Messages in iCloud, as the name suggests, stores your iMessages in Apple's cloud servers rather than on each of your individual devices, which has a number of benefits.

iphone x macbook hero imessage how to
When you receive a message on one device, it shows up on all devices logged into the same ‌iCloud‌ account. Likewise, when you delete messages and conversations they are instantly removed from all your devices.

Another advantage of the feature is that your messages, photos, and other message attachments are stored in ‌iCloud‌, which frees up space on your devices. In addition, all your messages appear when you sign into a new device with the same ‌iCloud‌ account.

To make sure that Messages in ‌iCloud‌ is turned on for you, follow these steps.

How to Enable Messages in iCloud on iOS

Bear in mind that iOS 11.4 or later must be running on your device for the feature to work.

  1. If you haven't already, enable two-factor authentication on your Apple account.
  2. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  3. Tap your name in the banner at the top.
    settings

  4. Tap iCloud.
  5. Make sure the switch next to Messages is toggled to its green ON position.

How to Enable Messages in iCloud on Mac

Note that Messages in ‌iCloud‌ only works on Macs running macOS High Sierra (10.13.5) or later.

  1. Launch the Messages app on your Mac – you can find it in the Applications folder. It can also be found in the Dock on new Macs.
    messages

  2. If this is your first time using Messages on Mac, you'll be asked to sign in. Enter the same Apple ID that you use with Messages on your ‌iPhone‌ and other Apple devices.
    messages

  3. If you have two-step or two-factor authentication turned on for your ‌Apple ID‌, enter your verification code.
  4. Select Messages -> Preferences... in the menu bar.
    messages

  5. Select the iMessage tab.
    messages

  6. Tick the box next to Enable Messages in iCloud.

What to Do if Downloading Messages From iCloud Gets Stuck

iCloud
When you enable Messages in ‌iCloud‌, your device will start downloading messages from other devices. This should only take a few minutes, but some users have reported that it can take hours, or otherwise go on indefinitely as if it's stuck. If you encounter this problem, here are a few things you can try to resolve it.

  • Check that Apple's ‌iCloud‌ servers are operating normally. You can find out the status of Apple's services by going to the System Status website.
  • Double-check that all your devices are logged into the same ‌Apple ID‌ / ‌iCloud‌ account.
  • Disable Messages in ‌iCloud‌, then re-enable it.
  • Restart your devices.
  • On your devices, sign out of ‌iCloud‌, wait a minute or two, then sign back in again. To log out on iOS, open the Settings app, tap the banner with your name at the top, scroll down and tap Sign Out. On Mac, open System Preferences, click the iCloud pane, then select Sign Out.

With Messages in ‌iCloud‌ enabled, you'll probably want to be more careful when it comes to deleting messages, as once they're gone on one device, they're gone on all your devices. You'll get a confirmation prompt when deleting entire threads of messages, but individual messages don't offer this prompt, so that's just something to keep in mind.

Top Stories

whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
pink squares macos

Apple Investigating Issue With 'Pink Squares' Appearing on Displays Connected to M1 Mac Mini

Sunday February 21, 2021 11:08 am PST by
In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple informed service providers that it is aware of and investigating an issue that may result in "pink squares or pixels" appearing on displays connected to an M1 Mac mini. Image via Twitter user @FatihVidyograf This issue has been reported by users across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, and Reddit since the M1 Mac mini...
Top Stories 47 Feature

Top Stories: More iOS 14.5 Beta Changes, iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Watch Charging Issue Fixed

Saturday February 20, 2021 6:00 am PST by
Apple is continuing to tweak things during the iOS 14.5 beta testing period, and it looks like there will be some nice changes coming in the update when it's released to the public in a month or so. This week also saw the release of a watchOS bug fix update for Series 5 and Series SE owners, addressing a serious issue where their watches may not charge after entering Power Reserve mode,...
google chrome macos big sur

Chrome Used 10X More RAM Than Safari on macOS Big Sur in Recent Test [Updated]

Saturday February 20, 2021 12:52 pm PST by
Under normal and lightweight web browsing, Google Chrome uses 10x more RAM than Safari on macOS Big Sur, according to a test conducted by Flotato creator Morten Just (via iMore). In a blog post, Just outlines that he put both browsers to the test in two scenarios on the latest version of macOS. The first test was conducted on a virtual machine, and the second on a 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
maxresdefault

Revisiting Apple's MagSafe Leather Wallet After 3 Months of Usage

Saturday February 20, 2021 8:04 am PST by
Back in November when Apple's MagSafe-compatible Leather Wallet first launched, MacRumors videographer Dan took a look at the accessory and ended up disliking it because of the weak magnetic connection. Dan kept using the Leather Wallet despite its flaws, and after three months with the accessory, his opinion has changed and he wanted to share some new thoughts on it. Subscribe to the ...