iCloud files not downloading on iPhone and iPad? 10 tips to solve this problem!

iCloud is well known for its seamless syncing and lets you manage files on iDevices with utmost ease. However, that doesn’t mean that Apple’s cloud storage service is foolproof and never has any issues. Probably the most frustrating iCloud issue is the one preventing users from downloading files. Having faced this inconvenience myself the other day, I thought it would be fitting to share the most helpful tips to fix iCloud file download problem on your iPhone and iPad. If you have encountered the iCloud file downloading problem, check out these best tips and tricks to fix the problem right now.

Fix iCloud file download problem on iPhone and iPad (2022)

What’s stopping you from downloading iCloud files to iPhone or iPad?

Poor internet connection is usually the main reason why iCloud files often fail to download on iPhones and iPads. If you’re dealing with large files, make sure you have a strong and stable cellular/Wi-Fi connection. Also, outdated settings and software glitches can also be responsible for iCloud file download problem.

Therefore, not only are we digging into the settings, but we are also trying to fix the software-related issues that have become an integral part of iOS 15. You can check out common iOS 15 issues and their solutions using the linked article.

1. Enable/disable airplane mode

As mentioned above, slow internet connection could be the main culprit behind this problem. When it comes to fixing slow or malfunctioning radios, airplane mode is my go-to solution. So, let’s start with this one.

  • On iPhone and iPad without home button: Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to access the control center and tap the airplane mode icon to turn it on. Now wait for a few seconds and tap on the airplane mode icon again to turn it off.
Enable or disable airplane mode
  • On iPhone and iPad with a home button: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show the control center and tap the airplane mode icon to turn it on. After waiting for a few seconds, tap the airplane mode icon again to turn it off.
Enable or disable airplane mode

2. Make sure the Files app can use mobile data

iOS 15 and earlier let you manage app access to cellular data (and check data usage on iPhone). Therefore, you can allow only selected apps to use your cellular data to avoid unnecessary data consumption. Make sure the Files app can use cellular/mobile data on your iPhone.

  • Head to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap Mobile/Cellular.
Cellular Data Settings on iOS
  • Now scroll down and make sure the toggle next to Files is on.
Enable the toggle next to File

3. Restart your iPhone

Restarting (or soft resetting) has always been effective in fixing common problems on iPhones. Therefore, restart your device and try downloading iCloud files again.

  • On iPhone and iPad without the home button: Press and hold the volume up/down button and the power button. After that, drag the power off slider on the screen to turn off your device. Now wait for a few seconds and hold the Power button to turn on your device.
  • On iPhone and iPad with the home button: Press and hold the power button, then drag the power off slider on the screen to turn off your device. After waiting for a few seconds, press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

4. Disable/Enable iCloud Drive

Many times, you can fix some iCloud Drive issues by disabling/enabling the service from the Settings app. Thus, it would be wise to try this nifty solution as well. This is how it works:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your profile icon at the top.
Apple ID banner on iOS and iPadOS
  • Then select iCloud and disable the “iCloud Drive” switch to the next page.
Enable or Disable iCloud Drive on iOS
  • Now restart your device. Once your device restarts, go back to the iCloud setting and enable the iCloud Drive toggle. This, along with the network reset, should help you get rid of the iCloud files not downloading issue.

5. Disable/Enable iCloud Drive in Apple Files

The Apple Files app lets you manage all the cloud storage services you’ve added to the stock file management app, including Apple’s iCloud Drive. So, according to your needs, you can allow/disallow access of any cloud storage app to Files app. Use this option to disable/enable iCloud Drive in the Apple Files app; Here’s how:

  • Launch it Apple Files app on your iPhone or iPad and go to the “Browse” tab using the bottom navigation bar.
Browse tab in the Apple Files app
  • Now tap the small circle with three horizontal dots in the upper right corner of the screen and choose “To modify” in the context menu.
Edit in Apple Files on iOS
  • Next, turn off the toggle next to “iCloud Drive“. Now restart your device, go back to the Files app, then enable the iCloud Drive toggle. This will reset iCloud Drive’s access to the Files app and you’ll be able to download your files again.
Turn iCloud Drive on or off in the Apple Files app

6. Reset Network Settings

If your Wi-Fi or cellular network seems weak or not working properly, it is recommended to reset the network settings and that might fix the problem. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap General.
Open Settings and tap General
  • Now scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone
  • Then press Reset and choose “Reset network settings” in the context menu.
Tap Reset and choose Reset Network Settings
  • If prompted, be sure to enter your device or Screen Time passcode, then tap “Reset network settings” in the context menu to confirm the action.
Enter the passcode and tap Reset Network Settings to confirm

7. Check Apple System Status

If iCloud Drive is facing an outage, there is nothing you can do but wait for Apple to fix the problem. Go to Apple’s System Status page and make sure the circle to the left of iCloud Drive is green. If the circle is orange, take a break and try downloading iCloud files after a while.

Check Apple's System Status for iCloud

8. Sign Out of Apple ID and Sign In Again

Still unable to download iCloud files to your iPhone or iPad? Don’t worry, because we have more reliable tips up our sleeve. This time we will sign out of Apple ID and sign in again. Just follow the steps below:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your profile icon.
Go to settings and tap on your profile
  • Now scroll down and tap Sign out. When asked to keep a copy of the profile, do the necessary and follow the instructions to log out.
Tap Sign Out
  • After that, go back to the Settings app and log back into your account. Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all your devices. Now try downloading files from your iCloud drive and you should have no problems.

9. Reset all settings

A factory reset in iOS 15 not only lets you fix the settings, but also stubborn issues like this. Therefore, we are going to reset all the settings to try to fix the iCloud file download problem. Just in case you are worried that it will erase all your apps, media and data, let me tell you that it will only default your device by erasing the existing settings. All your data will remain intact. So let’s see how to reset your iPhone settings:

  • Go to the Settings app and choose General.
Open Settings and tap on General
  • Now scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone
  • Then press Reset and choose Reset all settings.
Reset All Settings on iOS
  • If prompted, enter your device and screen passcode, then select “Reset all settings” again in the context menu to confirm the action.
enter screen passcode on iOS and iPadOS

10. Update software on your iPhone or iPad

Recently, software bugs are the root cause of most problems occurring on iPhones and iPads. If none of the above tips helped to fix the iCloud files downloading problem, it might be due to a software bug. So, updating the software can probably fix the problem. So let’s see how to do it:

  • Head to the Settings app on your device and tap “General“.
Open Settings and tap on General
  • Now press “Software update” and wait for some time to let your device check for software update. Finally, tap “Download and install if an update is available and follow the usual instructions to get the latest version of iOS/iPadOS.
Tap Software Update and tap Download & Install

Force Download iCloud Files on iPhone and iPad

There! Hope these tips can help you download iCloud files to your iPhone without any problem. Sometimes simply restarting the iPhone or resetting the network fixes the problem with iCloud downloads, so try these solutions. If any of these solutions helped you fix the problem, share your experience with us in the comments section below. Also, if you know any other effective trick to fix this problem, don’t forget to share it with our readers as well. Happy troubleshooting!