An 8-Step Guide to Fix Photos not Uploading to iCloud

Follow these tips to force your photos to upload to iCloud.

photos not uploading to iCloud

Why are my photos not uploading to iCloud?

Photos not syncing with iCloud?

Fixing photos not uploading to iCloud isn’t a cut-and-dried process, though. There’s not a definitive answer to know for sure why your photos are not uploading to iCloud. It could be your iCloud run out of storage, or maybe poor internet connection or iCloud Photos was disabled.

It’s a frustrating issue that affect many iPhone users, but fortunately there’s a fix. To have an idea of your photos syncing issues, follow the steps below and cross-reference your results.

Photos not uploading to iCloud

Here are all the tips you’ll learn about in this guide.

  1. Check iCloud status
  2. Activate iCloud Photos
  3. Check Apple ID
  4. Check iCloud storage
  5. Verify internet connection
  6. Sign out of iCloud
  7. Update to the latest iOS
  8. Restart your device

1. Check iCloud Status

iCloud Photos may stop working as a result of server-related problems. In such instances, you will not find your photos on iOS or macOS devices, as well as your PC photo folder. However, they will be available through iCloud.com. If you face a situation like this, check that iCloud Photos is not down. 

Apple system status page
Image Courtesy: Apple (Screenshot)

To do this, head to Apple’s System Status page. You should see a green dot next to Photos and iCloud as well, indicating that they’re currently available. If you see a red dot meaning the service is down, wait for a notification from Apple informing you of the resolution of the issue. After this, the iCloud Photos will be up and running. 

2. Activate iCloud Photos

Your photos will not upload if you have not enabled the iCloud Photo option across your devices. 

  • For your iOS device, head to the Settings app. Tap on Photos and enable the iCloud Photos feature.  
  • On your macOS device, open the Photos app. On the menu bar, choose Preferences, and then iCloud. Activate iCloud Photos by checking the box right beside the option.  
  • For your Windows device, open the iCloud app. Click on the Options button. On the next page, activate iCloud Photos by checking the box right beside it. 

3. Check Apple ID

You must use the same Apple IDs across all your devices to ensure syncing. If you are not sure about this, do a quick check across all your devices following the steps below.

  • On your iOS device, go to the Settings app. Tap on Profile to access the email address integrated with our Apple ID. 
  • On your macOS device, head to System Preferences (it’s under the Apple Menu). Click on iCloud, and the next page will display your Apple ID and the associated email address. 
  • On your Windows device, head to the iCloud app. Check right under the iCloud logo for your Apple ID and associated email address.

Ensure that the Apple ID used on all of these platforms is the same. If you have any cause to sign out of any of these devices, ensure that you create a backup to iCloud to preserve your data on the Apple ID in question.  

4. Check iCloud storage

It’s a no brainer. Photos won’t upload to iCloud if you exceed your iCloud storage limit. This is why it’s important to check and ensure that your iCloud doesn’t run out of storage space. The standard is 5GB of space. You can check your current usage by heading to the Settings app, tap your banner name ID, and then select iCloud.

Checking iCloud storage on iPhone
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

The usage of your storage space is right at the top of that page. You can free up some space by deleting unwanted files or upgrade your membership tier to enjoy more iCloud storage space. This great guide provides detailed instruction on how to free up iCloud storage space so you don’t have to pay for more storage.

5. Check internet connection

You need a strong and consistent internet connection to upload photos to iCloud. In some cases, there may be issues with your connection. You can check if your phone is connected by browsing some web pages on Safari. If you have a poor connection, change your internet connection source. 

Turning off Low Power Mode on iPhone
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Also, make sure you haven’t enabled Low Data Mode on your iPhone. For Wi-Fi connection, go to Settings, tap Wi-Fi, then tap on the little “i” symbol next to your network. On the next screen, toggle the switch next to Low Data Mode to the off position.

Turning off Low Data Mode on iPhone
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

While you’re in the Settings app, you’ll do the same for cellular connections. On the first Settings page, tap Cellular, then Cellular Data Options, and turn off Low Data Mode.

6. Sign out of iCloud

You can fix the iCloud syncing problem by signing in and out of iCloud. However, the downside to this fix is that your device may start downloading your photos all over. This takes time, and of course, data. Also, before you sign out, it is important to allow your iOS or macOS device to keep your data locally. 

  • You can sign in and out of iCloud on your Windows device through the iCloud app. 
  • To sign out on your macOS device, head to System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.
  • To sign out on your iOS device, go to the Settings app and tap on your profile. Sign out by tapping the Sign Out option at the bottom of the page. 

In each case, make sure to restart your device before signing back in. 

7. Update to the latest iOS

Apple, over time, has relied on updates to fix glitches and bugs in their operating systems. The inability of your device to sync photos to iCloud may be due to one of these bugs. Therefore, it is ideal that you perform an update to get on the latest iOS version. 

To do this, head to the Settings app on your iPhone. Choose General > Software Update. Check if new updates are waiting for installation. If you find any, install and restart your device. 

Installing iOS update on iPhone
Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

In the case of macOS and Windows devices, updates can be installed through the Preferences and Apple Software Update Utility interfaces, respectively. Remember to restart your device in both cases. 

8. Restart your device

The last fix to solve the problem of your iCloud not syncing photos is to restart your devices. Over time, we have seen restarts do wonders in resolving issues facing a device. If you are using an iPhone X or any newer model, you can restart your device by pressing and holding the Volume Up and Power buttons simultaneously until your device goes off. 

Finally, note that you do not have to try out all of these fixes to solve the problem. You should check if the issue has been resolved after applying each fix. In some cases, you may apply just one or a few of them, and in others, you may need to try all of these fixes. Either way, you can rest assured of fixing any problem preventing your iCloud from syncing photos from your device. 

Don’t forget to share this guide with your friends. Do let us know in the comments section if you have any questions.