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Guide: Fix ‘iCloud Drive Not Syncing on Windows 10’ Issue
iCloud for Windows leaves a lot to be desired. Whether it’s error messages during installation or your photos not downloading locally – you’re going to run into quite a bit of a headache at some point. And the same goes for its integrated file sync service – iCloud Drive.
For starters, iCloud Drive isn’t the best cloud file storage service on Windows – it’s slow, clunky, and can take ages to upload or download files. You will also have to deal with instances where it does not work properly.
If you run into serious sync issues with iCloud Drive, here are a few tips who can help you. Try going through each solution in the following order, and you should probably have iCloud Drive up and soon.back to menu ↑
1. Turn on iCloud Drive
The first thing to do is make sure iCloud Drive is up and run on your computer – quite important if you just installed iCloud for Windows for the first time.
Start by clicking the iCloud icon in the system tray, followed by Open iCloud Settings. On the iCloud app shown up, make sure the box next to iCloud Drive is checked.
If not, check it and click Apply. That should activate iCloud Drive on your PC. To access your files, click the iCloud icon in the system tray and then Open iCloud Drive.back to menu ↑
2. Check iCloud status
Make sure iCloud Drive is not currently offline due to an issue with the Apple servers.
To do this, go to Apple’s system status page and then have a look up the status next to iCloud Drive – a green colored dot indicates no problems, while a red colored dot indicates the opposite.
If iCloud Drive is not available, wait a few hours and then watch up the system status page again. Once the iCloud Drive status is back to normal, you can expect your files to sync regularly.back to menu ↑
3. Restart iCloud Drive
iCloud Drive is also prone to various glitches that are only temporary. A simple restart of the computer should be enough to remove them. But if for some reason you can’t restart your computer right away, you can force quit and restart the iCloud app instead.
To do that, bring up the Task Manager (right-click on the taskbar and click Task Manager). Select all iCloud processes such as iCloud Drive, iCloud Services, iCloud Photo Library, etc., and then click End Task. That should stop iCloud for Windows and all of its services.
After that, search for iCloud for Windows and restart it from the Start menu. That will cause the cloud storage service to start all over again and hopefully resume any stalled downloads or uploads.back to menu ↑
4. Update the iCloud app
Have you recently updated iCloud for Windows? Usually, the latest updates include fixes for known issues in iCloud Drive and other iCloud services. So if you haven’t already, do it now.
Open the Start menu, type apple software update and press Enter. Apply this if any updates are available.
Note: If you are using the Microsoft Store version of iCloud, the app should be automatically updated. But if automatic updates are turned off for your PC, open the Microsoft Store, click Download and updates in the Microsoft Store menu, and apply any updates to iCloud, if available.back to menu ↑
5. Check the internet connection
Don’t rule out the fact that the problem with iCloud Drive could be due to a spotty internet connection. If you have direct access to the router, try turning it off for a few seconds before turning it back on. That could take care of any minor connection issues on the router side.
You can also try connecting to a different Wi-Fi hotspot and see if that makes iCloud Drive resume syncing. If that doesn’t work, consider changing the default DNS service for your internet connection. Using a popular domain name system such as Google DNS can help improve connectivity.
To do this, go to the Properties screen of your Internet connection (click the Ethernet or Wi-Fi icon in the system tray, then click Properties). Click Edit under IP Settings, select Manual, turn on the toggle next to IPv4 and add the following DNS servers in the Preferred DNS and Alternate DNS fields.
Save your changes and restart your computer to use the updated DNS servers for your Internet connection.back to menu ↑
6. Check iCloud storage
Running out of space on iCloud? If so, your files cannot be synced between your devices. To determine if this is the case, open the iCloud app and check the storage indicator.
If you’re running low, you either have to free up some space on iCloud or upgrade to the next paid storage tier.back to menu ↑
7. Check the local disk space
Do you have enough space on the primary partition of your hard drive or SSD? If not, iCloud Drive will not be able to download files uploaded to it from other devices.
Use File Explorer to determine if enough space is available. If you don’t have a lot, go tidy up – delete junk files, turn on Storage sense, turn off reserved storage, etc.
Alternatively, you can move iCloud Drive to another partition or external drive.back to menu ↑
8. Log out / log in
If all else has failed, consider signing out and then signing back in to iCloud for Windows. That can cause iCloud Drive to resync your files. However, you will have to download all your iCloud Drive files again. You also need to download all photos and videos on iCloud Photos from scratch. If that’s something you don’t want to do right now, move on to the next fixes and come back to it later.
To sign out of iCloud, open the iCloud app and click Sign Out. After accepting that your files will be deleted from the local storage, close the iCloud app.
Restart your computer, sign in to iCloud for Windows again, then turn on iCloud Drive and any other iCloud services you use.back to menu ↑
9. Use Microsoft Store version
Apple also has a Microsoft Store version of iCloud for Windows. Despite having the same user interface as the traditional desktop app, the Microsoft Store version is slightly better in terms of performance and features superior iCloud Drive features such as Files On-Demand and iCloud Sharing.
If you still run into problems using the traditional desktop version despite the steps above, consider switching to the Microsoft Store app. The transition process is surprisingly smooth. Check out our guide about how iCloud Microsoft Store version differs from desktop version.back to menu ↑
10. Use the iCloud.com web app
This isn’t a true solution, but if you don’t have time to go through some of the time-consuming solutions listed above, consider using the iCloud Drive web app on iCloud.com for now.
With the iCloud Drive web app, you can do everything – you can upload and download files, rename files and folders, share them with others, etc. The controls are also well implemented and you should have no problem using them.back to menu ↑
Back on the road
Hopefully, the solutions above helped you and iCloud Drive is back to syncing your data without any issues. But if you haven’t already, make it a point to switch to the Microsoft Store version sooner rather than later – it’s a marked improvement over the desktop version of iCloud, and you should see far fewer sync issues . Just don’t expect it to fix all iCloud related issues.
The next up Looking for an iCloud Drive alternative? Try Google Drive. It’s pretty good.back to menu ↑
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