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iCloud and iCloud Drive Problems Solved

If you are an iPhone user…

Your life is probably more complicated than it used to be,

And iCloud is to blame.

Let’s start by asking some basic questions first:

  1. Do you find yourself emailing photos from your phone to your email account just to get the photos on your computer?
  2. Are you frustrated trying to figure out how to get your hands on your photos after you take them?
  3. Is just trying to figure out where your photos are stored a source of aggravation?
  4. Do you miss the good old days when you could plug your phone into your computer and all your photos just went straight to your Pictures folder?
  5. Is your computer running MUCH slower that it once did?
    <see iCloud Drive topic below>

If you are answering YES to any or all of these questions, iCloud may well be the culprit.

Here is why:

iCloud Problems

When Apple turned iCloud loose, they automatically installed and activated it on every iPhone, iPad and other mobile device.  This also probably happened on your computer during an update to iTunes or QuickTime.  This sounds good, because all your stuff is being backed up to Apple’s servers, right?  And this is a good thing, right?
Well… Yes – and No.

Once iCloud is enabled, it takes control of your data.  Your photos are now automatically synced (backed up) to iCloud servers.  Once this is enabled you can no longer sync your phone with your computer, because the phone does not “talk” to iTunes now.  iTunes was handling the synchronization in the past.  You took your charging cable, plugged one end into the phone and the other into a USB port on your computer.  iTunes woke up and started grabbing all the data on your phone and synchronizing it with the data on your computer.  The phone was now backed up and you could actually get to your photos.  You could email them, put them on Facebook or Twitter, add them to a blog or print them out (as IF).

So how do you get back to this blissful state of synchronicity again and get iCloud to mind its own business?

Why, just find iCloud on your computer and launch it, right?

Well…  Unfortunately it’s not all that simple.

Not even remotely.

To start with, you need to know your iCloud credentials (user name and password).  They are usually the same credentials you use to purchase music through iTunes and apps through the App Store.  Hopefully you know these credentials or at least have them written down somewhere.  If not, this may necessitate a password reset.  Apple will be happy to assist you with this.

Once you have these credentials, you need to do the following:

  1. Launch your default browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer).
  2. Go to the iCloud website
  3. Login with your credentials
  4. Locate your photos in the menu
  5. Select ALL the photos you actually WANT
    (this is important, as you probably have a lot of pictures of your finger — and the floor that you don’t want)
  6. Start them all downloading to your computer and make a note of the total number of pictures included for this download.
    (Create a new iPhone folder wherever you decide to put these so you can find it later)
  7. Write down the folder name / location you are downloading them to
  8. Go out to dinner or an overnight road trip
  9. When you get back – and iCloud is finished downloading all your photos…
  10. Go to the download folder you specified.
  11. Right-click on it and go to properties on a PC or info on a Mac
  12. Make sure the number of files in this folder is pretty close to the total you selected for download.
  13. Now go back to iCloud and select ALL photos and delete them.

At this point you want to go to your iPhone and disable the photo sync function.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. iCloud
  3. Scrolling down you will see all the items on your phone that are being synced.
  4. Disable Photos by sliding the control so it is no longer green.
  5. Select any items not being synced that you want backed up.  The default may not be getting everything you actually want.

Now when you plug your phone into your computer, iTunes should launch and ask you what you want to do with your photos.  You most likely want them to go in My Pictures on a PC or Pictures on a Mac, but feel free to specify another location (NOT THE DESKTOP – EVER).  In iTunes you want to click on the iPhone icon in the upper part of your screen and set up the sync settings.  When you’re done, press the Sync Now button in the lower right hand corner to start the process.  You have the option in sync settings to have it auto-sync whenever your phone is plugged in – and also to sync over WiFi, so you don’t even have to use your cable to sync.

Moving right along…

iCloud Drive

Oddly enough, iCloud Drive was released on the Windows platform first and OS X second.  Interesting, no?  The whole purpose of iCloud Drive is to back up your data to Apple’s servers so you are protected from data loss in the eventuality of a virus, ransomware or hardware failure.  While this sounds great, in reality the cure is sometimes worse than the original problem.

If you are using a PC that was once quite speedy and now does more or less nothing all day but show you the spinning blue circle, you just might be an iCloud Drive victim.  For reasons I have not yet figured out, on a small number of PCs (not on Macs) iCloud Drive absolutely cripples the computer.  It’s a door stop.  The only solution is to first disable, then uninstall iCloud Drive.  Period. Doing this is frequently time consuming and always complicated.  Giving you step-by-step instructions is beyond the scope of this blog.  I can easily (for me) solve the problem at your location or ours, but not over the phone and probably not by remote connection.

We have far better backup solutions and will be happy to set up a system that will keep you protected while giving you optimum performance at the same time.
$50 a year and unlimited, secure storage.

Call us to schedule an appointment.

214-232-9503 at any reasonable hour


Name of author

Name: Wizard

Short Bio: The Computer Wizard (TCW). TCW was founded by Warren P. Harris in 1994 to service and repair computers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Relocating the business to Plano, Texas in 1999, TCW continued to flourish when an unfortunate loss of data for a wedding Mr. Harris photographed, caused him to research data recovery options. Realizing he would have to either pay someone to recover the photos or find out how to do it himself, the rest, as they say "is history". Approached by a friend who was a Private Investigator in 2006, Mr. Harris studied for his Investigator's license and began honing his skills in Computer Forensics. The company was renamed DFW Computer Integration in 2015.

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