If iCloud Drive Gets Stuck

Edit: Although initially the solution described below seemed to work, the problem reappeared in less than a week. However this time it seems to come and go, as opposed to not working at all. Your experience may vary.

I use iCloud Drive on a Windows 10 computer, and it worked well until recently when all of a sudden it got stuck at “Downloading 7 items” and stayed there forever. Neither threats, tricks nor temptations were of any help, it simply wouldn’t budge. Oh, and reboots, too. Always the reboots.

Much googling ensued, and not only did I find that I’m not alone in this, there also appeared to be only one solution:

  1. Disable iCloud Drive.
  2. Re-enable iCloud Drive.

Though this seems easy enough — which it is, and it works, no worries about that — it’s still a pretty clumsy solution, with an aftertaste of overkill.

A simple pause and restart option would’ve been far better. Both DropBox and JottaCloud have that, and it’s quite helpful in a pinch. With iCloud Drive, however, it’s a little more like tearing down your house and rebuilding it just because the lock on the upstairs bathroom door got stuck.

There are a couple of things to be aware of.

  1. Disabling iCloud Drive will delete all your iCloud Drive files from your computer. Don’t worry, they’re still safely stored on iCloud. This is not a problem.
  2. Re-enabling iCloud Drive will re-download every single file to your computer. Depending on your situation, this may be a problem.

Let’s look at some of the possible problematic situations in step 2.

  1. The download time depends on the amount of data that’s about to be downloaded, and on your bandwidth. The more the data and the slower your speed, the longer the time. If you have the bandwidth and/or the time to spare, then this is not a problem.
  2. If you’re on a metered connection, such as mobile broadband or a tethered cellphone, this could easily eat up your data plan, and start eating up costly extra data boost packages. If you’re not on a metered connection, then this is not a problem.
  3. If for any reason you had moved your iCloudDrive folder to another harddrive, then you’ll have to do that over again. If you don’t need this, then this is not a problem. If you do, and don’t know how, then I have a separate article on how to do that here.

There may of course be others reasons and obstacles, but at the moment those are the ones I could think of. If you’re good to go with those, then go ahead and make it happen.

And then you simply lean back and think about something nice while you wait.

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