When I import photos via webinterface to iCloud, I cannot edit those images on the iPhone or iPad (both running iOS13). I run into this error. This only happens when these images were uploaded via webinterface. Uploading the exact same files via iPhone (by attaching an SD card to the device) lead to me being able to edit these images also on other devices.

1 Answer 1


I can confirm that this is not a blanket restriction and I have uploaded some images via iCloud (tested a PC / Windows 10 and macOS Catalina) web app.

I would upload an image that isn’t already in your library as a duplicate as I believe the system is trying to match duplicates.

Once that’s done, you will likely need to wait out whatever processing is stuck on your specific library or engage Apple support since they would need to look server side to investigate why specific images are stuck.

Expect to spend at least 30 minutes on the phone with Apple to collect information and/or try the “FAQ” steps and eventually if there isn’t a workaround or quick fix, you’ll be asked to make a support PIN to engineering or higher tier iCloud support can look at your specific sync data.

  • I can copy one of those images to the files app and then copy it back to photos and I can edit it just fine. but the "icloud managed" images I cannot edit. Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 22:58
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    I have just run more experiments and I can verify that the issue originates in the convert (imagemagick) tool used to convert .NEF files to .jpg files. When I convert those same files again with any tool such as RawTherapee, GIMP or any other tool and THEN upload them to iCloud, it succeeds. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 20:14
  • @pascalwhoop Please make sure you get that in a proper answer - it's totally fine to self answer or to edit it into my post. Whichever you think is best. Super glad you figured it out. NEF seem to have various tools that succeed or fail to crunch the bits and not just always work
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 22:28
  • I'm still working on finding out what exactly is the thing that makes imagemagick results fail with iCloud. I also managed to generate the same effect when I take any arbitrary image, convert it to tiff and then to jpg and upload it. So something in imagemagick makes images fail on iCloud. But since it is THE CLI conversion tool, I cannot wrap my head around to why this happens Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 6:54
  • I created a folder on Google Drive with two variants of the image, one a working variant and one a imagemagick "broken" variant. The text files contain the metadata of each image. drive.google.com/open?id=1XCPYrzMbCAsq0sfZGbCjmxJyjy6AOR4o The imagemagick variant contains more EXIF metadata Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 6:57

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