Photos stuck uploading to iCloud? Try these fixes

iCloud is an essential part of iOS and a must-have backup and sync service for iPhone and iPad users. Just like the rest of iOS features, iCloud is well-designed, simplistic, user-friendly, and it does its job flawlessly. At least, most of the time.

Namely, some users reported a stall within iCloud Photo Library. They were unable to update recent photos or videos for no apparent reason. In order to help you, we enlisted a few trusted workarounds. If you have had alike or similar issues, make sure to check them out below.

Restart your device

In this and similar scenarios, it’s quite obvious to go for the restart. Even though iOS and iOS-powered devices are celebrated for overall stability in regard to pre-installed features, occasionally something goes wrong. So, the first step to take is to follow the instructions below and restart your device. After that, maybe the uploading deadlock ends.

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button.
  2. After it appears, use the slider to turn your device Off.
  3. After the device turns off, use the Sleep/Wake button to turn it ON again.

Disable Low Power Mode

Perhaps the most common cause of this issue is having the Low Power Mode. As you can tell, this feature disables some more power-consuming features in order to save the battery when the percentage is low. When this feature is on, Photos won’t upload to iCloud.

Since the phone automatically disables this feature once the battery is fully charged, basically all you need to do is charge your iPhone. But you can also manually disable it, and the photo sync will continue. To disable Low Power Mode, go to Settings > Battery, and disable Low Power Mode.

You can also put Low Power Mode in the Control Center for even easier access. To do so, head over to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls, and choose Low Power Mode.

Make sure you’re properly connected to the internet

Obviously, if you’re not properly connected to the internet, Photos will briefly stop uploading to iCloud. So, before proceeding to other solutions, make sure to check your internet connection.

We’re talking about WiFi, of course, because Photos will only upload to iCloud when you’re connected to a WiFi network. On the other hand, if you want to upload photos using mobile data, you can enable this option too. However, it’s not recommended, since uploading photos will eat up huge amounts of data.

If you don’t mind that, here’s how to enable photo upload via mobile data:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Photos.
  3. Tap Mobile Data, and enable Mobile Data.

Disable and re-enable iCloud Photo Library

If just a simple restart isn’t sufficient to address the issue at hand, you can always apply the same medicine to update-related features. Namely, you should navigate to iCloud and disable the iCloud Photo Library which is a cloud storage part dedicated to photos. After that, you can re-enable it and look for changes.

If you’re uncertain how to do it, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap your account name/Apple ID.
  3. Open iCloud.
  4. Tap Photos.
  5. Toggle Off iCloud Photo Library.
  6. Restart your device.
  7. Follow the same path and re-enable iCloud Photo Library.

If even that fell short and your photos just won’t upload to iCloud Photo Library, there are additional steps you should take into consideration.

Delete all backed up photos

This procedure is screaming ”time-consuming annoyance!” but it is as it is. You’re stuck with your iCloud misbehaving like an obnoxious child and previous steps are, obviously, underwhelming. However, don’t worry, your Camera Roll photos are not endangered. We only need to clear photos and videos stored on iCloud. If you ask yourself ”why?”, the answer is simple: due to corrupted photo or video, all others suffer. One rotten apple (pun not intended) and everything suddenly goes south.

  1. Make sure that all photos you need are either on phone storage or safely backed up on PC or Mac.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap your account name/Apple ID.
  4. Open iCloud.
  5. Tap Photos.
  6. Toggle Off iCloud Photo Library.
  7. Restart your device.
  8. Use your computer to access iCloud and delete all photos and videos.
  9. Re-enable iCloud Photo Library.

All photos from your device storage should start uploading and everything should be resolved.

Reset the device to factory settings

Finally, if you’re still stuck in the iCloud’s purgatory, you still have one last resort. Yes, it’s the factory reset. If the problem somehow surpassed reinitialization, the hard reset should be the right tool for the job.

Follow the instructions below to perform a factory reset:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. This will erase all of your data, so be sure to back it up before performing the reset.
  6. Confirm the selection and start the process.
  7. Later on, you should choose Restore from the iCloud Backup feature, and retrieve your data.

In addition, it might be more convenient to run with iTunes:

  1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes app on your PC.
  2. Connect your device to a PC.
  3. Start iTunes and choose Summary.
  4. Remember to backup your iPhone data.
  5. Select Restore iPhone.
  6. Move on to the restoring process.

That should be it. If you want to discuss this article further, but also find more similar content, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading.

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September 27, 2020 11:44 pm

Thank you so much this website is so good and help me from the problem

April Jackson
April Jackson
July 22, 2020 11:10 pm

Thank you for this article! It was very helpful!!!

Rosie Page
Rosie Page
July 25, 2018 2:21 am

If this type if problem arises with the iCloud then there is one option to off the Toggle for the iCloud Photo Library from the phone settings and restart your device.

Last edited 11 months ago by Ivan Jenic