What happened with the Apple iCloud outage?

26 Jan 2022

Image: © Aleksei/Stock.adobe.com

Panicked users took to Twitter wondering if their accounts had been hacked, before the company confirmed there was an issue.

Apple users across the world reported difficulties accessing their iCloud account and related services with their Apple ID yesterday (25 January).

Reports began to appear on social media last night with confused users wondering if they’d been hacked – leading to ‘Apple ID’ trending on Twitter.

Future Human

According to Apple’s system status page, there were issues related to iCloud services such as backup, mail, storage upgrades and web apps, as well as Apple Photos and Game Centre.

Apple said some users may have been unable to backup data or access services for a period of around four hours, but all issues have now been resolved.

Some users reported being unable to log into iCloud, while others received error messages about an issue connecting to Apple ID servers when trying to sign into specific apps. While not all users were affected, issues were reported in multiple countries and languages.

AppleInsider reported that some of its staffers could view files stored on iCloud on one device but not on another, while others were able to access services such as Apple Music on their iPhones but not on a Mac.

“Apple services have been fairly stable, so this incident stands out,” Alp Toker, director at internet watchdog NetBlocks, told the Financial Times. “The incident was unusual enough that users around the world blamed their own devices or their internet providers.”

Just a day before the outage was reported, Apple Support on Twitter posted a video explaining what an Apple ID is and how users can keep it safe. “It should be unique, secure and never be shared,” the tweet read.

The account has been responding to individual tweets about the outage and directing users with questions to the Apple ID support page.

Last month, a major outage at Amazon Web Services caused problems for many major websites, including streaming sites Netflix and Disney+ as well as e-commerce giant’s own suite of services – just around the busy time of Christmas holidays.

In October, Meta platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were all down for several hours after a “cascading” network issue took out all of the company’s services for billions of people across the world in its worst outage in years.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic