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How Do I Force Sync Photos From iCloud To Desktop Mac?

Sometimes photos that I take with iPhone 6 never get downloaded to my Apple Photos on my Mac desktop. They do get uploaded to iCloud. Shutting down and re-starting – both devices – does not help..My software is up to date on both. This happens randomly but not infrequently. It’s frustrating as my editing software is on the desktop. Nearest Apple store is three hours away. Any ideas? Thanks.
Beth Erskine

Comments: 4 Responses to “How Do I Force Sync Photos From iCloud To Desktop Mac?”

    2 years ago

    So how do you know that are getting uploaded to iCloud? Do you check at the iCloud web site? If they are there, then you know the problem isn’t with your iPhone, as that part of the sync is working fine. So no need to mess around with your iPhone and restart it or anything.

    So I would check and re-check your Photos setting on your Mac. Are you using the latest software updates? Do you have Photos, Preferences, iCloud, iCloud Photo Library turned on? And it sounds like you want “Download Originals” turned on too.

    I would then check your connection and make sure your Mac is connected and all is well there. You say a “desktop” so I assume you mean an iMac, Mac Pro or Mac mini. So no battery charging issues.

    Is it that the photos sometimes don’t sync? Or always? Sounds like sometimes, so maybe it is in progress. Does Photos, Preferences, iCloud show any progress message, I think at the bottom? Are you using the same iCloud account?

    Sometimes I take a video that is a few minutes long, which then is much much larger than a photo, and when that syncs across it takes a while, holding up any photos that come after it.

    Are you letting your Mac sleep instead of shutting down? When you shut down, it could make it very far behind in syncing in some cases.

    How fast is your Internet connection?

    You can rebuild your Photos library by holding down Command+Option when launching Photos. But I’m not sure this would help with syncing.

    That’s all I can think of. There is no way to force syncing other than turning off iCloud Photo lIbrary and turning it on again. But that could also delay things further as it has to re-check and re-sync everything.

    Beth Erskine
    2 years ago

    Yes, I of course have checked to see if the photos are in the cloud and they are. I am running High Sierra 10.13.3 on my Mac. It just seems inexplicable that only half of the photos taken at the same time, same event, are downloaded to Apple Photos. Occasionally, there has been a delay of a day or two but only recently have photos failed to appear altogether (over a week in this instance). I have figured out a work-around which is cumbersome.

    2 years ago

    Beth: But do you see a progress statement in the Preferences? That should give you an idea of what is happening.

    2 years ago

    I do have the same issue and nothing seems to work, restart, reboot, logout from icloud, logon again. I went to and can see all my photos whereas in Photos 3.0 there is a lot missing. It is like these photos are discarded for some reason with no way to force a sync which is absolutely frustrating. On my desktop computer I store locally and get the photo flow from icloud. My computer is on nearly 24/7 so I see no reason to lack behind with a very good internet connection.

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