icloud message sync is so confusing.

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by Schmactor, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Schmactor macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2014
    The somewhat recent icloud message sync feature seems to be buggy and confusing. How come when I go to icloud settings and attempt to turn off messages it tells me "messages have not been fully downloaded to this iphone" every single time. Every Single Time. What does that exactly mean? Because I know my phone does have all my messages because that is the primary device in which they are received. And what is it all about when I go to "manage storage" and click on "messages" and "conversations"? What is that list? Why are those conversations in there and not others? What is this list supposed to be and what decides which conversations are on that list? It seems to have no rhyme or reason and is certainly not all the conversations on my phone. And isn't icloud supposed to sync every message on my phone to my other devices? If so, than why, no matter what I do, can I not get my mac messages app to display all the same messages on my iphone? It shows and syncs most of them, but not all. Why? Why does none of this seem to work properly or make any sense?
  2. Steve28 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    when you turn on iCloud messages, your phone will OFFLOAD your older messages to the cloud so they don't take up as much space. If your scroll way back in your history, they are retrieved from the cloud as you scroll.

    iCloud messages is NOT supposed to download a copy of every message to every device, but rather give you access to all of your messages on all of your devices by downloading them "automagically" on demand.

    The messages it keeps locally depends on how frequently you communicate with that person, how recently you received/sent messages, how much storage on your device is free, etc. When you go to turn it off, it's warning you that all of your messages are not actually on your device and by turning it off, you will lose access to them.

    The whole point is you don't need to care/worry about it, and it will all be handled in the background automatically and thereby giving you access to everything everywhere regardless of how much storage you have.

    iCloud photos works exactly the same way.
  3. Schmactor thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2014
    Thank you. That is a lot of helpful points. I still don't know why not all of my messages are appearing on my mac. There are some conversations that are completely missing and there are also individual messages within conversations that are missing.
  4. Steve28 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    I have noticed that sometimes that happens. I have a Mac mini at home that sometimes go a week or more without using. When I do log in, I have also noticed that it doesn't aways get every conversion. However, when a new message comes in to that convo, it will trigger to sync. Also, I think sometimes, when I start a new message to that person that can also pull them back in
  5. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Running a current OS on Mac? Requires 10.13.5 or higher.
  6. Schmactor thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2014
    Yep. I consider these bugs.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 28, 2018 ---
  7. archvile macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2007
    At least Photos has an option to store everything on-device. Given how much free space I have, I could easily store the 1GB of Messages locally. Also I don't like if I am ever in an area with no cell coverage/data, I would be unable to fetch older messages if I needed to.
  8. jimmyz80 macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    Apex, NC
    So how exactly does this automagic message downloading work? If I click on a message thread for someone I messaged very recently on my previous phone, I only see very old messages from over a year ago. Nothing automagically happens to load the more recent messages which I assume should be stored in iCloud. This feature is beyond broken.
  9. christian.terra macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2014
    I'm experiencing some of the same issues as you and also do not know what the conversations list under messages in icloud is for.. doesn't seem to be accurate. I deleted my my conversations to clear out the icloud space, and it is still showing over 15GB of messages in icloud... I can't figure out how to get rid of it.
  10. gigapocket1 macrumors 65816

    Mar 15, 2009
    Both phones have to have iCloud messaging on..
    I’ve been using this feature for a while.. have it on my iPad, MacBook, and iMac. No problems.
  11. CyberVisitor macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2017
    I used to have no issues with iCloud messages (iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro) but when I changed from having my Mac on all the time to turning it off, there’s problems. My Mac now always have the sync message and messages on and my Macs messages are a bit of a mess. No matter how long I leave it idle the sync message won’t go away.

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