How to fix iCloud sync in seconds

You need to know what to do when your contacts or calendar events don’t sync between devices.

how to fix icloud sync in seconds

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iCloud sync is usually reliable but sometimes you’ll find contacts, calendar events, or other content doesn’t sync between all your devices after the few seconds it usually takes. If this seems to be happening to you, then you should try these simple tricks to get things running smoothly again.


As a first step check Apple’s iCloud System Status page and ensure you are logged into iCloud using the same account on all your devices. You must also ensure your devices are configured to set time and date automatically and should check iCloud Drive/Documents & Data) is enabled.

iOS: Settings>iCloud>iCloud Drive OR Documents & Data>Toggle to On

Mac: System Preferences>iCloud>Click to enable iCloud Drive or Documents & Data.

Force Sync

Now you know your system(s) are set up correctly try this simple trick to force iCloud Contacts and Calendars to sync.

To refresh your iCloud Calendars launch the app on your iOS device and tap the “Calendars” button at the bottom of the page. When you get to the next page just tap and hold your finger on the screen and drag the list down until the activity icon appears and release the page. The activity icon will spin briefly and you should find iCloud has synced your calendars for you.

This also works with the Contacts app. Launch the app and select “Groups” on the All Contacts page. Now you’re in Groups just tap and hold your finger and drag the page down as you did for Calendars. The activity icon will appear and your Contacts will be synced.

[ Further reading: iPad face-off: Microsoft Office vs. Apple iWork vs. Google Apps ]


If you regularly experience sync problems with your iOS device(s) and you know your network is stable then you should try logging out of your iCloud account on your iPhone and then logging back in. When you do log in do make certain you’re using the same email address for your Apple ID across all your systems (that’s a particular issue to those who still own multiple .Mac, and iCloud email addresses that are associated with their account). You should also back up your iCloud data before logging out.

All on My iPhone

One strange bug some iOS users may not have notice crept in with iOS 7 when for some reason devices defaulted to the On My iPhone contacts group after upgrading. This meant contacts saved to the device weren’t made available via iCloud, so you may think they aren’t syncing when in fact they aren’t scheduled to sync. There’s a relatively easy fix for this, though it does mean you’ll have to re-enter missing contact information.


If problems persist then close and restart the relevant iCloud-enabled app: Contacts or Calendar, for example. Double-click the Home button, swipe through your active apps and swipe up to close the app. Press the Home button and wait a few moments before restarting the app. This should help restore service.

Alternatively turn off iCloud Contacts and turn it on again, Settings>iCloud, turn of Contacts, unless you have a copy of your contacts stored somewhere then choose Keep on My iPhone/iPad. Wait a few moments and turn Contacts on again in Settings>iCloud.


Never underestimate the power of a hard reset to resolve many iOS problems. To achieve a hard reset on iOS devices simply hold down the Power and Home buttons until the deivce turns off and the Apple logo appears. The device will restart and system processes will be refreshed, which sometimes fixes iCloud sync problems.

I do hope these suggestions get iCloud sync working well for you once again, now read 10 iCloud Hints For Busy People for even more ideas.

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