Is iCloud not uploading files from Mac? Follow these 3 steps

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • It can cause you a lot of stress to not be able to upload files to iCloud from Mac, but we have the solution in this guide.
  • To fix this issue, you will need to make a small change to a file and temporarily disable file synchronization.
  • If you want access to more practical Mac guides, check out our Mac Fix Hub.
  • Don't hesitate to bookmark our extensive Mac page for more up-to-date information on this subject.
iCloud isn't uploading from Mac

iCloud is a great way to back up your files, but what if you can’t upload files to iCloud from your Mac? This can be a big problem and make you unable to back up your data, however, there’s a way to fix that.

What to do if uploading from Mac to iCloud isn’t working?

1. Make a small change to the files


If a certain document isn’t being uploaded to iCloud from your Mac, you just have to make a small change in it. Simply open the file that is stuck uploading, make a small change to it, and save the file.

After doing that, you’ll force that file to upload. Alternatively, you can also try renaming the file and see if that helps. This is a simple workaround if you have several files stuck, so be sure to try it.

2. Temporarily disable file synchronization

Sometimes there might be a glitch with iCloud that prevents you from uploading files. To fix that, it’s advised to temporarily disable synchronization and turn it back on. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click on iCloud. Now click on Options next to the iCloud Drive.
  3. Disable Desktop & Documents Folders. You can also disable other options as well.
    icloud not uploading from mac icloud settings
  4. Save changes and wait for a couple of minutes.
  5. After doing that, turn these features back on again.

3. Use the Terminal

If iCloud is still not uploading from your Mac, you might be able to fix the problem simply by resetting the iCloud using the Terminal. 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. After running these commands, restart your Mac.

Once your Mac restarts, the synchronization should start working again. You can check the status of synchronization by using brctl log -w command.

These are a couple of simple solutions that should help you out if iCloud isn’t uploading from Mac.

FAQ: Learn more about iCloud uploading from Mac

  • How do I stop iCloud upload on Mac?

To stop the iCloud upload on Mac, open System Preferences after clicking the Apple logo, go to the iCloud section, select the Options button, and uncheck the box next to the Desktop & Documents Folder option.

  • How do I upload photos from my Mac to iCloud?

To upload photos from Mac to iCloud, open the Photos app, click Preferences, and inside the iCloud tab, check the box next to the option iCloud Photo Library.

  • Does iCloud drive use space on my Mac?

The iCloud drive doesn’t use any space on your hard drive other than the actual size of the application.