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Preslav Rachev
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How to Fix Stuck iCloud Syncing on macOS

·1 min
UPDATE (13 Sep 2023): Check out Part 2 for more tips on a deeper technical investigation.

Apple’s iCloud syncing has become reliable over the years, but lately, I have started seeing problems again. For reference, check the image below. My Mac will stay stuck on syncing my Obsidian notes to iCloud. I assume that the same file gets somehow “locked”, because multiple devices have access to update it. Whatever the reason, it is annoying as hell.

The Fix #

One reliable solution is restarting the computer. When a computer gets stuck in a shared state, the best solution is to start it again. Of course, doing that a few times per day would surely break anyone’s workflow. There has to be a less intrusive solution.

So far, the best solution I have found is finding the service that syncs to iCloud (called bird), and killing its process, forcing macOS to start it again and resume the synchronization.

To do that, open the Activity Monitor and search for bird.

Click on it, and tap the button above that looks like an “x”. It will ask you to “Quit” or “Force Quit” the application. Hit “Force Quit”, and you should hopefully see bird get restarted and finish syncing.

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