Is your iCloud not downloading to Mac? Here’s how to fix it

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • If your iCloud app is not downloading data to your Mac it can cause you a lot of stress. We have the fix for this issue.
  • To start the repair process for this problem, you should start by waiting a bit more time, and then using the Terminal.
  • If you want to see more comprehensive guides, don't hesitate to visit our Mac Fix Hub.
  • To make sure that you never miss any new information, consider bookmarking our extensive Mac page.
iCloud isn't downloading to mac

iCloud Drive can be incredibly useful if you need to back up your files, but many users reported that iCloud Drive is not downloading files from the cloud. This can be a problem, and in today’s article, we’ll show you how to deal with this issue.

What to do if iCloud Drive is not downloading?

1. Wait it out


If iCloud Drive is not downloading files, maybe you just need to wait patiently for the process to finish. According to users, the synchronization process can take a while, hours or sometimes even days depending on the amount of data you have in the cloud.

This is especially true if you’re synchronizing files for the first time, and the initial synchronization can take a while.

2. Use the Terminal

terminal mac icloud drive not downloading

In some instances, iCloud Drive can encounter a glitch, but in most cases, you can fix those by using the Terminal and resetting the entire process. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. Now run the following commands:
    • killall bird
    • cd ~/Library/Application Support
    • rm -rf CloudDocs
  3. Restart your Mac.

Once your Mac restarts, the synchronization process should start immediately. You can use the brctl log -w command to see the current status of the syncing process.

3. Temporarily stop synchronization

One way to fix the problem with stuck iCloud Drive is to temporarily disable it. This is fairly simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences > iCloud.
  2. Locate iCloud Drive and click the Options button next to it.
  3. Disable Desktop and Document Folders. If you want, you can disable all other features as well.
    icloud settings mac icloud drive not downloading
  4. Uncheck Optimize Mac Storage and click on Done.

After doing that, enable all these features again and check if the problem is still there.

These are some of the solutions you should try if iCloud Drive isn’t downloading files on your Mac. If our solutions worked for you, feel free to leave us a comment below.

FAQ: Learn more about iCloud issues on Mac

  • How do I reset my iCloud on my Mac?

To reset your iCloud on Mac, you need to open System Preferences, choose iCloud, and then press the Sign Out button.

  • How do I restore factory settings on my MacBook Air?

To restore your MacBook Air to factory settings, restart your laptop, then, when seeing the white screen press and hold the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo. Open Disk Utility, select the Show all devices option, and delete the disk found below your SSD hard-drive.

  • What do I do if I forgot my Apple administrator password?

To retrieve an Apple password, click on the arrow icon, enter your Apple ID and password, then click Reset  Password to proceed.