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User Case: iCloud Drive Stuck Updates and Never Completes


☞ I've had this "iCloud Drive needs to finish updating before continuing with sign out" message for like 24 hours! But I see the Terminal is showing no activity!


☞ Trying to move into my new 16" M1 Max MBP running 12.2.1 and I cannot disable iCloud Drive (I have it disabled on all of my devices). The process hangs at the "iCloud Drive needs to finish updating before being turned off." popup and never completes.


☞ If I attempt to disable iCloud Drive, it asks me to finish downloading files before turning it off, otherwise, I will lose them. I've had this running for a couple of days and it will either also say "Uploading xx,*** items" (see below) or it says "Finishing... (0 of 10,000 items)" and never progresses from there. I've had this running for 4 days straight with no resolution. The computer fan has been running at max the whole time.

- Questions from the forums

Common Reasons for iCloud Drive Needs to Finish Updating Stuck

When you enable iCloud Drive on your Apple device, it constantly syncs your files and documents to ensure they are up to date across all your devices. This background syncing is usually seamless, but sometimes it can get stuck, causing files to remain unsynchronized.

iCloud Drive Stuck on Updating
iCloud Drive Stuck on Updating
iCloud Drive Stuck on Updating
iCloud Drive Stuck on Updating

Several factors can contribute to iCloud Drive getting stuck during updates. Understanding these factors is the first step towards resolving the issue:

1. Slow or Unstable Internet Connection

A weak or unreliable internet connection can hinder the iCloud Drive update process. Ensure you are connected to a stable Wi-Fi network before troubleshooting.

2. Storage Space

Insufficient storage space on your device or in your iCloud account can lead to syncing problems.

3. Large Files and Folders

If you have large files or folders in your iCloud Drive, it may take longer to sync. Large data transfers can sometimes cause the update to get stuck.

4. iCloud Server Issues

At times, the problem might not be on your end but on Apple's servers. Check Apple's system status page to see if there are any ongoing iCloud service disruptions.=

5. Software Glitches

Software bugs or issues with your iOS or macOS version can also disrupt iCloud Drive updates.

Troubleshooting Steps to Resolve iCloud Drive Stuck Updates

Now that we've identified potential causes, let's explore solutions to get your iCloud Drive back to normal:

1. Check Your Internet Connection

Ensure you have a stable and high-speed internet connection. Restart your router if needed and reconnect to Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Settings
Wi-Fi Settings

2. Restart iCloud Drive

Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve the issue. Go to your device's settings, navigate to iCloud, and toggle off iCloud Drive. Wait for a few seconds and then toggle it back on.

Restart iCloud Drive
Restart iCloud Drive

3. Optimize Large Files

If you have large files causing the issue, consider compressing them or moving them to an external drive (such as transferring iCloud Photos to external hard drives) temporarily.

4. Clear Storage Space

Make sure you have enough storage space available on your device and in iCloud Drive. Deleting unnecessary files can free up space and help the update process.

5. Update iOS

Outdated software can sometimes cause synchronization issues. Check if there are any pending iOS updates and install them.

Step 1. Go to "Settings" and choose the "General" option.

Step 2. Tap "Software Update," then check any available updates. If you find an update available, download it and try uploading your files again.

Update iOS
Update iOS

6. Contact Apple Support

If you've tried all the above steps and iCloud Drive still won't update, it's time to contact Apple Support for further assistance.

7. Consider Alternative Cloud Services

As a last resort, you might want to explore alternative cloud storage services that better suit your needs. For example, you can choose to move files from iCloud to OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud services, so as to not use iCloud.

Don’t be afraid of moving files across different cloud accounts! There are many cloud file migration tools, such as MultCloud, to help you transfer data easily and effortlessly.

  • Perfect Integration: Manage up to 30+ cloud drives centrally.
  • Random Migration: Do one-time or incremental migration according to your own needs.
  • Real-time Sync: Provide 10 custom sync modes to simplify collaboration.
  • Smart Backup: Restore the backed-up data to the previous version at any time.
  • Email Migration: Easily save emails to a flash drive or cloud account.
  • Remote Upload: Directly download URLs, torrent files or magnet links to clouds.


Dealing with the "iCloud Drive needs to finish updating" issue can be frustrating, but with a bit of troubleshooting, you can likely resolve the issue. Remember to maintain a stable internet connection, manage your storage space efficiently, and keep your software up-to-date. If all else fails, don't hesitate to seek help from Apple's support team or consider other cloud storage options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is iCloud Drive free to use?

iCloud Drive offers 5GB of free storage. However, additional storage can be purchased based on your needs.

2. Can I access iCloud Drive on Windows or Android devices?

Yes, you can access and sync iCloud Drive on Windows through iCloud for Windows. Apple also provides web access, making it accessible on Android devices via a web browser.

3. What should I do if iCloud Drive is stuck on "Updating" for an extended period?

If iCloud Drive remains stuck on "Updating" for an extended period, try the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this article. If the issue persists, consider contacting Apple Support for further assistance.

4. Can I use iCloud Drive for business purposes?

iCloud Drive is primarily designed for personal use. For business purposes, consider Apple's iCloud for Business or other dedicated cloud storage solutions.

5. Is there a way to manually force iCloud Drive to update?

Unfortunately, there is no manual option to force iCloud Drive to update. It relies on its automated synchronization process. However, the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this article can help resolve any issues that may be causing it to get stuck.

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