If you use Apple devices, such as an iPhone or iPad, and perhaps a Mac, then you’re probably using iCloud services as well. For those unaware, iCloud is Apple’s own cloud storage service, keeping your data safe in the cloud and easily accessible across multiple devices.
With iCloud, you can safely and securely store photos, videos, documents, mail, music, apps, and more, all right in the cloud. Data syncs quickly so everything stays up-to-date on your Apple devices.
For the most part, iCloud works fine, but you might encounter issues on occasion. We’re going to cover the most common iCloud problems and provide the solutions.
1. Cannot Connect to iCloud
The biggest step with iCloud is usually signing in. But sometimes that may fail, and you get the Cannot Connect to Server error message.
The first solution is to check the status of Apple’s servers, which you can do on the Apple status page. If it’s green, you’re good. A yellow or red light signifies issues or maintenance in progress, so you’ll have to wait it out.
Sometimes you may need to verify your iCloud account with updated terms and conditions to get it up and running again. This is an easy fix:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] (at the top).
- If there’s any change in the Terms & Conditions, then it’ll pop up and prompt you to agree or disagree. Simply agree to verify your account.
- If you’ve changed your password for security reasons, then you may need to sign in with the new password to verify your account.
Another simple, but straightforward solution is to log out and log back in. This can work for your iCloud account, as well as your Apple ID for iTunes or the App Store.
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out. For iTunes and App Store, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iTunes & App Store.
- Select your account.
- Scroll to the bottom and click Sign Out for iCloud. For the Store, tap on your account and then Sign Out in the menu prompt.
If all else fails, you may need to use Recovery Mode on your iOS device.
2. iCloud Data Is Not Syncing
While iCloud should sync automatically and changes appear instantly, sometimes that isn’t the case. If that happens, try these fixes in turn:
- Restart your device and wait. Sometimes all you need is patience.
- Make sure you’re logged in to the right account on all your devices. To check this, just go to Settings > [Your Name] on each iPhone or iPad.
- Again, make sure that Apple’s servers are working by checking the status page.
3. App Is Not Saving in iCloud
Usually apps that use iCloud Drive to store their data do so by default. However, sometimes you must manually toggle them to save to iCloud, either in the app settings or through a permission prompt. It’s easy to check and make sure this is on for the app you want:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud.
- Scroll through the list of apps and make sure that the toggle is green for the apps you want to save in iCloud.
4. Stuck on iCloud Signin or Updating iCloud Settings
If you’re trying to sign into iCloud on one device and it gets stuck, but Apple’s servers are functional and your credentials work on another device, then try a basic reboot:
- Turn off your phone by holding down the power button.
- Press the power button again until the Apple logo shows up.
- Re-enter your iCloud account information again in Settings.
If this happens when you’re in the Setup Assistant after updating or setting up a new device, and it asks to set up iCloud, then the restart should work too, or a hard restart. When you try it again, you can opt to skip setting up iCloud during the setup and do it later instead.
5. “Authentication Error” When Signing Into iCloud
Sometimes you think you have the right login credentials, but may have made a mistake somewhere along the way. If you get an “authentication failed” message when trying to sign in, try this:
- Go to appleid.apple.com.
- Log in with your Apple ID/iCloud credentials.
- If you still can’t log in, then try resetting your account password by clicking the Forgot Apple ID or password? link on the page.
6. “Unsupported Apple ID” When Signing Into iCloud
Creating your Apple ID is pretty straightforward. However, you may have created an Apple ID under non-standard circumstances, which can cause issues later.
Typically, if an Apple ID works with the iTunes Store, App Store, Game Center, FaceTime, and other Apple services, then it should work with iCloud. But if it doesn’t work with those services, there may be issues with using it for iCloud.
For this, Apple recommends to contact iCloud support to resolve the issue.
7. Reached or Exceeded iCloud Storage Limit
When you start using iCloud for everything, it can fill up pretty fast. After all, it can have backups of your iPhone and iPad, along with high-quality photos and videos, documents, and other data in iCloud Drive.
Apple gives everyone 5GB of iCloud storage for free. But that’s usually not enough, and a lot of users end up getting a message saying that they’ve reached or exceeded their iCloud storage limit. When this happens, you won’t be able to do daily backups or save more files in iCloud until you fix it. You have two options for this: make some space or buy more storage.
The first option involves checking your iCloud storage and getting rid of unnecessary data. To do this:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud. Tap on Manage Storage.
- You’ll see all apps and services storing in iCloud in descending order, sorted by largest amount of data.
- Tap on an item to view its contents and size.
- To get rid of something, just tap on the Delete Documents & Data (or something similar, depending on item) option.
- Wait a few moments while iCloud purges the selected data from your storage. Then you can celebrate, because you’ve regained space.
If you prefer not getting rid of anything, then consider buying more storage. It’s easy to do right from your iOS device:
- Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage.
- Select Change Storage Plan.
- You’ll see your current plan, along with available upgrades below.
- Apple’s iCloud plans start at $ 1 a month for 50GB, and go up to 2TB for $ 10 a month.
- Select the one you want, and then tap Buy. You’ll get charged immediately and the storage is available right away. The monthly payment date reflects your original purchase date.
- Apple charges your card charged every month until you cancel. If you had a paid plan before and needed an upgrade, Apple cancels the existing plan and charges the prorated cost for the new one.
8. Can’t Log In or Out of iCloud: “Verification Failed”
If you’re trying to log in or out of your iCloud account in your iPhone or iPad’s Settings, but get a “Verification Failed” error message, there are a few ways to fix this:
- Do a hard reboot of your phone. See the link in the “Cannot Connect to iCloud” section above for detailed instructions.
- Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi. This is a common issue after updating your device’s software.
- Oddly enough, your device’s date and time may be incorrect, thus causing verification issues. Fix this by going to Settings > General > Date & Time. Make sure the Set Automatically option is on, and it should fix itself.
- Use another device that has the same Apple ID. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Password & Security > Get Verification Code. This generates a six-digit code that you input on the other device (where you get verification error) if you have Two-Factor Authentication on.
9. iPhone Keeps Asking for iCloud Password
This is an old bug, but one that pops back up at times. You’re in the middle of using your iPhone, when a prompt pops up asking you to enter your iCloud credentials. You do that, but then a few moments later, it pops up again, and again… What do you do?
- Rebooting your phone is the first step. Do it the traditional way with the power button, or use the hard restart method mentioned earlier.
- Sign out and back in to your iCloud account. Go to Settings > [Your Name] > Sign Out. When the prompt comes up, tap Delete from Phone. Then sign in again.
- Make sure Apple’s servers are working by checking the status page.
- If none of these steps work, try resetting your Apple account password at appleid.apple.com. Enter the new password in the prompt when it appears, and it should fix the problem.
- The last resort option is to back up and restore your device. Since this process can be time-consuming, make sure none of the other solutions worked for you.
iCloud Is Simple and Invisible… When It Works Right
Many Apple users rely on iCloud for at least something, if not everything. The service is seamless and invisible, but only when it works. When iCloud problems do come up, they make themselves quite apparent, leading to a frustrating experience.
We’ve covered some of the most common issues with iCloud here, but there are plenty of other annoying problems that can arise. However, when in doubt, it’s always good to try restarting your device to fix any strange problems you’re having before troubleshooting with Google.
Now that you know how to troubleshoot iCloud, check out our guide to fixing crashing iPhone apps.
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