Is iCloud Sync on by Default?

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

Mostly, iCloud is on by default when you have a new Apple device. That means some data including your photos or files are synced from your device to iCloud by default. If there is some data on your device that you don't want iCloud to sync with, you can turn it off in the phone's "Settings", like turning off iCloud Photos or iCloud Drive.

iCloud sync allows you to back up and sync various types of data, such as photos, contacts, calendars, and app data, across your Apple devices. While some data like photos and app-specific data may prompt you to enable iCloud sync during the setup process of your device or when you install certain apps, it's not enabled by default for everything.

How Do I Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Mac

We will show you how to trigger iCloud sync on Mac and give you some suggestions for the iCloud not syncing issue in this section. 

Force iCloud Sync on Mac

Before the steps, you should check your network connection and make sure your Mac is connected to a stable one to facilitate syncing.

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

Note: It is similar to forcing photos to sync with iCloud on Mac, you can just tick the box beside "Photos" to realize it.

iCloud Drive Not Syncing on Mac [6 Methods]

To troubleshoot this not syncing problem on Mac, you can refer to the following methods:

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

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

How Do I Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Windows PC

Except for Mac, iCloud can be also used on the Windows PC as long as you have the iCloud for Windows app. You may also want to know how to sync iCloud Drive on the Windows PC and this section will offer the answer. Like the former section, the solutions to fix the not syncing issue are provided, too.

Force iCloud Drive to Sync on Windows PC

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

Step 2: Open the iCloud for Windows application and sign in with your Apple ID.

Step 3: Tick the box beside "iCloud Drive", check the options, and click "Apply" to finish this task.

Check iCloud Drive Settings on Windows PC
Check iCloud Drive Settings on Windows PC

Note: To force iCloud Photos to sync on a Windows PC, you can check the box beside "Photos" and click on "Apply".

iCloud Drive Not Syncing on Windows PC [6 Methods]

To handle the iCloud Drive not syncing on Windows PC issue , follow these steps:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Restart Your Computer: A simple restart of your computer can often help resolve syncing issues.

4. Check Network Connection: Ensure that your Windows PC has a stable and active internet connection. iCloud Drive syncing requires a working internet connection.

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

6. 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 with Another Cloud via MultCloud

If you also wonder how to sync iCloud Drive to other cloud drives, you can try 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. For example, if you want the sync process to go both ways between iCloud Drive and another cloud, you can use the Two-way mode. Most importantly, you can use MultCloud on the web browser and run the process without downloading any app to occupy your computer storage.

Here we will use how to incrementally 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 or use the Real Time Sync mode.
  • Since there are various types of files on your iCloud Drive and if you only want to some of them to Google Drive, you can batch-select these files out with the Filter.
  • You can sync up to 5 GB of files for free every month. If you have more files to sync, you can become a premium user and enjoy more traffic to sync files at faster speed.
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.

How do I see sync status of iCloud Drive on Mac?
To check iCloud Drive sync status on Mac, click the Apple menu > "System Preferences" > "Apple ID" > "iCloud" > "Options" next to iCloud Drive. Here, you can see the sync status of your iCloud Drive files.
How long does it take for iCloud Drive to sync?
The time it takes for iCloud Drive to sync depends on factors like the file size, internet speed, and the number of files. Smaller files may sync quickly, while larger ones could take longer, ranging from seconds to minutes or more.
Why is syncing with iCloud paused?
iCloud syncing can be paused for various reasons, including poor internet connectivity, low storage space, or changes in settings. It can also be manually paused by the user in iCloud preferences.
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