iCloud Sync Very Slow: How to Speed up iCloud Photo Sync

Want to solve the problem of iCloud sync very slow? Ways are here. Reading this article you can learn 5 top ways to speed up the process and find the best alternative to iCloud.

Clara by Clara Updated December 20, 2023
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How Long Does It Take for iCloud to Sync Files?


iCloud sync very slow issue

I am editing some photos that are small (MB range) and it is taking forever to sync with iCloud. For example, I modified the file name and size of my photos, and 20 minutes later, this hasn't been synced with iCloud. This is not the first time yet, urgent need of a solution, thank you!

- Question from Apple Community

Users often report that iCloud synchronization speed is very slow, or iCloud upload is stuck. According to Apple's official website, the time it takes for iCloud to sync files depends on the size and number of files, as well as the speed of the network connection.

icloud sync slow

In other words, the time and speed of synchronizing data with iCloud is uncertain. It may take you a few minutes to synchronize your files. If the situation is not good, it may even take a few hours or a whole night!

Why is iCloud Sync So Slow?

iCloud upload slow can be affected by various factors, and if you're experiencing slow syncing, it's helpful to consider these potential reasons:

  • A large number of files being synced
  • Slow internet connection
  • Low power on the device
  • Insufficient storage space on your device
  • Outdated software

Don’t worry, in the next part, we will provide 5 useful methods to help you solve this problem. Let’s start to read!

How to Speed up iCloud Data Sync - 5 Top Fixes

To fix the issue of iCloud sync slow, here, we list several ways you can try.

Fix 1. Connect to A Stable Internet

A slow or unstable internet connection can significantly impact iCloud sync speed. Make sure you have a stable and fast internet connection to allow for smooth data transfer. If you use cellular data, ensure you don't owe any fees or have enough leftovers.

Besides, it's crucial to ensure that the devices you wish to sync are linked to the same network. This ensures that iCloud can directly transfer data between the devices, avoiding a potential "detour" through the iCloud servers.

Fix 2. Close the Low Power Mode

Low power mode can also affect the speed of iCloud sync, including iCloud photo sync slow issue. When your device is in low power mode, certain background activities, including iCloud sync, may be limited to conserve battery life. This can result in slower synchronization or even temporary pausing of iCloud sync until the device is charged or taken out of Low Power Mode.

Below are steps to turn off Low Power Mode:

Step 1. Go to iPhone or iPad Settings > Battery > Low Power Mode.

Step 2. If Low Power Mode is enabled, toggle it off.

Step 3. Proceed to sync your photos with iCloud Photos once again. This will initiate a restart of the iCloud photo sync process.

icloud sync slow

Fix 3. Delete the Unnecessary Files on the iPhone

If you're syncing large files or a large number of files, it can slow down the iCloud sync process. Especially if you turn on the automatic functions, numerous files take longer to upload and download, resulting in iCloud sync being stuck or slow.

Considering that iCloud backs up everything within specific categories, you can streamline the process by deleting files within these categories (You can go to the final part to learn how to delete iCloud files quickly). By doing so, iCloud won't need to back up a substantial number of files.

Fix 4. Update the System of Your Devices

Efficiency in iCloud sync can be impacted by outdated software versions. Ensure that you are using the latest version of macOS on your Mac, iOS on your iPad or iPhone, or Windows on your PC to maintain optimal performance.

On Your Mac:

Open the Apple menu > System Preferences >Tap Software Update > Click Update Now.

On Your iPhone/iPad:

Navigate to Settings app > General > Software Update > Click Update and Install.

icloud sync slow

If your iPhone/iPad is unable to check for update, you can find answers in this link.

On Your Windows:

Tap on the Start button > Go to Settings > Locate Update & Security > Windows Update > Click Check for updates.

Fix 5. Enable An Available Storage Space

If you find that your iCloud sync speed has become very slow, remember to check whether you have enough available space in iCloud. You can go to the Settings app > Click [your name] > Locate iCloud > Choose Manage Storage.

Here, you can view your current iCloud storage usage and identify apps consuming the most space. Consider removing rarely used apps to free up space, or alternatively, upgrade your iCloud storage plan for additional capacity.

The Best and Fastest iCloud Sync Alternative

Now that you know iCloud sync is slow, why not try other alternatives? FoneTool is the best iCloud sync alternative, which helps you manage your iCloud data in an easier and faster way. You can upload, download, delete iCloud data on your PC.

Compared with iCloud, FoneTool has more advantages:

enlightened Superfast transfer speed: For example, you can upload 100 photos to from PC to iCloud in 3 seconds.

enlightened No file type and number limitation: You can freedom to upload photos, videos, notes, contacts, or iCloud Drive files from your PC to iCloud.

enlightened Full or selective backup: It supports you backing up all data at once or selectively backing up photos, videos, music, contacts, messages, etc. according to your preferences.

enlightened Sync iCloud between different Apple ID: You can transfer your iCloud data from one account to another, or merge iCloud accounts.

Now, download FoneTool by clicking the below button and follow the guide to solve iCloud photo upload slow issue.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Open FoneTool > Tap My iCloud on the left pane > Sign in to your Apple ID > Choose Manage iCloud.

icloud sync slow

Step 2. Choose the file icon you need to upload, we choose Photos in this picture > Then you can preview and select the photos you need to select (FoneTool allows you to transfer all pictures by checking the Select All) > Tap Upload.

icloud sync slow

If you need to free up your iCloud space by deleting files, you can tap the Delete icon.

Step 3. Locate the targeted files from your computer > Click Open to start the task.

icloud sync slow


That’s all about how to solve iCloud sync is slow. In this article, we show you 5 top ways to speed up the process of uploading iCloud data. Whether you try them one by one or just choose the method you like best, I hope you can solve the problem.

It is strongly recommended that you use the best iCloud alternative app - FoneTool. FoneTool combines multiple features in one, not only backing up your iPhone/iPad data but also managing your iCloud data, you can achieve the process without effort.

FoneTool - All-in-one iPhone Data Manager

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