Some iCloud users are having issues syncing with iCloud Drive, Photos, and downloading backup after updating to iOS 16.3, and it all seems to be related to a lack of two-factor authentication.
In posts to Apple’s support forums and on Reddit, as well as to a reader who contacted AppleInsider, there seems to be a problem for some users trying to interact with iCloud. The instances follow the iOS 16.3 update which brought security changes to allow the use of physical security keys to secure accounts, as well as the extension of advanced data protection outside of the states. -United.
User reports explain that they see a message saying “An unexpected error has occurred. Please try again later” after trying to enable previously active and working features, which were disabled after the update. These features include iCloud Drive and iCloud Backup, among others.
A common thread in user reports is that two-factor authentication is not enabled in most cases. In some cases, tracking reports indicate that enabling two-factor authentication for Apple ID can be a workaround, but not everyone wants to enable this security feature on their account.
There are also a few reports where users are experiencing the same issue but have already enabled two-factor authentication, so it might be due to something else.
According to Apple’s iCloud Data Security Overview, “All new Apple IDs require two-factor authentication” to activate on an account, and that it’s also required for various other ecosystem features, such as end-to-end encryption.
Apple rolled out Advanced Data Protection in the US in December 2022, which adds end-to-end encryption to iCloud Drive, device and message backups, photos and more. The feature was expanded to other countries on January 23.
It also looks like some users have been trying to get help from Apple Support, and it looks like Apple is aware that something is going on with the system.