iCloud Syncing: 8 Common reasons you might be struggling


It’s a headache many of us have experienced. You’re simply trying to upload photos to your computer. Or maybe you’re looking to upload a voice memo or calendar from one device to another.

Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet as to why you’re having difficulty syncing. There are plenty of reasons your device may not be syncing to iCloud – some of them much simpler to deal with than others.

We’ve collated eight of the most likely reasons your Apple devices aren’t syncing as you’d expect them to – and what you can do to solve the problem.

1. You’re using different iCloud accounts

This is an issue we deal with fairly regularly. For obvious reasons (mainly Apple’s security requirements), it’s not possible to sync data between different iCloud accounts. This would open iCloud accounts up to compromise and cause a lot of issues surrounding compliance and privacy.

With the help of an expert, you should be able to transition from one iCloud account to another without losing any data. But if you’re struggling to do this on your own – be careful. You could end up losing your data in the process.

2. Internet speeds are causing trouble

Syncing is often a data-intensive process. If you’ve not got a good enough 4G or internet connection, you may find that your data takes forever to send – or doesn’t transfer at all. If slow upload speed is the problem, data won’t be able to reach iCloud and therefore won’t sync.

If your download speed is lower than your upload speed, this also indicates there is a problem with your internet connection and you may need to seek support from your internet service provider. You can check your internet speeds using a website like Speed Test.

3. Old devices and new devices not talking

Compatibility is a big factor when it comes to syncing. With macOS and iOS versions from different eras not able to talk to each other, you’ll find syncing much more difficult. In fact, you may even need to sync via cable and be unable to utilise iCloud to the fullest. 

See a full list of requirements for iCloud support here, and give us a call if you need personalised support for your device.

4. Storage issues

Most common of all problems with syncing – you don’t have enough storage. We’ve all seen the annoying banners pop up on our devices reminding us that we’re running out of space (these normal start when your device has less than 20% capacity left). Most often, we ignore them until they become simply too annoying to ignore because your device refuses to work!.

However, there is a much simpler option for most people. You can upgrade your iCloud storage for as little as 79p per month direct with Apple from your iCloud > System Settings (System Preferences pre-macOS Ventura). Instead of the regular 5GB of free storage, you’ll get a whopping 50GB storage at the first paid level. That should keep those pesky notifications at bay a little longer!

5. Out-of-date operating systems

As we touched upon, there are many versions of macOS and iOS out there. When devices get to a certain age, they’re not always supported by new updates. For example, if you’re using an iPhone 8, you’ll be able to use iOS16. But if you’re still using an iPhone 7, you’re no longer able to access the latest updates from Apple. The same applies to any Apple computer using pre-macOS 13.6 software.

This causes issues not only for syncing but also for data security and a LOT more. We’d encourage you to chat with an Apple expert (like us) if your device is no longer supported – as there may be an alternative way to keep your device safe and secure.

6. No internet? Uh oh!

Simply put, your device won’t be able to sync if you don’t have an active internet connection. When you’re struggling with a dodgy internet connection, it can be very frustrating, and it’s not always obvious. Whilst syncing is only one issue you’ll face, it is an important one. 

If something happens to your device and you haven’t synced for a few months, you’ll likely lose a lot of personal data that you’ll find it difficult to recover, unless you are doing Time Machine or another type of data back-up directly from your Mac (this doesn’t apply to mobile devices. 

Don’t let a bad internet connection be the reason you lose out on your precious photos, videos and messages –- prioritise your syncing.

7. Cross-platform syncing

Many people assume they can use iCloud on whatever device they want. However, that’s not strictly true. You can access your iCloud via Apple’s website on any device, but it won’t sync your data automatically, as you are viewing the raw data from Apple’s saved server files on the which will then change the data on all you other connected devices.

Especially if you’re an android user – you’ll need to find another backup source as you won’t be able to rely on iCloud. There are alternatives out there, however, such as Google’s Drive and Photos apps.

8. User troubles!

There’s no shame in saying it – tech is confusing sometimes. Having issues with tech is nothing to worry about, but you should seek support just in case you do more harm than good to your device and your data.

For jargon-free advice that puts your user experience first and offers support on your devices, specific to your needs, talk to us here at XMAC.

Got a problem and want support you can trust?

Apple products are our passion. To many valued customers all over the South, we have provided long-term support and protection for devices to ensure they’re getting the best out of them at all times and keeping their data safe and secure in the process.

Get in touch today and find out how XMAC can help you find your device, set it up and protect it too.