You have a new iPhone but an old Mac? Then the sync of documents in Pages, Numbers and Keynote is no longer possible.

numbers 6.1

We came across this circumstance because the oldest computer in our use no longer wanted to process its Numbers documents. It was a document that we had shared via the iCloud. After an update of Numbers on the iPhone to version 5.2, it could no longer be edited on the Mac. The software tells us lapidary:

Numbers update available

numbers update available
get the latest version of numbers

That’s actually nice, of course. There is even a direct link to the App Store:

To collaborate on this spreadsheet, get the latest version of Numbers from the App Store or use Numbers on

Problem: the Mac is older and runs under 10.13 High Sierra – which still gets one year of updates. Problem: the Numbers update is only possible with 10.14 and better. Ha. Ha.

This document/presentation can not be shared

This circumstance affects not only Numbers, but also Pages and Keynote.

this document cant be shared

this presentation cant be shared

To share this document/presentation Pages/Keynote use Pages/Keynote on iCloud or on a newer Mac.

This is extremely annoying if you replace your devices one after the other and replace them only when they don’t get any more updates. This time Apple seems to have intentionally built in an incompatibility.

Pages, Numbers and Keynote updates are incompatible with macOS 10.13 High Sierra

A phone call to Apple brought the following to light (after a few days of waiting and staff that was really trying): It’s just like that. The moment your iPhone or iPad is updated to iOS 13, the data that ends up in the iCloud automatically becomes incompatible with older Pages, Numbers and Keynote versions.

The reason is the update to iOS 13 – with iOS 12 it’s still possible

These then have to be updated to 8.2, 9.2. and 6.2 – which is not possible under macOS 10.13 High Sierra. So if you have such a combination running then all Macs under 10.13 won’t get access to the documents anymore. Too bad.

pages keynote numbers update high sierra

What’s annoying about this is that you don’t get a warning. Also on request, the Apple employee couldn’t give us a support document in which this circumstance could have been foreseen. Furthermore, when updating the iOS Apps, no questions are asked – as for example with the reminders app, which then becomes incompatible with the CalDAV protocol.