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handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
Having a bit of an issue. I've upgraded from the iPhone 11 Pro to the 13 Pro, same storage size for both, 512GB. I upgraded my iCloud plan recently to 2TB so that I can upload all of my photos. When I did this, it started syncing ok. I woke up this morning expecting to see everything uploaded but was surprised that out of 26,000 photos and videos, 10,000 were in the 'unable to upload' album and it had actually only uploaded around 5,000.

I've done everything that's been suggested on the internet, toggling iCloud photos, sign out of iCloud and signing back in, restarting the device etc. Each time, it will start to upload again but the majority of the photos end up in the 'unable to upload' album. This is even the case for photos taken today, they go straight into that album. No issues with space on either the phone or iCloud. The phone is connected to power, it's on Wifi and can connect to iCloud.

I also bought the new iPad mini on launch day and it does not have any of these issues, everything uploads absolutely fine.

The annoying thing is, there are no error logs or warnings to try to work through, they simply just don't upload.

Has anyone experienced this issue?

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handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
Yes, I do understand it will take a few days. I just a bit concerned that items are specifically moving into the ‘unable to upload’ album. I don’t understand why that would happen. I guess I’ll have to wait until everything that can be uploaded has and then see what is left.
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,121
8,804
Yes. It's not clear what "Unable to upload" means. It might mean that unable to upload just now. Over the course of a few days, I bet it sends those pictures.
 

now i see it

macrumors G4
Jan 2, 2002
10,534
21,923
It’s not unreasonable to imagine that iCloud servers get overwhelmed at times - especially right after launch day when everyone on earth is slamming them.
 

handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
It’s not unreasonable to imagine that iCloud servers get overwhelmed at times - especially right after launch day when everyone on earth is slamming them.
I'd semi be ok with this as a reason, but I wouldn't expect the phone to specifically move photos to an album that it won't try to upload. That is what concerns me, and not knowing why. It seems entirely random.
 
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handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
same here with my iPhone 13 Pro, they take forever to upload. I think this is an iOS bug not the phone's fault.
Is it moving photos to the 'unable to upload' album? I'm ok with it taking a long time, so long as it does actually complete!
 

Super Spartan

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2018
630
272
Dubai
Is it moving photos to the 'unable to upload' album? I'm ok with it taking a long time, so long as it does actually complete!
oh no, the photos just sit there, and I see either upload pause or says uploading forever....but after like a couple of hours I do see the photo/video on all my devices so the progress bar is just messed up.\

another bug, try editing a video, just add a filter or any effect. when you hit done, you won't see the progress bar and if you try to use that video for anything like to use it in iMovie or upload it to Instagram, it's not usable because the edit is still in progress but we don't have a way to know since there is no progress circle.
PS: My iPhone 13 on iOS 15 was set up as a new phone not even restored from a backup so there are no conflicting settings / apps there.


Uploading to iCloud paused message…
 

handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
So things do seem to have improved. It is uploading ok now, with no growth in the 'unable to upload' album although there's still almost 5000 entries there. I guess it must have been a temporary issue.
 

handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
another bug, try editing a video, just add a filter or any effect. when you hit done, you won't see the progress bar and if you try to use that video for anything like to use it in iMovie or upload it to Instagram, it's not usable because the edit is still in progress but we don't have a way to know since there is no progress circle.

Uploading to iCloud paused message…
Yeah same for me.
 
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handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
Well it has uploaded everything that it didn't put into the 'unable to upload' album. I'm going to try toggling iCloud photos on and off to see if it will try again.
 

handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
Well, same behaviour, it's just filling up the 'unable to upload' album again. This time with some of the same photos but also some new ones as well...

I guess I'm going to have to speak to Apple.
 

haggel

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2021
4
0
Hey handymanuk,

Any luck asking Apple about the issue @handymanuk ? I’m having problems with the cloud sync too. I setup the iPhone 13 Pro by cloning it from my old iPhone 11. Not sure why it has to upload all the photos to the cloud again, they were copied in the process and therefore the new phone should already be in perfect sync with the cloud. However right now it’s trying to upload all the 130.000 photos but some randomly seem to be ‘unable to upload’ (around 10k right now). I can not find a pattern on which.

Read some random article about format problems but this doesn’t seem to be the case here as it fails to upload old as new photos.

Cheers
H
 

haggel

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2021
4
0
So apparently it resolved itself. After the initial upload finished it somehow retried the ‘unable to upload’ folder. This time it was able to upload almost all of them except for around 200 photos. All of them are new. As a workaround I was able to create duplicates for those and delete the originals - the duplicates were uploaded.

Still would appreciate any update on the issue @handymanuk, hope you can fix it.

Cheers
H
 

handymanuk

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 16, 2020
63
34
Thanks for the tip about duplicating. I’ve got only 11 photos left out of 27,000 that won‘t upload now. It seems to have uploaded both the duplicate and the original. I am assuming that I can delete the duplicate now?

I have not contacted Apple yet. To be honest I can’t really cope with being told that I’d probably have to restore from backup. I’d rather try to figure it out myself and avoid the pain.
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,214
1,707
Probably trying to upload one of your videos. I hope you don’t have a 30 minute + video in 1080p or 4k. Depending on your isp upload speeds. Videos alone could take days as that one file could take 12-14 hours to upload on 10-30mbps upload speed... if you could, go somewhere that has a super fast internet. 1gb upload speeds and see if that will help…222 gigs is a lot to upload. But it will eventually get thru it
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68020
Mar 15, 2009
2,214
1,707
Can you go to the unable to upload folder and see what’s not uploading? What’s at the top of the list? Is it a video?
 

haggel

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2021
4
0
Thanks for the tip about duplicating. I’ve got only 11 photos left out of 27,000 that won‘t upload now. It seems to have uploaded both the duplicate and the original. I am assuming that I can delete the duplicate now?

I have not contacted Apple yet. To be honest I can’t really cope with being told that I’d probably have to restore from backup. I’d rather try to figure it out myself and avoid the pain.


Avoiding the pain of being asked if your WIFI is on.

Did you ‘select all’ -> ‘duplicate’ out of the ‘unable to upload’ folder?
Was this done for just the 11 left overs OR for a whole bunch of them?
Which photos then ended up as doubles in the cloud? Only old (taken with the old iPhone) ones VS all of them? I would recommend to check it by logging into the cloud via the browser.

Have you been able to detect any pattern on the remaining 11 Photos? For example are all taken with the new iPhone?

For me it went as follows:
1-> cloning iphone11 to iphone13 pro
2-> iphone13 starting to upload all 130k photos to cloud again
3-> for quite a while it was doing so with good speed
4-> after like 3,5h it got super slow and later I realized that now all photos end up in unable to upload folder
5-> I restarted my phone which solved it for now
Step 4 & 5 repeated itself
6-> BUT also one or two random old photos were unable to upload
7-> after it finished, it somehow retried all the ~10k that were unable to upload
8-> succeeding for all but around 230
9-> those were all new photos, when I duplicated them, only the duplicated ended up in the cloud

^ is this somewhat comparable?
 

AppleTooPlus

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2017
16
15
I'm reviving this thread since it's the only relatively recent one I can find that has dealt with the "unable to upload" Mac Photos issue with syncing to iCloud Photo

After getting a new MBP (running Monterey) in October and upgrading my iCloud storage to 2TB, I finally turned on iCloud Photos on my MBP to sync my Photos library to iCloud for the first time ever. (Note that I did NOT turn iCloud Photos on any other Apple device I own.) Almost immediately, the "Unable to Upload" folder appeared in Photos and started populating. Out of approx 50k items (95% photos, the rest videos), about half of them ended up in the "Unable to Upload" folder. Some are old photos/videos imported into iPhoto 15 years ago -- some are new photos from the last year. Some were photos edited in iPhoto/Photos/Photoshop -- some were unedited originals. Some are older JPGs -- some are HEIF. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason.

Things I've tried so far, unsuccessfully:
  1. turning iCloud Photos off and back on
  2. rebuilding/repairing my MBP Photos library and turning on iCloud Photos
  3. copying the Photos library to a different brand new user account on my computer and doing the upload
  4. doing the upload in safe mode
  5. deleting the sync record in the Photos library file (at least based on the instructions I was able to find online) and doing the upload
  6. turning off iCloud Photos and deleting all the successfully synced photos on the iCloud web portal (1000 at a time) and also deleting them from the "Recently Deleted" web trash and then turning iCloud Photos back on.
None of these permutations worked. I have spoken to several AppleCare reps and my next step would be to talk to someone in engineering, which I haven't done yet. I do wonder if there's any sync record/preferences on my Mac that still could be the culprit. Or perhaps something on the server side. It's truly bizarre and extremely frustrating since it's the reason I upgraded to a 2TB iCloud account and having all my photos/videos available across my various Apple devices would be extremely useful for my workflow at this point.

Has anyone else experienced this issue, particularly on this scale? If it were a few dozen photos, I'd just duplicate or export them. But the idea of Apple's workaround of exporting "unmodified originals" and consequently losing thousands of edited photos is untenable. And the idea of duplicating over 20k photos - modified or not - and then deleting the originals is also a nightmare, especially given all the albums I've created over the years that would be obliterated.

Any thoughts/advice would be great appreciated!
 

haggel

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2021
4
0
Hey Man,
What do you mean you “did not TURN iCloud photos any other device”?
Has it already been enabled there? How come that that the new MBP is the source of the files? What settings do you use for iCloud photos, e.g. storage optimized, keep format, etc..

Cheers
 
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AppleTooPlus

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2017
16
15
Hey Man,
What do you mean you “did not TURN iCloud photos any other device”?
Has it already been enabled there? How come that that the new MBP is the source of the files? What settings do you use for iCloud photos, e.g. storage optimized, keep format, etc..

Cheers
Hey haggel! I didn't enable iCloud Photos on my iPhone or iPad to avoid uploading photos from multiple devices at the same time. I wanted to do the upload systematically, one device at a time, in case anything went wrong (as it did). As for why the new MBP is the source of the files... I transferred my data from my old MBP to my new one in October and, after years of delaying on trying iCloud Photos, I decided to finally pull the trigger and enable iCloud Photos to sync my 15+ years of accumulated photos/video in my Photos library. I chose "Download Originals to this Mac" since I'm not concerned about space on my MBP and I always want the full library to exist locally.
 

Fatus_Asticus

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2021
281
252
Took me a week to upload my library from my windows machine in bulk when I moved from Google photos over to iCloud. I had 300gb or so of stuff.

I didn’t pay a ton of attention to it but seemed like it would batch a certain amount of stuff out and then sit idle and do another batch. They might not let anyone exceed a certain amount of bandwidth per day or who they hell knows but it eventually all got uploaded.
 

AppleTooPlus

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2017
16
15
Took me a week to upload my library from my windows machine in bulk when I moved from Google photos over to iCloud. I had 300gb or so of stuff.
Hey Fatus - alas my issue isn't about how long it takes to upload the photos, but rather that approx 50% of the photos won't upload at all and end up in the "Unable to Upload" folder in Photos on the Mac.
 

Lunadw

macrumors newbie
Jan 7, 2022
1
0
Thanks for the tip about duplicating. I’ve got only 11 photos left out of 27,000 that won‘t upload now. It seems to have uploaded both the duplicate and the original. I am assuming that I can delete the duplicate now?

I have not contacted Apple yet. To be honest I can’t really cope with being told that I’d probably have to restore from backup. I’d rather try to figure it out myself and avoid the pain.
Hello, I am currently facing the same problem. I just wanted to ask for an update from you, if your images were then uploaded to ICloud from the “unable to upload” folder and what steps did you do to make that happen? Did the “unable to upload” folder upload to Icloud on its own with time when plugged to the power and wifi? Thank you
 
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