How to Make iCloud Force Sync on Mac/Windows PC

iCloud doesn’t sync all files across your devices? You may wonder whether you can force iCloud to sync. This guide will offer you three methods to let iCloud force sync on Mac, and Windows PC.

Demi by Demi Updated December 21, 2023
Share this:

Force a MacBook/iCloud Drive to sync?

Everything except for some small percentage of documents on my MacBook is synced to iCloud. Just two document folders have the little grey cloud by them. It has been this way for months. I do not know whether I can and how to force a synchronization.

- Question from Apple Community

iCloud plays a pivotal role in keeping your data synchronized across all your Apple devices, ensuring a seamless and integrated user experience. While iCloud is designed to automatically sync data, there may be instances like iCloud Drive not syncing across devices. In such cases, you may want to force a sync to ensure that the latest changes are reflected immediately.

icloud force sync

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to force iCloud sync on Mac, and Windows PC, providing you with the tools to take control of your data synchronization.

How to force iCloud sync on Mac

We will guide you on how to initiate iCloud sync on your Mac and provide suggestions for resolving iCloud syncing issues in this section.

Before proceeding with the steps, ensure that your Mac is connected to a stable network to facilitate syncing.

iCloud force sync on Mac
Step 1. Sign in to iCloud. Make sure you're signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both your Mac and other devices.

Step 2. Enable iCloud Drive. On your Mac, go to System Preferences, click on Apple ID, and select iCloud on the left. Then, tick the box beside iCloud Drive to enable syncing on the Mac.

iCloud Drive options

You can follow the same steps to force other types of files like Photos to sync with iCloud on Mac by simply checking the boxes next to them.

Tips for iCloud Drive not syncing on Mac
• Restart iCloud: Signing out of iCloud on your Mac and then signing in  can help refresh the service.
• Check iCloud storage:  You may need to free up iCloud storage to avoid iCloud storage full issue that prevent syncing.
• Check File types: Some file types might not be supported for iCloud syncing.
• Disable and re-enable iCloud Drive: Refresh your iCloud Drive by disabling and re-enabling it.
• Update macOS: Ensure your Mac is running the latest version of macOS to fix any possible bugs and glitches.

How to force iCloud sync on Windows PC

Apart from Mac, you can also use iCloud on a Windows PC by installing the iCloud for Windows app. This section will provide instructions on how to sync iCloud Drive on a Windows PC, along with solutions to address any syncing issues.

Force iCloud sync on Windows 10/11/8/7
Step 1. Ensure that you have iCloud for Windows installed on your computer. If not, download and install this app from the official website.

Step 2. Open the iCloud for Windows application and sign in with your Apple ID.

Step 3. Tick the box beside iCloud Drive, check the options, and click Apply to finish this task.

apple icloud drive

You can use the same steps to manually sync other types of files, such as Photos, with iCloud on your Windows PC by selecting the respective checkboxes.

To fix iCloud Drive not syncing on Windows, try solutions in this guide: iCloud Drive Not Syncing Windows 10/11 - Fix It Right Now!

Bonus tip: How to manually sync iCloud on Windows PC

If you are a Windows user, you can try to manually sync iCloud files with a third-party tool. In this guide, we’d like to recommend FoneTool, a powerful iCloud data management tool, which enables you to sync wanted files within one click.

Highlight of FoneTool

👍 Selective Sync: Choose specific files and folders for synchronization within iCloud Drive.

👍 Real-Time Syncing: Ensures quick reflection of modifications across connected devices.

👍 Secure Encryption: Prioritizes data security with encryption measures.

👍 User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive design for easy navigation and customization of sync preferences.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Now, free download FoneTool on your computer, and follow the simple steps below to manually sync iCloud on Windows PC.

Step 1. Launch FoneTool, choose My iCloud > Sign in with your iCloud account, and enter the verification code prompted on your device to confirm.

sign in icloud account

Step 2. From here, check each icon like iCloud Drive to complete the download and upload task.

• To upload files to iCloud: Tap the Upload icon > Browse and choose the files on your PC > Click Open to confirm.

start upload files to icloud drive

• To download files from iCloud: Choose the wanted files > Tap the Download icon > Choose a destination to save them, and tap Download again to make it.

download icloud drive files


The step-by-step methods outlined in this guide empower you to take control of their data synchronization, ensuring that the latest updates are immediately accessible. 

Whether you're on your Mac, or Windows PC, the ability to force iCloud sync comes in handy for troubleshooting, resolving sync delays, and guaranteeing that your devices are in sync with the latest information. By incorporating these methods into your routine, you can navigate the iCloud ecosystem with confidence, knowing that your data is consistently up-to-date across all your devices.

FoneTool - All-in-one iPhone Data Manager

Transfer, backup and manage data on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in an easy way.

  • iOS 17 Compatible
  • iPhone 15 Supported

Free iPhone Manager - FoneTool

  • Full/Selective Backup iPhone
  • Transfer between iPhone and PC
  • 1-Click Transfer iPhone to iPhone
  • WhatsApp Backup & Transfer
  • Fully compatible with iOS 17
Download Free
Download icon

100% Secure Rating
Android Transfer is Now Supported!

Easiest way to transfer photos, videos, music, etc., between Android phone and iPhone.

Learn More >>