iCloud Photos allows you to sync and access your photos on all your iCloud compatible devices. This feature works just fine most of the time. However, sometimes you may find that iCloud Photos are not syncing. When this happens, your photos won’t upload from your device to the iCloud service.

There are many reasons this happens. Maybe the server you’re trying to upload your photos to is down? Or maybe your mobile data is restricting photo uploads? We show you how to fix that all below.

Table of Contents
    Fix the iCloud Photos Sync Issues

    Ensure The iCloud Server Is Not Down

    When you have any issues with iCloud including photos not syncing to the iCloud, the first thing to do is to check if Apple servers are experiencing an outage. Apple offers a web page that shows the status of its servers.

    1. Open a new tab in your browser and head over to the Apple status website.
    2. You’ll see the status of each Apple server. Look for the server that says Photos and check the status.
    Apple statue website with Photos highlighted

    If the Photos server is down, that’s why your photos are not syncing to the iCloud. You need to wait for Apple to bring the server back up.

    Make Sure The iCloud Photos Sync Is Enabled On Your Devices

    One reason why your iCloud Photos are not syncing may be that the sync option is disabled on your devices. You need to enable the iCloud Photos option on each of your devices where you want to access the synced photos.

    Enable iCloud Photos On An iPhone/iPad

    1. Open the Settings app on your device.
    2. Tap your name banner at the top of your screen.
    Apple ID in Settings
    1. Tap the iCloud option on the following screen.
    iCloud option in Apple ID
    1. Select Photos from all the options available on your screen.
    iCloud Photos option
    1. Turn on the iCloud Photos option.
    iCloud Photos toggle

    Enable iCloud Photos On a Mac

    1. Click Launchpad in the Dock, search for Photos and open it.
    Photos in Search Bar
    1. Select the Photos option in the top menu bar and click Preferences.
    Preferences in Photos menu
    1. Choose the iCloud tab on the following screen.
    2. Tick-mark the iCloud Photo Library option.
    iCloud Photo Library in check box

    Check The iCloud Storage Requirements

    By default, your iCloud account offers 5GB of storage to save your photos and other files. If you’ve exceeded this storage limit, that may be why your iCloud Photos are not syncing.

    One way to fix that issue is to make space in your account. You can do this by removing unnecessary files from your account. This includes your Drive files, photos, videos, and other data.

    Current Plan window

    The other way to resolve the problem is to upgrade your current plan. Apple offers multiple paid pro plans to get more storage in your account. You can subscribe to a larger plan directly from your iPhone and iPad as well.

    Allow Your iOS Device To Use Unlimited Mobile Data

    Your iPhone and iPad have a feature that restricts the number of photos that can be synced to your iCloud account while you’re using mobile data. If you have a large data allowance from your mobile data provider, you can disable this option and fix the issue where your iCloud Photos are not syncing.

    1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
    2. Scroll down and tap the Photos option.
    Photos option in Settings tab
    1. Select the Mobile Data option.
    Mobile Data options in Photos
    1. Enable the Unlimited Updates option.
    Unlimited Updates toggle

    Log Out & Back Into Your iCloud Account

    One thing you can try to possibly get rid of the photo sync issue on your iOS and Mac devices is to sign out of your iCloud account and then sign back in.

    On An iPhone/iPad

    1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
    2. Tap your name banner at the top.
    Apple ID banner
    1. Scroll down and tap the Sign Out option.
    Sign Out button
    1. Sign back into your iCloud account.

    On a Mac

    1. Click the Apple logo at the top-left corner and choose System Preferences.
    Apple > System Preferences
    1. Select iCloud.
    iCloud in System Preferences
    1. Click the Sign Out button.
    Sign Out button in iCloud
    1. Log back into your account.

    Update The iCloud App On Your Windows PC

    If your iCloud Photos are not syncing from a Windows computer, one reason why that might happen is that you have an older version of the iCloud app. Updating to the latest version should fix the issue.

    Update iCloud For Windows Using Update Manager

    1. Search for Apple Software Update using Cortana search and open it.
    Apple Software Update in Windows Update Manager
    1. Select iCloud in the software list and click Install at the bottom.
    Apple Software Update window
    1. Wait while iCloud gets updated on your PC.

    Update iCloud For Windows By Redownloading It

    1. Open a browser and head over to the iCloud for Windows website.
    2. Click the download link to download the iCloud app to your Windows computer.

    Reset Network Settings On Your Device

    Your iPhone or iPad utilizes the network settings to connect to the Apple servers. If there’s an issue with these settings, your iCloud Photos won’t sync.

    If you aren’t sure what settings are causing the issue, resetting all network settings to the defaults will do the trick for you.

    1. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device.
    2. Scroll down and tap the option that says General.
    General in Settings menu
    1. Scroll all the way down and tap the Reset option.
    Reset option
    1. Select the Reset Network Settings option.
    Reset Network Settings in Reset
    1. Your iPhone will ask you to enter your passcode. Enter the passcode and your network settings will be reset.
    Enter Passcode window

    Update Your Apple Devices

    If you’re running an obsolete iOS or macOS version on your devices, that may be the reason your iCloud Photos are not syncing. Updating your devices to the latest versions of their respective operating systems should fix the issue.

    Update iOS On An iPhone/iPad

    1. Open the Settings app on your device.
    2. Tap the General option.
    3. Tap the Software Update option.
    Software Update in General
    1. You’ll see the Download and Install option if an update is available. Tap this option to update your iOS device.

    Update macOS On a Mac

    1. Click the Apple logo at the top-left of your screen and select About This Mac.
    Apple > About This Mac
    1. Click the Software Update button.
    Software Update button
    1. The Mac App Store will open letting you update your macOS version.

    Did any of the methods suggested above fix the iCloud Photos not syncing issue on your devices? Let us know in the comments below.

    In case your issue is still not gone, consider using Google Photos on your iOS devices.