Understanding iCloud Drive Syncing

How Do I Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Mac
How Do I Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Mac

iCloud Drive is Apple's cloud storage solution that enables you to store various types of files, such as documents, photos, and videos on the cloud. These files can be accessed from any device connected to your same iCloud account. To sync iCloud Drive on Mac, you can follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign in to iCloud. Make sure you're signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both your Mac and other devices.

Step 2: Enable iCloud Drive. On your Mac, go to "System Preferences," click on "Apple ID," and select "iCloud" on the left. Then, tick the box beside "iCloud Drive" to enable syncing on the Mac.

Enable iCloud Drive on Mac
Enable iCloud Drive on Mac

Step 3: Check Network Connection. Ensure your Mac is connected to a stable internet connection to facilitate syncing.

How Do I Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Mac

To troubleshoot iCloud Drive not syncing on Mac issues and force iCloud sync on Mac, follow these steps:

1. Restart iCloud: Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve syncing problems. Sign out of iCloud on your Mac and then sign in again.

2. Check iCloud Storage: If you check your iCloud storage and find it is full, it might prevent syncing. Delete unnecessary files or consider upgrading your storage plan.

Check iCloud Storage on Mac
Check iCloud Storage on Mac

3. Update macOS: Ensure your Mac is running the latest version of macOS, as updates often include bug fixes and improvements to iCloud syncing.

4. Check File Types: Some file types might not be supported for iCloud syncing. Check if the files you're trying to sync are compatible.

5. Use Terminal Commands: Open Terminal and enter the command “killall bird” to restart the iCloud process.

6. Disable and Re-enable iCloud Drive: Temporarily turn off iCloud Drive in "System Preferences," then re-enable it.

7. Check Firewall Settings: Make sure your firewall isn't blocking iCloud services.

How Do I Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Windows PC

How Do I Force iCloud to Sync on Windows PC
How Do I Force iCloud to Sync on Windows PC

To force iCloud Drive to sync on a Windows computer, follow these steps:

1. Check iCloud for Windows Installation: Ensure that you have iCloud for Windows installed on your computer. If not, download and install this app from the official website.

2. Sign In to iCloud: Open iCloud for Windows and sign in with your Apple ID and password.

3. Check iCloud Drive Settings:

  • Tap on the "Options" button beside "iCloud Drive."
  • Make sure that "iCloud Drive" is enabled, and check the box next to "iCloud Drive" if it's not already checked.
  • Select the folders you want to sync with iCloud Drive by checking the corresponding boxes.
Check iCloud Drive Settings on Windows PC
Check iCloud Drive Settings on Windows PC

4. Force Sync:

  • Open the iCloud for Windows application.
  • Click on the "Sync" button. This button might appear as "Apply" or "OK" in some versions of iCloud for Windows.

5. Restart iCloud for Windows:

  • Sometimes, restarting the iCloud for Windows application can help trigger a sync.
  • Close the iCloud for Windows application if it's running.
  • Wait a few moments and then reopen the application.

6. Restart Your Computer:

A simple restart of your computer can often help resolve syncing issues.

7. Check Network Connection:

Ensure that your Windows PC has a stable and active internet connection. iCloud Drive syncing requires a working internet connection.

8. Check iCloud Drive Files:

Make sure the files you want to sync are located within the folders designated for iCloud Drive syncing.

9. Update iCloud for Windows:

Ensure that your iCloud for Windows is in the newest version. Check for updates from the Apple Software Update utility.

Bonus Tip: How to Sync iCloud Drive to Another Cloud via MultCloud

If you also wonder how to sync iCloud Drive to other cloud drives, you can use the methods introduced in this part. And it is using MultCloud Cloud Sync. MultCloud serves as a free cloud management service and Cloud Sync is specific on automating the sync process between clouds. Cloud Sync includes 7 sync modes that can meet your various demands like Two-way Sync, Real Time Sync, or Incremental Sync. Most importantly, you can run the process on any device with a network connection and the operations are easy to follow.

Here we will use how to incremental sync iCloud Drive to Google Drive by Cloud Sync as an example.

Step 1: Sign up on MultCloud’s home page.

Step 2: Click “Add Drive” and the iCloud Drive icon. Then go through the two-factor authentication to log in to your iCloud Drive account and connect it with MultCloud. Also, do the same operations to connect Google Drive with MultCloud.

Add iCloud Drive and Google Drive to MultCloud
Add iCloud Drive and Google Drive to MultCloud

Step 3: Select “Cloud Sync” in the left sidebar and choose iCloud Drive and Google Drive in separate boxes.

Sync iCloud Drive to Google Drive
Sync iCloud Drive to Google Drive

Step 4: Click “Options”, extend the last box to choose “Incremental Sync”, and tap on “Save”. Finally, click “Sync Now” to start the process.

Choose Incremental Sync
Choose Incremental Sync


  • If you want to keep updating iCloud Drive files to Google Drive, you can set a sync frequency according to your needs in the Schedule.
  • Since there are various types of files on your iCloud Drive and if you only want to sync the photos to Google Drive, you can batch-select them out with the help of the Filter.
Schedule the Sync Task
Schedule the Sync Task


Ensuring that your iCloud Drive syncs seamlessly on your Mac or Windows PC is essential for efficient file management and accessibility. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can troubleshoot the issue of “How do I force iCloud Drive to sync on Mac” and optimize your iCloud Drive experience.

What’s more, you can further integrate your iCloud Drive with other cloud drives using MultCloud. Not only syncing iCloud Drive with Google Drive, but also with Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Photos can be easily realized. Try it now and enter a cloud integration world.


You May Also Like

Experiencing iCloud Drive full but no files? Explore ways to address this storage challenge and optimize your iCloud usage for seamless file management.

Wondering how to sync iCloud to an external hard drive? Don’t miss this post. It provides the 4 simplest ways for you. Whether you are a macOS user or a Windows user, you can find the solution. Besides, the post will give the best way to sync iCloud to other clouds by MultCloud which is free and secure.

Explore what is iCloud Drive Archive. Safely store and manage your files, enjoy seamless access, and keep your digital life organized effortlessly.

MultCloud Logo

Add and manage 30+ popular clouds in one platform.

  • Cloud Transfer

    Migrate files across different cloud drives without manually downloading and re-uploading.

  • Cloud Sync

    Sync two clouds or directories in two different cloud drives via one-way or two-way sync.

  • Cloud Backup

    Backup one cloud data to another cloud for an extra protection and easy recovery.

Sign up Free
New Release

Email to Cloud Migration

Migrate or save Gmails to 30 popular cloud drives as PDF, even including any attachments.