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Ask an expert: Keep tabs on iCloud Photos uploads

No time to drop into the Apple Store and ask the Genius Bar for help with your iPhone or iPad? Maybe one of our resident experts can help!

As Apple nerds, we get asked a lot of tech support questions — and some of those questions crop up time and time again. Here’s a recent query that we think will be familiar to many of you.

“I turned on iCloud Photos, but new snaps won’t sync! Help!”

Turn on something in iCloud and cross-device sync is usually instant. But that’s because the majority of iCloud features are based around text-oriented content. That’s not the case with your Photos library, which might comprise thousands of photos and videos – and they can take a very long time to upload.

For whatever reason, iCloud doesn’t appear interested in syncing new photos and videos until all of the old ones are done. This can make for a frustrating few hours – or even days — until the system is fully up and running. Fortunately, you can at least check how many items are left to upload.

On an iPhone or iPad, launch Photos, and choose Library. Drag upward and you should see how many items are currently awaiting upload. On a Mac, you’ll see similar information at the bottom of the Photos feed.

Ensure during uploads that your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi. Ideally, have it charging while uploading too. Should you need to temporarily pause uploading, that can be done from the same spot that details your remaining uploads.

If you have a photo you need on another device prior to the full sync completing, select it in Photos on your iPhone, tap the share button, and send it to the other device using AirDrop (if compatible) or email.

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