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Explained: What caused Apple iCloud outage?

Apple’s iCloud services experienced a nearly 8-hour outage Wednesday, with users complaining that they were unable to login and access some of the services. What exactly happened? Why is iCloud important?

Written by Shruti Dhapola , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 26, 2022 11:04:47 pm
Some aspects of Apple’s iCloud services were not accessible to users.

Apple’s iCloud services experienced an outage Wednesday, with users complaining that they were unable to login and access some of the services. The outage lasted nearly eight hours, according to reports.

Downdetector, a website that tracks global outages for popular websites, also showed an outage for iCloud with a majority of users reporting issues related to login, file access and server connection. Apple’s own system status also indicated that there was an issue, which has been resolved now. Here’s a quick look at the Apple iCloud outage.

What happened with Apple iCloud?

Some aspects of Apple’s iCloud services were not accessible to users. The services impacted, according to Apple’s System Status page, were iCloud Mail, Game Centre, Apple Card, Photos, iCloud Storage upgrades and iCloud Web apps (which is iCloud.com).

Users were unable to access these services or faced problems with them. With the iCloud website, some users were unable to login, according to DownDetector.

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Apple now shows that all of these problems have been resolved. It has not issued a statement on what caused the problem. The outage appears to have been a global one, though it is not clear if all users were impacted.

Why is iCloud important?

iCloud is the cloud-based service that Apple uses for its devices, and it is the backbone for many key functions. Users can backup their devices, store photos, notes, files, even passwords from the Safari browser and their iOS or macOS device via iCloud. For Apple users, this is a crucial service for backups, setting up a new device, etc and if it fails as it did today, it results in many problems.

Some users complained on Twitter they were not able to sign into the services during the outage. There were problems with iMessage as well, which relies on iCloud for syncing chats.

Some got an error message saying verification of iCloud had failed on their device. Reports indicate users could not log into the iCloud website, while others faced issues accessing app-passwords which are saved in the iCloud Keychain.

What has Apple said on the issue?

Apple is yet to respond to the outage. It has not given any statement. Given how crucial Apple’s iCloud services are to its devices, users would want answers on what went wrong. In the past, when Meta (formerly Facebook) faced a long outage which lasted six hours, it had issued a statement explaining what went wrong. Google had also done the same when it faced a similar outage in December 2020.

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