Stuck on Downloading Messages from iCloud, Fix

If you own more than one Apple devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Mac Pro etc), you can set up iCloud Message Syncing, aka, Messages in iCloud. What this means is that you can use iCloud to keep all of your messages updated and available across devices by using Messages in iCloud. This will even help you save space since attachments (e.g., photos), are stored in iCloud. This feature can be turned on by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud and then turn on Messages.  On your Mac, you can turn this on by clicking Messages > Preferences > iMessage and then enable Messages in iCloud.
I turned this feature on last night for the first time. At first it looked like it is working perfectly. Then I realized that I could not find all of my messages on one of my devices; my iPhone. There was a loading bar that was saying “Downloading Messages from iCloud” (see the image below). And after more than 15 hours, it was still saying the same message. It was stuck. This article explains what I did to resolve this problem.

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Messages in iCloud Stuck, Fix
Note that download messages may take several minutes. This is normal especially if you have many messages, devices. But it should not take several hours, definitely it is not going to take days. If you are having this problem too, please try the following tips to resolve:

It is possible that Apple’s servers are experiencing issues temporarily. Potential issues with Apple’s iCloud servers may lead to this issue. You can quickly and easily check to see if Apple services are down. Go to Apple’s system status website (https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/). Locate iCloud services to see if they are available or not.
Update your iOS devices to the latest version of the iOS software by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Update your Mac to the latest version of the macOS software. You can do that by opening the App Store on your Mac and then clicking Updates.
Make sure that on all of your devices you are signed with the same Apple ID.
Restart all of your devices.
Disable iCloud in Messages and enable again. Here is how:


Thursday January 01, 1970

iOS: Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Messages and toggle of Messages and wait a few seconds and enable again. Please note that when you are turning this off, a warning popup will say “Messages have not been fully downloaded” tap Disable and Download Messages.
macOS: Messages > Messages (from the menu items) > iMessage > and uncheck “Enable Messages in iCloud”.  And wait a few seconds and turn it on again.

On all of your devices, sign out of iCloud and wait a few seconds and sign back in. Here is how:

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macReports What Is Screen Time Password? How You Can Reset It iOS 12 introduced a new feature: Screen Time. Screen Time lets you control how you spend your time interacting with your iPhone or iPad. This feature provides you with the information how you are using your time on your iOS devices. You get weekly screen […]

iOS: Settings > Your Name > Scroll Down and tap Sign Out. And then sign back in.
To log out of iCloud on your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud > Sign Out.

See also: Text Messages are disappearing?
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