iCloud drive - iWork "The file ... couldn't be opened" error

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by b.c., Dec 11, 2014.

  1. b.c. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #1
    iWork and iCloud drive on my iMac seems horribly unreliable. Things work for a while then I can't open files.

    let's say for example, I have a Numbers document called "spreadsheet.numbers"

    every once in a while when I try to open that spreadsheet on my Mac I get an error message pop up saying:

    The file "spreadsheet.numbers" couldn't be opened.
    and the dialog box only has an "OK" button.

    once this happens, I cannot open any existing iWork documents, nor create and save any new ones to iCloud. I just get these "file couldn't be opened" errors.

    the only thing that seems to remedy this is to go to System Preferences and turn off iCloud Drive, and agree to delete all iCloud Drive documents on my Mac. I then turn iCloud Drive back on, and give it a few minutes for the documents in iCloud to re-sync to my Mac. After that I can then open my existing iWork documents and continue working. Everything will work normally, for a while...

    --- until the problem happens again some random amount of time later when I once again can't open an iWork document. Turn of iCloud Drive, delete files, turn on iCloud drive... repeat. Very frustrating.

    anybody else see this? more importantly, is there some fix?
     
  2. bgro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    South Florida
    #2
    The only "help" that I can give you is to switch to a different service. iCloud Drive is horribly unreliable (not for everyone but case in point..). I tried so hard to switch from Google Docs/Drive to iClooud Drive/iWork and just found that it didn't do what I wanted it to do and I had constant error/syncing messages. Google Docs/Drive (or a different service ie Dropbox or OneDrive) has EXCELLENT iOS support and most importantly works flawlessly imo.

    HOpe you find your answer though.
     
  3. b.c. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #3
    update on the problem I originally reported here:
    for a while I thought this problem had gone away, either coinciding with some system update or just pure chance - or simply because the files in question on iCloud I only occasionally use. Anyhow, I had not seen this problem for a couple months, and now I've encountered it a few times this week alone.

    by the way, I didn't mention originally, but I access the same few Numbers documents via iCloud on my iPhone or iPad and have never had a problem opening the files. But here on my iMac, every once in a while I get an iCloud document "...couldn't be opened" error and I'm forced to turn off iCloud Drive on my Mac to delete the files, then turn it on again and once docs have synced I can open the files.

    very frustrating for something that should "just work".

    and yes, I do also have Dropbox and Google docs/drive and have never had a single problem with file access or syncing. Luckily I don't have a heavy need for using Numbers across iCloud, I just have a few files I like to sync between my iOS devices and Mac. For more heavy-duty spreadsheets I still use Excel...

    has anybody else seen this problem, and more importantly is there some permanent fix to these iCloud problems?
     
  4. to1986 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #4

    Sorry to re-open an old thread, but I have been having the exact same issue. Only way I can fix it is by signing out of iCloud drive on my mac and back in. Also having no issues on iOS, and the problem is limited to my mac. Has anyone figured out a permanent fix for this? I don't mind having to sign out every few months, but when it happens 3 or 4 times a month it becomes annoying. any help would be appreciated.
     
  5. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #5
    I too have been having this problem. I have a few devices (OS X and iOS) all running and syncing fine, it is only a mac mini running El Cap which gives me the problem.
    I have tried signing in and out, but it doesn't seem to fix the problem, at least not for long.

    Saving to dropbox and google drive works fine, it is just iCloud. Very frustrating.
    I think given the age of this thread that it is either not a hugely common problem, or not a particularly important one for apple to fix.
     
  6. abrahamw88 macrumors member

    abrahamw88

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #6
    I just recently began having the same problem with all my iCloud documents on my mac. They all work fine online and on my other devices though.. Very annoying.
     
  7. to1986 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #7
    So I have upgraded to 10.11.4 and the issue still seems to be there. Are we in a minority here or is this a widespread issue? Surely apple must be aware of this? Has anyone figured out a long term fix. It has become infuriating.
     
  8. abrahamw88 macrumors member

    abrahamw88

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #8
    My iCloud issues appear to have been fixed with 10.11.4.. Are you still experiencing them?
     
  9. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #9
    Woah.. I just updated from 10.11.3 to 10.11.4 and it looks to have solved the problem!
    Files I couldn't open five minutes ago are now accessible.
    Fantastic, hope it lasts.
     
  10. to1986 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #10
    Was working for me and then today the dreaded error started popping up again on my mac :-( Is it fixed for everyone else? It might be that I need to do a clean install to properly fix it.
     
  11. abrahamw88 macrumors member

    abrahamw88

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    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #11
    I think it popped up once again on mine but then after a restart it has been fixed since then..
     
  12. b.c., Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

    b.c. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #12
    update: I'm the OP of this thread. For the past several months, the problem hasn't reoccurred on my iMac - I had just been keeping my fingers crossed each time I opened an existing file in Numbers on my iMac. Don't know what else had changed, if anything.

    But today, the same problem occurred, I couldn't open a Numbers file which I had just opened/edited successfully yesterday. So the problem remains!!

    FWIW, I'm currently running OS X 10.11.4, I updated a couple days ago, so I don't think 10.11.4 itself solves the problem...

    edit: actually, the problem seems worse...
    I tried the usual trick to "fix" the problem: turn off iCloud drive on my iMac which then deletes copies of those files from my iMac (but keeps the iCloud copies) - then turn iCloud drive back on to restore the local copies.
    Previously, doing so would fix the problem. This time, Numbers still gets the error message and can't open the file even after deleting/restoring the local copies.

    what's even stranger is I tried created a new file in Numbers and then saved it to iCloud. I immediately tried opening the file again with Numbers and I get the dreaded "file could not be opened error" on the new test file. Interestingly, if open my iCloud drive folder, I can QuickLook see the contents of both the old files and the new test file I created. And as always, I can still open/edit the files in iCloud on my iOS devices. Only on my iMac do I have this ongoing (and intermittent) problem opening iCloud files. Very frustrating...
     
  13. abrahamw88 macrumors member

    abrahamw88

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #13
    The problem just started happening with mine again as well.. It seems somewhat intermittent though. Like some days it works and does not work. Some days my account will not work and my wife's account will work (on the same macbook). I might have to give Apple a call..
    I have not tried turning iCloud drive off because I have almost 50GB of data stored and it would likely take forever to download it again once I turned it back on. Any suggestions?
     
  14. b.c. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #14
    for whatever reason, this latest time the problem occurred, simply turning off iCloud drive on my iMac and deleting local copies of the files, then turning iCloud drive back on did not fix the problem - in spite of several attempts deleting/restoring I could not open any of my Numbers file on my iMac. The files remained perfectly fine and accessible from all my iOS devices.

    the only fix this time was to 1) turn off iCloud drive and delete the files on my iMac, 2) reboot the iMac and 3) turn iCloud drive back on and wait for all the files to be restored. After that I could once again open my Numbers files stored in iCloud

    the many previous times I had this problem, a reboot wasn't required to fix the problem.

    Luckily I don't have many GB of iWork files in iCloud - mostly because I can't rely on it with this problem. So deleting and restoring the files only took maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Still it's a big pain and frustrating that it just doesn't work reliably.
     
  15. abrahamw88 macrumors member

    abrahamw88

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #15
    I just did the same thing last night and it worked for like 5 minutes and then stopped working again. I plan on calling apple to get help. Hopefully they will have a solution.
     
  16. Motobar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    #16
    Using 10.11.4

    I have the same issue. It first appeared a few weeks ago.

    Turning iCloud off and back on does not solve problem. Very frustrating!
     
  17. exawon, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016

    exawon macrumors newbie

    exawon

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #17
  18. sandrodcs macrumors newbie

    sandrodcs

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2016
    #18
    I had the same issue. I tried the Disk Utility repair and it works now. Thanks Exawon!
     

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