After uploading a large number of photos through the web upload of iCloud Photos my iOS does not show thumbnails of those new pictures but a grid of icons with small clouds in it.
It has been like this since two days now. It seems the only way to get the thumbnails downloaded is to look at every picture on my iOS device.

Is there more efficient way to download thumbnails? (Preferably in the background)


The only way I have found is to click through each one. I usually start at the top and swipe through them, and they should start downloading.

  • Thanks, but I hope that there is another way implemented by Apple we haven't found yet. – rul30 Oct 4 '15 at 16:19
  • 1
    @rul30 nope, but you can suggest Apple fix it: apple.com/feedback – At0mic Oct 4 '15 at 16:21

Reactivating iCloud Foto library and immediately restarting the phone did the trick for me.

I deactivated iCloud Foto library and immediately activated it again. I then restarted the device (I killed the Foto app before deactivating and did not open it since then). After the restart, I opened the Foto app and charged my phone (make sure low power mode is off). I left it there for a couple of hours and suddenly, all thumbnails appeared. The same trick also works for keeping the originals if your phone won't download them until you open them.


In addition to deactivating, rebooting, reactivating iCloud Photo Library from the iOS iCloud settings, i found that Photos app needs a little help triggering the download of the thumbnails by zooming into the level one out from fullscreen, then scroll through the empty squares. Scrolling can be done relatively quickly and for me makes the app start downloading those photos immediately after.

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