How to force iCloud files on iPhone to download

Any pain I am experiencing on iCloud (no. 106453…) . I need to use some files on iPhone that sit on iCloud. I went to the “file” app on iPhone but cannot see the folder that I created and upload files on my Mac 5 minutes ago. Instead of waiting patiently for the folder / files to magically appear, is there any way to force it? I read on some other posts on this forum to turn on / off iCloud but others do not recommend that.

The iCloud off/on trick works sometimes. And creating a new iCloud folder occasionally gets things moving. The only sure solution is to wait until iCloud decides to do its job.

Do you have photos in iCloud? IIRC the advice against turning iCloud off/on referred to having large a large photos library in iCloud.

unfortunately I do, and this is not right if I have to do this every time I want to get some files from iCloud to the iPhone, this is sheer fault on the iCloud side

Yes. iCloud works for all of the people some of the time, but none of the people all of the time. But there are plenty of reliable alternatives.

Depends on what you mean by ‘all of the time’. I have been using iCloud as my primary daily driver for 4-5 years now, came from Google Drive. I have somewhere north of 500K files and have had zero problems. I have tested the sync speed against Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox, as I have all of those to support customers. OneDrive and Dropbox are quicker as they do network partial file sync. Other than that, not much difference between the 4 of them.

It seems like iCloud, and other Apple Apps get a bad rap because the ability to tinker with them is more limited. However if you want something that just works, Apple software is pretty good.

P.S. It has been many years since I’ve wanted to tinker / modify / add new features to my microwave. I am happy with the features it came with, and as long as it does what it says it is going to do, I am happy. Same with Apple software.:grinning:

I stand corrected. I’ve never heard of anyone who has never had a problem with iCloud syncing files.

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I do not want to tinker anything, I just WANT THAT TO WORK. May be it is just me, I have issue with icloud regularly but unpredictable. I never have the same issue with Google Drive, dropbox. Good for you @Nick_Fulgham , you must be doing something right that I did not

I gave up, I waited for 4 hours and the files / folders still not on my iphone. I just signed up a higher plan for Dropbox and move the files there. One minutes after I moved the files from my Mac, they appear on my iphone ready for downloading. What can I say :sleepy:

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Hey, sometimes you have to wash the car to make it rain.


Great phrase - I have never heard that before - I may use it!

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I had an aunt like that. Every Thanksgiving she would arrive with a casserole three hours late. But we were always happy that she finally showed up. :grinning:

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I dunno what the deal is with iCloud. Users’ experiences seems to be all over the board. I just wish there were some tools to see what the h*** is going on.

my iCloud frustration continues. I have files just stubbornly “waiting for upload” to iCloud. If I do not solve this issue, I may have to re-consider all the apps that rely on iCloud to sync between devices, this includes DEVONthink, logsec, obsidian and many more

As I mentioned in this post, other cloud sources do not have this issue

Unfortunately, having followed your travails over multiple threads, I’m not surprised. I believe there is something fundamentally amiss in one or more of your devices, perhaps your AppleID, or something else that we cannot see.

Have you tried Howard Oakley’s Cirrus? If not, I would try that. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to avoid getting lost in the log.

Otherwise, I think it’s time to call Apple support.

I think you are right. However, I found that if I change some files from iPad (have not tried iPhone yet, but probably the same), the update is a lot more faster to reflect on Macs.

I am curious if you have seen a difference between apps that sync via iCloud Drive or CloudKit?

iCloud Drive exists at a higher level and seems completely within Apple’s control.

I am not an Apple developer myself, but from what the NotePlan app’s developer has said and things I’ve read on Apple’s Developer site, programmers are much more in control of how CloudKit works (or doesn’t). And that it is more than just flipping a switch. One dev can make an app sync better using CloudKit than another.

CloudKit sync between my Mac and my iPhone in my recently adopted Noteplan app has (so far :slightly_smiling_face:) been reliable and speedy.

is there a way to tell what the app is using? Some are obvious, like Obsidian, Logsec, the file/folders live inside their own app containers showing the app icons. DEVONthink is obvious too, as you can select Cloudkit to sync

Others, I am not so sure, eg. Bear (which I do not have sync issue), Craft, the Native Apple apps (like Notes, Reminders, iMessage)

Hard for me to say whether Cloudkit is more reliable (as I have issue will DTTG to download files) , but iCloud drive issues are very obvious, like I can see (pending upload for hours) on my Mac. Also have a lot of sync issues with iMessage, etc, not sure they are related

I’m not an Apple developer, but this is how it seems to be laid out.

If you can go to iCloud Drive in the Finder and see your documents in an iCloud “subfolder,” then the app is using iCloud Drive. The iCloud Drive subfolder and its documents are actually somewhere in this folder: /Users/username/Library/Mobile Documents/…

CloudKit data is not as easy to find as it is probably somewhere in this folder: /Users/username/Library/Containers/…

I’ve been under the impression that iCloud Drive is built on top of CloudKit. Am I wrong?