How Long Does It Take to Sync Photos to iCloud & How to Speed Up?


We may take a lot of photos to record the memories in our daily lives. In order to save iPhone storage, many users like to upload these photos to iCloud. Then, the question arises: How long does it take to sync photos to iCloud? Please check this guide and you will find everything you want to know.


Part 1. How Long Does It Take to Sync Photos to iCloud?

How long does it take to upload photos to iCloud? In fact, the reasons for how long to sync photos to iCloud vary depending on multiple factors. The common reasons are the number and size of photos and network speed. Generally speaking, if you only have a few photos to sync, it may only take a few seconds or minutes. However, if you have thousands or even more photos, and each photo has a large file size, it may take several hours or even longer.

How long does it take to upload 10,000 photos to iCloud? According to different amounts of photos, we made a test and got the result as follows:

how long does it take to upload photos to icloud

You can refer to these data, but they need to be more accurate, and you still need to make decisions based on your actual situation.

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Part 2. Why Does It Take So Long to Upload Photos?

How long does it take for iCloud to sync photos? After you finish reading Part 1, you will find the answer. Then, a new question arises: Why does it take so long to upload photos to iCloud? The possible reasons are as follows:

  • Internet Speed: If the network speed is slow or unstable, the sync process will be slow.
  • Photo Number and Size: If you have a lot of photos and each photo has a large file size, the sync process will take longer.
  • Device Performance: If the device's performance is poor, the ability to process photo data will be limited.
  • iCloud Storage: If iCloud storage is not enough, it will hinder the upload process.
  • iCloud Server: If the iCloud server is currently under heavy load, the speed of processing requests will be slower, resulting in longer photo upload times.
  • Device Battery Level: If the device's battery level is low or it is in power-saving mode, the speed of iCloud photo synchronization may be limited.

Further Reading:

Top 7 Solutions to Fix iCloud Photos Stuck at 1%

Deciphering the Query: Does iCloud Backup Include Photos?

Part 3. How to Speed Up the iCloud Photo Upload Process?

After we learn about the reasons why uploading photos takes so long, are there some ways to speed up this process? Check this part to learn some tricks to do this.

Trick 1. Change to a Fast Network

First of all, you must ensure that your network is stable and the speed is fast. If not, you can change to a fast and stable network to speed up the sync process. Here are some tips you can try:

  • If you have a large amount of photos, consider using a Wi-Fi network to start syncing rather than cellular.
  • Place your device closer to the Wi-Fi router for a stronger signal.
  • Reduce other bandwidth-heavy activities while syncing photos.

change to a fast network

Trick 2. Charge the Device

Another trick to speed up the sync process is to charge your iPhone. If your device has enough battery power, the upload speed will also increase. You'd better use an official charging cable and adapter for the best performance.

Trick 3. Update Your Device

You can also update your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to speed up the upload process. To do this, follow the steps below:

For iPhone/iPad: Go to "Settings" > "General" > "Software Update". If there is an update available, follow the instructions to download and install the latest version.

update your iphone/ipad

For Mac: Go to "Settings" > "System Preferences" > "Software Update". If there is an update available, click "Upgrade Now" to download the latest version.

update your mac

Trick 4. Free Up iCloud Storage

To speed up the sync process, you can try to free up your iCloud storage. If the iCloud storage is not enough, you can delete some unwanted files to make room. Of course, if you like, you can upgrade your iCloud storage. Just go to "Settings" > Apple ID > "iCloud" > "Manage Storage" to see your iCloud storage usage.

free up icloud storage

Trick 5. Restart iCloud Sync

If you have tried the tricks mentioned above, the process still remains slow or stagnant. You can try turning off iCloud photos sync and turn it on again after a moment to see if this process becomes faster. To do this, just follow the steps below:

Step 1. Go to "Settings" > "Apple ID" > "iCloud".

Step 2. Choose the "Photos" option and turn off "iCloud Photos".

Step 3. Turn on "iCloud Photos" again after a while.

restart icloud sync

Learn More:

How Long to Transfer Data from iPhone to iPhone 15/15 Pro? Find Out Here

Do Photos Stay on iCloud if Deleted from iPhone? How to Recover Them?

Part 4. Best iCloud Alternative to Transfer Photos [Faster]

How long does it take to sync photos to iCloud? We have already discussed this issue in detail in the previous section. If you want to transfer your photos for a backup or to free up your iPhone storage, is there a faster way to do this? Certainly, Coolmuster iOS Assistant is one such tool that can help you quickly transfer your photos to your computer or vice versa. What's more, it doesn't need a network connection.

Key features of Coolmuster iOS Assistant:

  • Transfer photos and videos between your iPhone, iPad, and computer with one click.
  • One-click to backup and restore your iOS devices.
  • Support multiple file types, not limited to photos and videos, including contacts, messages, music and so on.
  • Directly edit, add, and delete iOS data on your PC/Mac.
  • Work on the latest iPhone 15 and iOS 17.

Here is how to use iOS Assistant to transfer photos from your iPhone to your computer:

01Download and launch this program. Connect your iOS device to your computer via a USB cable.

02Trust your device. When this program detects your device, you will see the main interface as below.

the main interface of ios assistant

03Go to the "Photos" folder on the left, and choose the specific items you want to transfer. Once selected, click the"Export" button to start the transfer process.

how to transfer photos from iphone to computer using ios assistant

Video Tutorial:

Final Verdict

How long does it take to sync photos to iCloud? You have known the answer clearly. In short, the syncing time for iCloud photos varies due to multiple factors. You can try the tricks we listed to speed up the upload process. However, if you are looking for a faster transfer process without a network connection, you can give Coolmuster iOS Assistant a chance, which is a powerful iOS manager tool that never depresses you.

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