5 solutions when iCloud messages keep popping up on your Mac

iCloud is a fantastic service, allowing you to store and share documents, sync data and offload photos and videos from your Mac and iOS devices into the Cloud. But iCloud does more than that. It keeps your Safari bookmarks in sync, it can look after your passwords and private data, allow you to use Find My and allows Home devices to communicate.

However, occasionally it doesn’t work as it should and things go wrong. Usually, it’s nothing serious and can be easily fixed. But on those occasions, seeing iCloud pop-up with messages on your Mac is very frustrating. Here’s how to fix it.

How to stop iCloud pop up on Mac 

One of the most common pop-ups is when your Mac keeps asking for your iCloud password. It seems like your iCloud password is not working on your Mac, but that’s not the case. In macOS Catalina you may get a message saying that you need to update AppleID or that you need to provide more information. And you’ll see a badge on the AppleID section of System Preferences.

  1. Check if your Mac is running the latest version of macOS
  • Go to the Apple menu and choose About this Mac.
  • Press Software Update.
  • If there is an update available, choose Update Now. If not, close the window.
  • Wait for your Mac to update and restart.

 2. Re-enter passwords

If iCloud keeps popping up, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  • If you’re running macOS Catalina, choose the Apple ID pane. If you’re running an older version of macOS, choose iCloud.
  • At this stage, iCloud may ask you for your iCloud password or your Mac’s login and password. Pay attention to which one has been requested and type it in.
  • You may now be asked for the other password (iCloud or Mac), type that in too.
  • Depending on the version of the OS you're running and what’s causing the problem, you may be asked again for those passwords. This may seem like an endless loop, but usually it stops asking after you’ve typed them in a couple of times.
  • When it stops asking if you’re running Catalina, you should notice the badge on the Apple ID pane disappear.

3. Enable Keychain Access

If that doesn’t solve the problem, it's time to dig deeper. Some users have reported that the problem went away when they enabled iCloud Keychain Access. Here’s how to check if you have that enabled and how to enable it if not.

  • In macOS Catalina, go to System Preferences > Apple ID. In older versions of macOS, it’s System Preferences > iCloud.
  • Scroll through the list of services in the main window and look for Keychain Access.
  • If it’s not checked already, check the box next to it.
  • Quit System Preferences and restart your Mac.

If your Mac keeps asking for your iCloud password, don’t worry, there are more steps you can try.

4. iCloud authorization

Log out of iCloud and back in again.

  • Go to System Preferences>Apple ID if you’re running macOS Catalina or System Preferences > iCloud if you’re using an older version of macOS.
  • Choose Sign Out, or in Catalina, Overview then Sign Out, and wait until you are completely signed out of iCloud.
  • You will be asked if you want to keep a copy of your iCloud data on your Mac. You can choose to do that if you wish, however, as you will be signing back in again immediately, it’s not necessary.
  • Repeat step 1, but this time choose ‘Sign in’ or Overview and then Sign in.
  • Type in your iCloud username and password.

5. Delete system junk

Pretty much half of computer issues are caused by cached data or system junk. Often, when you click a button and nothing happens, it because your Mac is mistakenly reacting to the old, cached data stored on your drive. That’s why deleting cache (browser cache or app cache) helps a lot. 

The easy way to clean it up is with a dedicated app. No one knows which app exactly could be conflicting with iCloud, so it’s better to automatically clean out all your old cache.

You can try CleanMyMac X – a Mac cleaner that is notarized by Apple.

  1. Download CleanMyMac X free version
  2. Launch the app and choose System Junk.

In the same app, you could try and run the so-called “maintenance scripts.”

This will optimize certain databases on your Mac to smoothen your Mac’s performance. 

  1. While in CleanMyMac X, choose Maintenance from the sidebar.
  2. Press View all Tasks.
  3. Choose Run Maintenance Scripts. These scripts clear out temporary files, archive logs, and rebuild the system database.
  4. Press Run.

More ideas to try:

  • Change your iCloud password
  • Reboot your Mac or iDevice
  • Change your email on iTunes / AppStore account

iCloud pop-ups, such as when your Mac keeps asking for your iCloud password, can be very annoying. Unfortunately, there is no single cause so they can be difficult to eliminate, especially if you’re running macOS Catalina. However, by following the steps above, you should be able to stop it from happening. Additionally, it’s a good idea to run maintenance scripts regularly to keep your Mac running smoothly, and you can do that using CleanMyMac X. 

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