One prevalent issue whose solution has been sought time and again is iPhone contacts not syncing to Mac operating system or iPhone photos not syncing with Mac despite the reliable nature of the iCloud.

It’s also worthy to note that the iCloud not syncing problem is not only limited to messages, but the same can also be said about calendar events, reminders, messages, and other important details you may have a need for.

Nonetheless, there are simple methods on how to fix the iCloud contacts not syncing to Mac problem in 2019 in order to get things running smoothly once again.

And we’ll be relying on these methods which can be employed on the Mac OS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, and older versions of the operating system.

What is iCloud?

iCloud is an online storage from the U.S. based company Apple and it allows you to manage your contacts either from a Windows Computer or Mac as well as iOS devices.

What’s impressive about the cloud storage is that a change made from one of your devices will also cut across other devices that have access to the platform.

This update usually occurs effortlessly and seamlessly within a matter of seconds.

The advantage here is that your data is always protected since the loss of one device does not mean you’ve lost access to your contacts entirely.

Despite this, there are cases where the latter does not hold true and there’s is no synchronization of changes you’ve made on all devices you use to access the iCloud.

For instance, you may have successfully synced the data on your iPad, iPhone, and Mac, but when you add, edit, or delete data, the changes are visible on the device it was made.

However, the editions may only be reflecting on the Mac and not the other two devices which could be a bit of a headache.

What Causes the iCloud Error?

Three copies of your contacts and other data are usually handled. The first is the contact on your Mac, the second is the one that is stored on iCloud, and a final data that is used to merge, sync, and manage duplicates.

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A problem in the middle data could potentially lead to the syncing problem.

Nevertheless, this is only one possible cause of the problem.

How to Fix iCloud Drive Not Syncing to Mac

In order to fix problems related to the iCloud drive not syncing to Mac, try the following:

1. Check If Devices are Connected to the Same Account:

Your contacts are held in a particular iCloud account depending on where they are stored.

Thus, you need to ensure that all your devices have been logged into the same account.

That means taking the extra step to check out the state of things and how they are.

2. Log in and Out of iCloud:

If your network is stable but there are frequent glitches while syncing content on iCloud, you can try to log out of iCloud while leaving your contents on Mac.

On logging in, you can remove the ‘On my Mac’ which should leave you with two copies of data instead of three.

Your contacts should now be in sync across multiple devices.

It’s important to follow Apple’s guidelines on how to back up your data in order not to lose your content.

3. Check the Date and Time:

A good approach you should also take is to check if the date and time have been set to update automatically on each of these devices.

There’s the final step of confirming that iCloud Drive/Documents & Data has been enabled. 

To do this from an iOS, take the following steps:

  • Goto Settings
  • Apple ID
  • iCloud
  • iCloud Drive
  • Toggle to On

The same function can be enabled on Mac by:

  • System Preferences
  • iCloud
  • Check to ensure that the iCloud service that you want to be synced have been selected.
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Restart iCloud App

  • Navigate to Apple menu 
  • System Preferences 
  • iCloud
Contacts Not Syncing to Mac
  • Uncheck the  Contacts option.
  • Restart your Mac
Contacts Not Syncing to Mac
  • Next, access ‘System Preferences’
  • Click on iCloud
  • Select the checkbox 

4. Confirm You Have the Latest Version of the MacOS

Another thing that can trigger this problem is if you’re not running the latest version of the MacOS on your computer.

You also need the latest version of iOS on the iPhone or iPad and the latest Windows PC.

If each of these is in place, you need to also check if the iCloud services are working well before taking the next step for a possible solution.

5. Check Network Connection

The iCloud has been designed to use high-speed network in order to transfer data speedily. As such, if your network is currently poor, it could take longer than usual to sync across devices.

Thus, you’ll have to be patient here since it could take as long as 10 minutes for the syncing to be completed.

An alternative would be to change the location you are currently in and see if there is any boost in the network’s speed.

6. Force Syncing of Contacts to Occur

You can take it one step further by forcing the iCloud contacts to sync.

This can be made possible by :

  • Starting the app
  • Navigating to the ‘All contacts’ page
  • Selecting ‘Groups’
  • Tap and hold the page and then drag it down until an activity icon is displayed

7.Restart and Reset the App:

Finally, there’s the option of restarting and resetting iCloud-enabled app such as calendar and contacts to see if they’re the ones causing the problem instead of iCloud.

A turn off of these apps can also be effected by going through setting and turning them off.

To do this:

  • Double click on the home button
  • Swipe through the active apps
  • Swipe up for them to be closed or hold the app and click on ‘X’ to close
  • Return to the home screen and after 20 seconds, relaunch the app again
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There’s also the option of turning off the iCloud contacts and then turning them on again. 

To do this:

  • Go to Settings
  • Apple ID
  • iCloud
  • Turn off contacts
  • Select Keep on My iPhone/iPad to save a backup
  • After some seconds, take the same steps above to turn on your contacts

One more option is to hard reset your device to solve this iOS problem.

Proceed to:

  • Hold the power and home button simultaneously till the power goes off
  • Release the buttons once the Apple Logo appears on the screen

And that’s it.

System processes will be restarted and you can check out if it has finally resolved the MacBook Pro’s Contacts not syncing properly problem.


After going through these steps, you should be able to resolve the contacts not syncing to Mac problem and get your devices running seamlessly.

Remember, data is important and it’s, even more, needful to have it as at when needed irrespective of where you are.

That will be marred if the iCloud has failed to sync this data across your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, and other devices.

Nonetheless, it won’t be the case if you’re armed with each of these possible solutions for some contacts syncing to Mac.

The best solution, however, is one from Apple which will ensure that the problem is permanently resolved and you don’t lose your data while at it.

Did you have any difficulties while going through the above steps? Please ask us and also make reference to the video below. It’ll take it the extra mile to show you how to do the steps we’ve outlined above.

Written by – Sunny slim Idiah

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