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iCloud is a convenient way to store and access your files across Apple devices. It allows you to save documents, photos, videos, and more to the cloud, and then access them from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and on

One of the benefits of using iCloud is that it automatically keeps your files up to date across all Image nameed devices. So, if you save or change a file on your Mac, that updated version will sync to your iPhone and iPad.

However, sometimes iCloud files get stuck during downloading and don't fully sync to your iPhone. If you see an iCloud download spinning icon next to a file, it's still trying to download from iCloud.

Don’t worry, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to fix iCloud files not downloading to your iPhone. This article will guide you through the top fixes and things to check when your iCloud files get stuck during download.

In this article
    1. Check Wi-Fi Connection
    2. Enable Cellular Data for the Files App
    3. Toggle ON/OFF Airplane Mode
    4. Check iCloud Server Status
    5. Sign Out and Sign In iCloud
    6. Update your iPhone
    7. Reset Network Settings
    8. Delete and Reinstall the Files App
    9. Reset All iPhone Settings

Why iCloud Files Not Downloading: Common Issues

Before jumping into the solutions, let's first understand what usually causes iCloud download issues and files not to sync properly to iPhone:

  • Poor internet connection - Wi-Fi or cellular network issues can prevent iCloud from syncing files. This is one of the most common reasons.
  • Full iCloud storage - If you're out of iCloud storage, new files won't download until you free up space.
  • Background app refresh turned off - This needs to be enabled for iCloud to sync in the background.
  • Outdated software - Having an older iOS version can lead to iCloud sync problems.
  • Server problems - Sometimes issues with Apple's servers prevent proper file syncing.
  • Sync turned off - Check settings to make sure iCloud sync is enabled for the Files app.
  • Corrupt files - Damaged files may fail to download from iCloud.

Now that you know what generally causes iCloud download issues, let's look at the step-by-step troubleshooting guide to fix files not downloading from iCloud to iPhone.

iCloud Files Not Downloading? Try These Fixes

To fix the iCloud files not downloading issue, we have listed several solutions in this part. Browse through the sections and choose the one that you need.

#1 Check Wi-Fi Connection

check Wi-Fi status

Can’t download from iCloud? The first thing to check is your Wi-Fi connection. For iCloud to sync files and data, you need a stable internet connection. Here are some tips for troubleshooting Wi-Fi issues:

  • Restart your wireless router and iPhone to refresh the connection.
  • Make sure you're connected to the proper network and not a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Toggle Airplane mode on and off to reset wireless connectivity.
  • Forget the network on the iPhone and reconnect from scratch.
  • Check if other devices work properly on the same network.
  • Move closer to the Wi-Fi router if the signal is weak.
  • Run a speed test to check for network congestion or throttling issues.
  • Contact your ISP if rebooting equipment doesn't fix Wi-Fi problems.

#2 Enable Cellular Data for the Files App

If Wi-Fi is working but you still have iCloud download issues, try enabling Cellular Data for the Files app. This allows it to sync files using your cellular data when Wi-Fi is unavailable.

enable cellular data for files app

Go to Settings > Files > Cellular Data and toggle it on. Keep in mind cellular data usage fees though.

#3 Toggle ON/OFF Airplane Mode

Toggling Airplane Mode off and on again can reset network connectivity and get iCloud downloads moving.

Swipe down from the top right to open Control Center and tap the Airplane icon to enable it. Wait 30 seconds, then tap it again to turn Airplane Mode off.

toggle off and on airplane mode on iphone

This forces the iPhone to reconnect to Wi-Fi/cellular data which may resolve any network-related download problems.

#4 Check iCloud Server Status

Sometimes the “iCloud files not downloading” issue is not your iPhone but rather problems with Apple's iCloud servers. The servers could be down for maintenance or overloaded preventing proper file syncing.

apple server status page

Go to Apple's System Status page and check if iCloud is experiencing any issues or outages. If so, try again later once they are resolved.

#5 Sign Out and Sign In iCloud

If you can't download from iCloud, resetting iCloud can help get files downloading again. Go to Settings > Tap your name > iCloud > Log Out.

After a few seconds, log back into your iCloud account using your Apple account credentials. Then try downloading the files that got stuck again.

sign out sign in icloud

This refreshes the iCloud connection and resyncs everything, which should get iCloud file downloads back on track.

#6 Update your iPhone

Having an outdated iOS version can disrupt proper iCloud file syncing to your device. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates.

update iphone

The latest iOS update usually includes bug fixes and performance improvements. Updating gives you the best chance of fixing iCloud download issues.

#7 Reset Network Settings

Resetting network settings will clear any problematic Wi-Fi or cellular data connections and refresh them.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

reset network settings

This will reboot the device and reset all network settings as if it's new. Check if the “iCloud files not downloading” issue still persists after resetting network settings.

#8 Delete and Reinstall the Files App

A corrupted Files app can also prevent iCloud downloads from finishing properly. Try deleting and reinstalling the app:

Step 1: Go to your Home screen and hold the Files app icon until it jiggles. Tap the X icon to delete it.

delete the files app

Step 2: Restart your iPhone.

Step 3: Go to the App Store, search for Files, and reinstall it.

Open the Files app and give iCloud download another try.

#9 Reset All iPhone Settings

Photos or videos not downloading from iCloud? Well, if nothing above works, the last resort is to reset everything on the iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset All Settings.

reset all settings on iphone

This will reset system settings and refresh the device without deleting data. It should resolve any glitches that are interfering with iCloud file syncing. You'll have to redo certain settings afterward.

Back Up Your iPhone Files to PC with MobileTrans

In addition to troubleshooting “can’t download from iCloud” issues, it’s a good idea to back up your iPhone files and data separately. That way you have a secondary backup if iCloud runs into problems again.

Wondershare MobileTrans

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MobileTrans – Phone Transfer is a desktop app that lets you quickly back up iPhone photos, videos, music, messages, apps, and more to your computer. It provides an easy safeguard to restore if needed.

Here's how to use MobileTrans to back up iPhone files:

Step 1: Download and install MobileTrans on your PC or Mac. Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch MobileTrans. It will automatically detect the device.

Step 2: In the MobileTrans interface, switch to the “Backup & Restore” tab. Tap on “b” button placed in the “Phone Backup & Restore” section.

wondershare mobiletrans main interface

Step 3: Select the type of data to back up such as Photos, Messages, Contacts, Music, and more.

select data to backup on mobiletrans

Step 4: Click on the “Start” button to initiate the backup process. MobileTrans will now export and save the data to your computer.

mobiletrans backup process

The backup contains your valuable iPhone files and information in their original quality. You can preview and open the data directly on your computer.

And whenever you need to restore backup files from your PC to your iPhone, simply use MobileTrans to transfer the data back in a few clicks.


iCloud provides a convenient way to store your files and keep them updated across devices. But sometimes “iCloud files not downloading” issues can arise that lead to sync problems and downloads getting stuck.

We looked at a variety of troubleshooting tips to get iCloud downloads back on track. This includes checking your Wi-Fi, toggling Airplane mode, updating iOS, and resetting iCloud and network settings among other fixes.

Also, remember to back up your iPhone files regularly as a safety net. MobileTrans makes it easy to back up your photos, videos, music, messages, and more to your computer. This gives you a secondary backup if you ever need to restore files and data to your iPhone.

Following the troubleshooting steps and using a backup provides the best protection against iCloud download issues. With a bit of work, you should be able to get iCloud file sync working properly again.

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Navkiran Dhaliwal
Navkiran Dhaliwal Jun 07, 24
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