Previous 1 2 3 Next 37 Replies Latest reply: Aug 20, 2015 8:36 AM by mn_ny
Charlie Evans Level 1 (0 points)

I have a few documents in iCloud that suddenly will not open on any iOS device or download through a browser on a Mac. I created these documents a few weeks ago and have edited them several times, not all of the sudden when I click on the icon on an iPhone or an iPad the icon flashes but it doesn't open, and when I try to download them with Safari I get an error saying they can't be downloaded.


What is going on? How can I get to my documents? As I am sure you can imagine, these are important files that I need to be able to open. Hours and hours of work here that can't be easily reproduced.

  • Charlie Evans Level 1 (0 points)

    I take it from the silence that no one has any suggestions. I emailed Apple and received the same. I know this is just a product/service that Apple provides, and nothing is perfect, but I'm kind of floored by this. There is no way to get my documents, even an earlier version. I was up until 2 last night trying to rewrite one of these documents for a presentation this morning.


    I definitely cant use iCloud anymore, I just can't risk this happening again.

  • ebengtso Level 1 (15 points)

    Happened to me too. I strongly advise people to not use iCloud as backup solution. ICloud is ok for sync, but be aware that you cannot restore files to previous versions.


    I lost a very important document that I have been editing for months! I assumed using iCloud/iWork combination was  a safe store, but i did not know it is not.

  • zisper Level 1 (0 points)

    I'll chime in with a "me too".  iWork for iCloud is horribly unreliable, I've lost many documents due to corruption from its poor syncing.  (The document is still visible as an icon, but cannot be opened, fowarded etc etc.)

  • nicreid Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the same problem although it seems to be with only one document.  Problem is it just happens to be the document I have been working on for several weeks now!!!


    There is an icon with the document title listed in the app, but pages either freezes or just flashes when I try to open it.  If I try to convert it to a word doc or pdf by emailing it, then pages just crashes altogether.


    Apple, please fix this. 

  • BusterTheBus Level 1 (0 points)

    Same problem here. Can see the document in preview on the iPhone and iPad, but it does nothing when I click it. If I try to "download" it on the iCloud website, it tells me "Document cannot be downloaded".


    Thank God I keep it saved separately on a Windows computer, or it would be gone. Not promoting for windows, I'm a big apple fan, but thems the facts.


    I CAN open the instructional document that came with pages fine, but not my other document. Tried making a copy and opening that, but no dice there either. Re-uploaded it, seems to be okay now. If this is a corruption issue as common as it appears to be on the message boards, the product is worthless, and I'll be demanding my money back.


    Bottom line- DO NOT count on this to be a safe spot to record info, you may not get it back.

  • David Purdie Level 1 (0 points)

    I can't help with this but want to add another 'me too'. I spent several days writing 3 articles for magazine publication. They are all now still on my devices - iphone/ipad/icloud on the web, but can't be opened, read, edited or downloaded. What a mess. As a mac user of 20 years this type of problem is becoming much more common than we ever experienced in the past.

  • AndrewNotAndy Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here. Document that previously worked fine can not be opened any longer...

  • kathryn d. Level 1 (0 points)

    Another Same here... this has never happened before.  I was using the document this afternoon, no problems.   I can now see it as a thumbnail, but when I open it, it flashes and disappears.  Won't email, convert or save.  C'mon Apple, fix this please.

  • texinick Level 1 (15 points)

    Hey all, I'm not sure if this is related to the same problem you're encountering, but I thought I'd re-post this here in case it helps anyone.


    I opened up Pages & Numbers on my iPad this evening, and all the icons were black.  Clicking on any of them gave me the 'Document can't be opened' message.  If I signed into, I couldn't download the documents either.


    After a lot of messing around, it seems like it was something to do with file conflicts. Maybe this all happened when I updated to iOS 5.1 or the new Pages/Numbers App updates last week?  I don't know, but somewhere along the line, the file conflicts were blocking all documents from being accessed and synced properly.


    The way I fixed it was to fire up Pages & Numbers on my iPhone.  It showed me my documents, but when I clicked on them, they told me there were conflicts in the files, and presented me with two options, one a black icon, the other a normal document icon.  I clicked on the normal one, and the document seemed to open and load. Additionally, with Numbers at least, the files all updated on the iPad too, and all the documents could now be downloaded via  I had an issue with Pages on the iPad, in that it wasn't updating the documents as I was fixing them on the iPhone, so I simply uninstalled Pages on the iPad, and then re-installed.  Once iCloud was enabled, all the documents loaded up properly.


    I really can't say if this is the same issue you're experiencing, but I figured I'd mention it.. just in case!!


    Also, another tip.. until iCloud gets fixed-up good 'n proper, for your own piece of mind, whenever you edit a document in Pages/Numbers/Keynote, just before you finish-up, hit the 'wrench' icon, choose the 'Share and Print' option, and then click 'Save to iTunes'.  Choose the first file type, and it'll save a copy in a different location on your iPad.  It only adds a few seconds to your workflow, but could save you a LOT of heartache.  If a file gets corrupted by Pages or deleted/corrupted by iCloud, you can simply click the + button on the Documents page, and select 'Copy from iTunes'.  This will show you all the documents you saved. They'll also show up in iTunes should you want to pull them off the iPad quickly. 


    Good luck!

  • Charlie Evans Level 1 (0 points)

    Your final tip is very helpful. That's sort of a round-about way of doing manual backups, but it would allow you to at least have something to fall back on if the original file gets corrupted in iCloud. Thanks!

  • JasonBB Level 1 (25 points)

    Hi Charlie,


    Judging by the time you have probably already sorted it but I had a similar issue recently and managed to get uncorrupted copys from my time machine backup.  Check out my post with the links on how to fix it.

  • Llibbill Level 1 (0 points)

    I am also having this issue. Documents in Pages on the iPad won't backup to iCloud, and documents in iCloud won't download to the ipad. I've tried everything - turning the documents setting in iCloud preferences off and on, uninstalling and reinstalling Pages, restarting my iPad, using different networks to get online... Nothing works. Very unfortunate, because I really liked the idea of iCloud, and it was working before. I had even paid for more storage, but I cancelled for next year since this wont work. Too bad... :-(

  • JasonBB Level 1 (25 points)

    Hi there,


    Me and my IT guy figured out the problem, somehow the documents on iCloud lost their extension, I re added .pages or .numbers extension and the problem was solved.

  • Llibbill Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey, great! Thanks so much!

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