What Is Messages in iCloud? How to Enable It? All Your Questions Answered

What Is Messages in iCloud? How to Enable It? All Your Questions Answered
  • Messages in iCloud syncs your iMessages and texts across Apple devices
  • If you delete messages from one device, this will delete them from all
  • You need to enable it manually on each device

Messages in iCloud is a new feature for Apple devices that was introduced with iOS 11.4. This feature was announced all the way back at WWDC 2017 and Apple shipped it just now. This feature essentially takes your messages (iMessages as well as text messages aka SMS from your phone) to iCloud to enable better syncing across devices. We understand that you have plenty of unanswered questions about this feature and we will try to fix that. Here’s all you need to know about Messages in iCloud.

What is Messages in iCloud?

It’s what the name says — your messages will now be synced via iCloud. This should theoretically improve the messaging experience with iMessage as well as texting for those who use multiple Apple devices. If you keep any of these devices offline for a while, you will notice that it takes time for messages to sync. The new feature should fix these woes. Like we said, in addition to iMessages, Messages in iCloud also syncs your text messages or SMS.

If you delete any messages on one device, this feature will delete them automatically from all of your devices. Theoretically that’s a big convenience, but at times we’ve deleted messages accidentally on one device but managed to recover them thanks to another device that was also online at the same time, so that means you will now need to be extra careful while deleting anything!

Is Messages in iCloud enabled by default?

No, Messages in iCloud is not enabled by default. You have to enable it manually for every device.

How do I enable Messages in iCloud?

On your iOS device follow these steps to enable Messages in iCloud.

  1. Go to Settings > tap your name > iCloud.
  2. Tap the button next to Messages and enable it. If the button is green, the feature will be enabled.

On Mac, head to the Messages app and follow these steps.

  1. Click Messages in the top bar.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Now check the box next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

messages in icloud mac apple Messages in iCloud

Why can’t I find this feature on my Mac?

The Messages in iCloud feature isn’t out yet and is likely to come to the Mac with the next software update — 10.13.5. Just sit tight until it releases.

I see an error message like: “Messages have not been fully downloaded”. What do I do?

If you enabled Messages in iCloud but aren’t seeing messages from other devices, it probably is because syncing is incomplete. When you first sync Messages via iCloud, you will have to connect your device to Wi-Fi and connect it to power (or keep it charging) and wait for messages to sync. Once syncing is completed, this feature will work as advertised.

Deleted messages are not syncing across my iOS devices. Why?

This is probably because you haven’t enabled it on one device or messages didn’t finish syncing on one of the devices. Just check if all message threads have synced on both devices, and it should work as expected after that.

Got any more questions about Messages in iCloud? Ask us via the comments. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.


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Further reading: Apple, iMessages, Messages in iCloud
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