Download from iCloud Drive is impossibly slow

Trying to turn off iCloud Drive sync, where my dad has unknowingly stored all his files (about 10GB) instead of on his local computer. He wants them all local and not on iCloud.

But as many others have commented, the download is impossibly slow. In fact it doesn’t seem to be progressing at all. Has anyone figured out how to get this moving?

Thank you!!

Hi and Welcome to MPU!

You could have a look into the activity monitoring, and end (force quit from the menue) the process “Bird”, to restart the sync.

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I never (far as I can recall) ever heard of the process “bird”. Good catch. Being curious, with Google I found this article:

What Is Process Bird on Mac & How to Fix Its High CPU Usage.

which elaborates more about it and dealing with iCloud issues related to the process. I can’t really vet the quality of this article, but it seems ok. One sentence caught my eye

There are no options for you to manually configure the iCloud’s built-in Bird process in macOS. That is why you can’t kill the Bird process by clicking the quit button in Activity Monitor.

and goes on to give advice in that case.

In case of value, passing it along.

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killall bird in Terminal (often several times in a row) is essential when dealing with any iCloud (Drive) issues, as are Cirrus & Bailif:


Good stuff. (20char)

I do not know why, but I could terminate bird from the Activity Monitoring.
It reappears immediately, but as an other process.
So from my point of view, also while there are some guys who think they have to do everything with the Terminal, I do not take this Detour on that.

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Being a curious sort, I tried to kill “bird” from Activity Monitor … selected, then pressed X. No indication it was terminated. Or perhaps it was terminated and restarted in a blink, or something. 13.4.

I didn’t do the terminal commands nor am I sufficiently curious to do so. :wink:

This is easy to test by looking at the PID (process ID) before and after. If it terminated and restarted then it will have a different PID. The PID can be found as a field in Activity Monitor or as the first field returned by:

ps ax | grep bird

(Which also returns a line for the grep process do just be sure to you’re looking at the right line)

PID Changed. I should have thought of that. While there was a time in my life that sort of thinking would be second nature, on to other things.

So: killing in Activity Monitor works here. And the “blink” to restart is indeed a fast blink.

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The reason why I prefer killall bird is the fact that one killing of the process usually doesn’t do it for me. I sometimes do killall bird five or six times in a row while watching the iCloud syncing status, so it’s more convenient to just repeat the last command via Terminal.

You just has to hit the force quit button several times. For me way more convenient, than the long way via the Terminal.
And I would recommend to give the system a few seconds, as I never need more than one termination to get it back on track.

I have one iMac that gets stuck syncing a mysterious 32-byte file with iCloud for hours on end, killall bird often does not help at all, and sometimes just a reboot gets it back on track. Then the issue usually repeats itself in a couple of days.

Sure, but in those cases, the failure is not with iCloud itself, but is a failure in a process within the OS.
In those cases I would recommend to run First Aid, or if this gets no result, reinstall the OS!

Have you checked your broadband speed?