iCloud photo library pictures not uploading

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by MiniGeek, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. MiniGeek macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2016

    We have an iphone 6 that is nearly full. We switched on the iCloud library and the phone has been on wifi and plugged in overnight and for several hours during the day. No pictures have uploaded yet. It continues to say that space is low and there are 1095 pictures uploading. Yet nothing is moving. Internet connection is fine.

    Is there anything else that needs to be done? Is Apple just slow to get on board with this? We did sign in to the Apple ID on the phone, so the phone is connecting to Apple.
  2. 89007132 macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2015
    I think the device needs something like 500mb or more of available storage space to be able to upload photos to the iCloud Photo Library.
  3. MiniGeek, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017

    MiniGeek thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2016
    I'm sorry, I don't understand your reply. The account holder has about 42Gb of storage space in iCloud which he is paying for. The storage space on the phone itself is low, which is why he wants to use the iCloud library. I know of another iPhone 6 user who was in the exact same situation and his photo library uploaded to iCloud without incident.

    Going to Moments in the Photo app, it says at the bottom that storage space is low and 1095 items are uploading. Yet nothing is uploading.
  4. ericwn macrumors 68000

    Apr 24, 2016
    Maybe try a different network and a restart of the phone, just to rule out some potential issues.
  5. 89007132 macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2015
    Not sure if you figured this out or not.

    The phone itself needs some space to be able to upload the photos to the iCloud Photo Library. It doesn't matter that you have enough iCloud storage space.
  6. MiniGeek thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2016
    OK, thanks for the responses. RL has been in a major uproar this week, so I wasn't able to revisit this thread until now.

    I was told the same thing on an Apple discussion forum re 500 Mb of storage being needed on the phone itself. I'm surprised the Apple support pages don't specify that. I guess we'll have to delete some pics. :( (Next phone will have more physical space. 16 Gb just doesn't cut it.)
  7. MiniGeek, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    MiniGeek thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2016
    Hi again.

    I guess I am not sure how the iCloud photo library is supposed to work. I thought that using it was supposed to free up space on a device. It seems kind of a paradox that we can't use iCloud photo library to free up space until we free up space!

    So...I have told the owner of the phone that he will have to delete some photos in order for this to work. I was unable to give him a sensible explanation for why. o_O

    His photos take up 7.9 Gb on the phone right now. So if he deletes enough to get 500 Mb of storage space on his phone and his photo library gets uploaded, what then? Will he have a whole bunch of free space on his phone (it is set to keep lower resolutions of the photos on the phone in order to save space) and continue to upload subsequent additions to the photo library?

    He's taken more pictures and now has less than 100 Mb available on the phone.

    I thought that once you enabled iCloud photo library, the actual photos wouldn't be physically on the phone anymore, and you would only be able to see them if you had access to iCloud via wifi or cellular. I guess that is not the way it works, correct? They are all still physically on the phone AND in the cloud as well? And if you activate the feature to 'optimize space', it just keeps lower resolution copies of the photos on the phone?

    If this is the case, then there really is no point in the owner of this particular phone using this feature, as he only has one device anyway.

    I am asking this and I am thoroughly confused about this because of an incident with another owner of an iPhone 6. His Windows computer was unable to 'see' his phone when connected via USB. He also was nearly out of storage space and he wanted to copy his photo library to his Windows PC. We tried everything to get his computer to see the phone, and nothing worked. So we decided to do this with my computer, and I would move his photos to a flash drive to give to him. In the meantime, he turned on iCloud photo library, unbeknown to me. So I connected his iPhone to my Windows PC, it found the iPhone as a storage device, I went to copy the photos to my computer and lo and behold, only 3 photos were found on his phone. Yet when he used his phone to look at his photos, he could see them all. My computer could only see 3 because that was all that were physically on the phone. This is how I got the impression that once the photos were 'uploaded' to iCloud, they would no longer physically be on that phone, taking up mega-gigs of storage.
  8. MiniGeek, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    MiniGeek thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2016
  9. Paul in Ivins UT macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2017
    Yep, I can confirm that I needed to make 500 Mb of room in order for my iPhone to begin uploading. Just deleted some old podcasts and a newspaper app temporarily.
  10. TrueBlou, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017

    TrueBlou macrumors demi-god


    Sep 16, 2014

    When you use iCloud Photo Library your photos are indeed stored in both locations. On your device for access without internet and in the cloud for safe keeping and to propagate to other devices.

    The other benefit is that in the Settings app > Photos, you can choose to have optimised versions of the photos stored on your device, which does actually free up some space, while having the full sized photos stored in iCloud.

    While in the settings, check if the “Keep normal photo” option is enabled for HDR photos. If the person uses HDR when taking a photo you actually end up with two images by keeping this option enabled. Though of course it can be an individuals preference to do so.

    As for backing up to iCloud, sometimes it’s a pain. You do need, as mentioned, at least 500mb of free space for them to sync, all apps need some space to operate properly. Deleting an app or game temporarily if you need the space is often preferable to losing some photos.

    iOS 11, which isn’t too far off now, also offers the option of using a new compression format for photos. Which while less compatible at the moment with many computer programs, can be converted and use less storage space.

    If the person uses Apple Music, something else worth doing is going into the music settings and limiting the amount of space available for downloaded music. Though this can lead to library management more often for music you want available offline.

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