Since updating to iOS 11, Photos has been behaving strangely. My settings for iCloud Photos are blank

My photos are endlessly re-uploading (even though they are all already in the cloud):

Worse — or at least further unnerving, if the upload is actually doing something — this upload pauses itself after a period of about an hour (without notice) and needs to be manually restarted to proceed.

(In contrast, Google Photos, which syncs with the same library on my iPhone, seems to be working fine.)

Why are my Photos settings blank? Why is my photo library being (re)uploaded to iCloud?

  • My experience is the “re uiploading’ is a bit misleading and it’s instead a sync / compare cycle to try and rectify / unify several versions of the library. For me - it’s been three days of periodic churn on all devices and then it quieted down. High heat generation on iOS/high CPU on macOS when connected to power and WiFi and not actively using the device
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2017 at 21:34
  • @bmike: How about the totally blank settings?
    – orome
    Sep 23, 2017 at 21:46
  • What is your library status if you go to iCloud.com on a computer and look at photos?
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2017 at 22:11
  • @bmike: "Updating…". But I think it's always said that.
    – orome
    Sep 23, 2017 at 22:24
  • 1
    @AnthonyKong: This is increasingly my experience as well. Support seems incompetent and often makes the problem worse (if they do anything at all). Apple users need another source of of (actual) support, which is why it is important that avoiding the copout of "contact support" is unhelpful and kind of depressing to see.
    – orome
    Nov 12, 2017 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


If you go to a computer and log in to http://iCloud.com/photos you will be able to see the status of your library as rendered from Apple’s servers in the data center.

If your cloud library is corrupt, you can either:

  • try and delete it and let it clear up and try a sync up from the one device that has your master copy / most complete library
  • work with support to convince tier 1 support that you’ve read the instructions and don’t need basic training and need an engineer to look at your account on the server side

If your cloud library isn’t corrupt, you can then decide to wait out the sync or wipe that device and start the iCloud sync over. I’ve had times where things are blank and syncing for three to four days and it clear up so you might need do nothing but connect to WiFi and connect the device to power for a few 8 hour periods to let all the sync / upload / duplicate processes to run.

You might have something the code can’t resolve and need to get Tier 1 to refer you to engineering since Apple doesn’t let people contact iCloud engineering directly and you do need to work through support to get there if needed.

  • You’ll notice I’m not even going to try and guess why, @orome . I’d need the code base for the local code / the server code and access to Apple’s servers to know why. The “what you can do” is more pragmatic and also much clearer. In hindsight it will be easier to guess if you had network issues / found a bug / this works as intended and just took a while to sort.
    – bmike
    Nov 12, 2017 at 14:50
  • Last time this happened (it's happening again so we'll see if this is true) it's just a matter of poor UX combined with a slow sync process (and some confusion since Google Photos ranges to sync the same content much faster).
    – orome
    Nov 12, 2017 at 15:36

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