How to make your iPhone or iPad use Messages in iCloud

2 June 2018, 01:07

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If you’ve updated to iOS 11.4 you might think that the new Messages in iCloud feature works automatically.

But sadly you’d be wrong. You’ll need to specifically enable it. My guess would be that you need to do this because Messages in iCloud might eat a good chunk of your iCloud storage space, so if Apple enabled it by default then they’d be faced with complaints from users that suddenly their iCloud storage was full.

I assume in these steps that you’re already using iCloud and that your iOS device is signed-in – and, of course, that you have sufficient storage space for your Messages to sync to the cloud.

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap the main iCloud heading at the top of the list (or top left on an iPad) – the one that displays your name and Apple ID photo.
  2. In the following screen (or to the right of the main heading list on an iPad), tap the iCloud heading.
  3. Scroll down until the Messages switch is visible and tap it so that it’s activated. Main feature illustration
  4. Open the Messages app and you’ll see that syncing is taking place because there will be a message at the bottom reading something like, “Uploading Messages to iCloud” or “Downloading Messages from iCloud”. Notably, it appears the uploading of messages won’t take place unless your iPhone or iPad is using Wi-Fi, and also is being charged (see screenshot below, and as a side note spot Apple’s anachronistic phrasing asking that you “plug in” your device – I use wireless charging for my iPhone so this technically makes no sense!). However, it appears downloading of synced messages will take place under any circumstances, pretty much as it always has for incoming messages.
Main feature illustration


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