iCloud on my Mac

2019 MBP Catalina Photos not syncing down from iCloud

I signed out of iCloud on my 2019 MBP Catalina and my iPad to try to get Sidecar working again (it didn't work; I've given up on it) and ever since doing that a couple of days ago my Photos app on my MBP stopped syncing down from iCloud (although it does sync up to iCloud). I have all the settings as they should be, but I can't get it to trigger a sync.

I have:

  1. rebooted the computer
  2. tried unchecking and checking Photos in the "what apps use iCloud" option
  3. checked online (the photos are all there)
  4. created a smart folder with pictures that can't be uploaded to iCloud (pointless, because the problem is syncing down, not up, but it was recommended everywhere, so I tried it)

When I uncheck and check Photos in the "what apps use iCloud" option, my computer starts running really intensively, and programs called photolibraryd, photoanalysisd, Photos, and com.security.apple.pboxd start using a lot of memory. So it looks like it's trying to do something, but I'm not sure what, and there's no result.

iCloud pictures are syncing just fine everywhere else, including the iPad on which I signed out of iCloud in order to fix Sidecar.

Is there anything else that I can do?

(I don't want to sign out of iCloud again, because the @#$% process actually asked me for a long-unused password on a long-dead, long-gone computer I used to have, a password I never used on my current MBP, which nearly locked me out of iCloud for good. Luckily I remembered the password, but who knows what random things it'll ask for when I log in again in the future. So signing out is not an option. Plus, signing out and signing back in is what caused this problem to begin with, so it's unlikely to fix the situation.)

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