-in, verification, authentication, or other iCloud log-in related issues.

Syncing Problems

One of the most important iCloud features is syncing content across multiple devices, including Mac. When syncing, one device’s changes are reflected on others, assuming each has an active internet connection. Otherwise, the offline machine will sync once it goes back online.

If things aren’t syncing on a device, try these familiar steps:

  1. Reboot your device (see above).
  2. Make sure your device is connected to the internet. An active internet connection is required for your device to communicate with the remote iCloud services.
  3. Tap the Settings app on your device, then select your name at the top. Choose Sign Out. At the prompt(s), you don’t have to keep your data on your device.
  4. Go back into the Settings appSign In with your iCloud login and password.
  5. Visit the Setting app (again), and tap your name.
  6. Tap iCloud.
  7. Toggle on and activate the service(s) you wish to sync.
  8. Wait a few minutes, confirming syncing is now working.

Third-Party Apps Not Using iCloud

Apps not made by Apple use iCloud to backup your personal data and sync it across other devices. The process is also useful if you ever lose a device, as your information is saved in the cloud. If iCloud isn’t saving your information, there’s an easy fix.

  1. Tap the Settings app on your device, then select your name at the top.
  2. Choose iCloud.
  3. Toggle on the third-party apps you want to use iCloud.

If the pesky app’s toggle is already in the on position, turn it off, then turn it on again. Sometimes this is all that it takes for syncing to work again.

No More Storage Space

Everyone who uses iCloud gets 5GB of free storage. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough for most people. If you get a message on your device saying more storage space is necessary, you have two options. You can go through iCloud and delete existing data or buy more storage. Until you make a change, iCloud will only backup content up to your limit.

To add more storage from your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your device, then select your name at the top.
  2. Choose iCloud.
  3. Select Manage Storage.
  4. Tap Change Storage Plan.

Once you select a new storage plan (and make your payment), the additional space is available for use immediately. Apple currently offers three storage plans:

  • 50GB, $0.99/month, recommended for storing your photos, videos, files, and apps and backing up your device.
  • 200GB, $2.99/month, good for Apple family members or one person with lots of photos and videos.
  • 2TB, $9.99/month, perfect for a lifetime of photos, videos, and everything else for you and up to five family members. Ideal for families to share.

Fix iCloud Problems: Lots of Choices

Apple’s iCloud is a valuable service enjoyed by millions of users. If you run into issues, you can fix iCloud problems in a few steps. When in doubt, contact Apple support for more assistance.

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