11 Fixes for iPhone Photos Not Syncing on Mac

iCloud plays a major role in the Apple ecosystem. It syncs your messages, reminders, notes, Safari bookmarks, history, extensions, photos, and more across your devices using the same Apple ID. Many rely on it to sync their iPhone memories on Mac via the Photos app. However, users have complained about iPhone photos not showing up on Mac. If you frequently face the same, here are the best ways to troubleshoot the problem.

1. Use the Same Apple ID

Let’s cover some basics first. You need to be using the same Apple ID on iPhone and Mac to sync media via the Photos app.


1. Open Settings and go to your profile.

2. Note down your Apple ID.


1. Click the Apple icon in the menu bar and open System Settings.

2. Select Apple ID and check the same. If you use another Apple ID, sign out from it and log in with the same account as your iPhone.

2. Check Network Connection

If your Mac has network connection issues, it can’t sync your iPhone photos in the Photos app. You should connect to a robust Wi-Fi network and launch the Photos app on a Mac. Your iPhone photos should appear on Mac.

3. Force Quit Photos App

You can force quit the Photos app and try syncing your iPhone photos on it.

1. Right-click on the Photos app on the Mac dock.

2. Select Quit. Launch the Photos app.

4. Re-enable iCloud Integration

If iCloud isn’t syncing your media library properly, disable iCloud photos on your iPhone and enable it after some time.

1. Open Settings on iPhone.

2. Go to your profile and select iCloud.

3. Tap Photos and disable the Sync this iPhone toggle.

Enable it after some time and wait for your media library to get backed up. Launch the Photos on Mac to check the same.

5. Free Up iCloud Storage

Photos app relies on iCloud to store and sync the data. If your Apple account is low on iCloud space, it can’t sync the latest memories. You should either free up the iCloud storage or upgrade to a higher plan to unlock more space.

1. Head to iCloud in iPhone Settings (refer to the steps above).

2. Check the detailed storage breakdown from the following menu.

3. You can manage account storage or purchase one of the Apple One or iCloud+ plans to get more space.  

6. Check Apple’s System Status Page

If the Photos faces an outage, it can’t sync media to iCloud. And the same won’t appear on Mac too. You can visit Apple’s system status page and check the current status of the Photos service. If it’s showing an Orange or Yellow indicator, wait for Apple to troubleshoot the problem and try again.

7. Reset Network Settings on iPhone

Do network issues persist on your iPhone? iOS can’t sync photos to iCloud, and they won’t show up on Mac. You should reset the network settings on your iPhone using the steps below.

1. Launch Settings and scroll to General.

2. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.

3. Tap Reset and select Reset Network Settings.  

8. Charge Your iPhone

If your iPhone runs low on battery, it may not upload your photos and videos to iCloud. That’s why the same won’t show up on your Mac too. You should put your iPhone on charge and let the system handle iCloud syncing in the background.

If your iPhone isn’t charging, check our separate guide to fix the problem.

9. Disable Low Power Mode on iPhone

iOS suspends background processes like iCloud syncing to save battery on a low power mode. You should disable low power mode on your iPhone and sync your photos to iCloud.

1. Open Settings and scroll to Battery.

2. Disable the Low Power Mode toggle from the following menu.

Connect your iPhone to a power adapter and enjoy a smooth iCloud sync between all your Apple devices.

10. Update iOS and macOS

An outdated system OS on your iPhone or Mac may interfere with iCloud integration. It’s time to install the latest update on your iPhone and Mac.


1. Open Settings on your iPhone and scroll to General.

2. Select Software Update and install the latest build.


1. Open System Settings on Mac (check the steps above).

2. Scroll to General and select Software Update.

Download and install the latest macOS build and launch the Photos app to check your iPhone pictures.

11. Use AirDrop to Transfer Photos

When none of the tricks work, it’s time to go back to the proven method to transfer your media from iPhone to Mac. You can simply open the Photos app and select media files. Select the Share icon at the bottom and tap AirDrop to send the same to your Mac.

If AirDrop isn’t working, check our dedicated post to fix the problem.

Access Your iPhone Photos on Mac

If you sign up for a beta OS on a Mac or iPhone, it may break the iCloud integration. You should give feedback to Apple and downgrade to a stable build. Start using the tricks above and access your iPhone photos and videos on your Mac in no time.

5/5 - (30 votes)


is Senior Writer DZ-TECH, where he covers the world of technology, hacking, cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy.

Leave a Comment