By Lena / Last update September 7, 2022

iCloud provides an easy way to help users manage iOS data. Users can sync all important files to iCloud storage, or sync files to other devices. In the past, users could only sync iMessages across devices. But the situation has changed after the iOS 11.4 update: iCloud support for Messages has become a reality.

Icloud Messages

You can now turn on the Messages option to upload SMS/MMS messages to iCloud service and view the updated messages on all your devices. However, many users said that they meet the iCloud messages not working problem, for example:

  • iCloud messages not downloading,

  • iCloud messages not syncing across devices,

  • iCloud messages not syncing on Mac,

  • not all messages are syncing with iCloud,

  • ...

Have you encountered a similar situation? Don’t worry. Here in this guide, we will help you to troubleshoot the iCloud messages not syncing problem. Try each method in turn until the problem is solved.

► For anyone who wants to transfer messages to new iPhone, you can move to Part 2 to get the method. Transfer selected messages from old iPhone to new iPhone directly - No need to wait for the iCloud sync.

Part 1. Fixes to iCloud Messages Not Syncing on iPhone/iPad/Mac

Below are some solutions that can help you fix the “iCloud Messages not working” issue.

Tip 1. Check Essential Settings

We should first check whether the basic settings are correct. Make sure you have logged in with the same Apple ID on all devices and the Messages is turned on on all devices.

Tip 2. Reactive Messages Function

A reboot always helps solve minor glitches. You may try to turn off Messages and turn it on again. When you turn off the toggle, a popup window will appear, and you should tap Disable and Download Messages to confirm.

Tip 3. Ensure Two-Factor Authentication is Enabled

When users do not enable two-factor authentication, iCloud messages not syncing problem will happen. The truth is that you must enable two-factor authentication so that you can flip the switch on for Messages sync.

How to enable: Go to Settings > Go to your account > Tap Profile > Tap Password & Security > Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication.

Turn on Two Factor Authentication

Tip 4. Make Sure Your Device is Connected to Wi-Fi Network

iCloud syncing requires a stable Wi-Fi connection. A poor Internet connection will cause iCloud messages not syncing/downloading issue. You may try to refresh the Wi-Fi connection.

Tip 5. Reset Network Settings

To troubleshoot connection issues of Wi-Fi, you can choose to reset network settings. It will reset network to default settings. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings > Enter your passcode to confirm.

Reset Network Settings on iPhone

It will wipe out the Wi-Fi passwords, so you need to rejoin the connection.

Tip 6. Delete Unimportant Messages

File size and Internet speed are two main factors that determine the time it takes to complete the sync. The larger the file, the longer it takes. It’s recommended to only sync important messages.

You can delete some unnecessary messages, photos, videos, etc. to speed up syncing process. Besides, it can also help you save iCloud storage space, after all, there is only 5 GB free storage space.

You can delete unwanted messages in Messages app or you can go to Settings to make it.

1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone/iPad Storage > Messages.

2. Choose different sections like Photos, Videos, GIFSs & Stickers.

3. If you choose Photos, tap Edit button > select the pictures > tap the Trash button to delete them.

Delete Images from Messages Storage

Part 2. An Easy and Quick Way to Transfer Messages Across Devices

The Messages Sync helps us backup messages and lets us access the messages on all devices. However, it does not work well all the time so you will meet the Messages not syncing issue. What’s worse, after you have tried all the methods, this problem may still not be solved. In this case, a third-party transfer tool is a better choice.

FoneTool, one professional iOS data backup & transfer tool is able to help you transfer SMS/MMS messages and iMessages between two iDevices, between iDevice computer.
● Unlike iCloud sync, it lets you preview and select the messages you want to transfer.
● It allows you to create an image backup for your messages to save your storage space.

Take transfer messages from iPhone to iPad as an example to show you how to use this tool.

How to Transfer Messages from iPhone to iPad

Step 1. Download, install and launch FoneTool > Plug in the source iPhone > Enter passcode on iPhone.

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

Step 2. Click Phone Backup > Choose Selective Backup and click Get Sarted > Choose Messages > Select the messages you want to transfer and click OK to confirm.

Select Messages

Step 3. Choose a place to save your messages > Click Start Backup.

Backup Messages

Step 4. Unplug source iPhone and connect target iPad to computer > Go to the Backup History screen > Click the Restore option > Click the Messages icon to confirm the messages that will be transferred to iPhone > Finally click Start Restore.

Restore to Device

● The backup can be restored to any iDevice and will not erase any existing data on device.


That’s all for how to fix iCloud messages not syncing/downloading on iPhone/iPad/Mac. If you still having trouble syncing messages, you can let FoneTool help you. It can help you transfer messages as well as contacts, photos, songs, videos. Go for it now to discover more >

If you have any questions, leave a comment to let us know. We will reply ASAP.

FoneTool Runs Perfectly on

iOS Versions
  • iOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
  • iPadOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
iOS Devices
  • iPhone 14/14 Pro (Max), 13/13 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 12/12 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 11/11 Pro (Max)
  • iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s/6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st, 2nd, 3rd generations)
  • iPod touch 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
  • All models of iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPad