Download Photos To Icloud From Mac

We'll walk through a variety of ways to get your iCloud photos onto your Mac below. How to download iCloud photos to your Mac using Photos. If the number of Photos that you want to download from iCloud to PC is less than 1,000, you can follow this method to select and download up to 999 photos from iCloud to PC. If you are trying to download over 1,000 photos, you can move to the next method as provided below in this guide. Download iCloud Photos to Mac Using iCloud Data Downloader. The best and easiest way to download a lot of photos from iCloud to your Mac is to have a tool that is designed to extract the photos and export them to your computer. The best tool to help you do that is iMyFone iTransor Lite iCloud Data Downloader. This program is designed to make it. Download all photos from iCloud to an iPhone or iPad. Here is the fastest way to download all your original photos from iCloud to an iPhone: Make sure that you have enabled the iCloud Photos option on your device. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad → tap on Apple ID; Select iCloud → Photos; Tick Download and Keep Originals. Select all photos in iCloud Go to on your Mac or PC, log in and click Photos. The default view puts you in Moments, where photos are subdivided into days (or parts of days).

iCloud Photos uploads new photos and videos from your Windows PC so you can view them in the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac, and on New photos that you take automatically download from iCloud Photos and you can choose to download your entire collection by year.

Here's what you need

Before you get started, you need to sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID. Just follow the set up instructions for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch or Mac. Then follow these steps to turn on iCloud Photos on your PC with Windows 7 or later.

Learn more about iCloud system requirements.

Turn on iCloud Photos

  1. Download iCloud for Windows.
  2. Open iCloud for Windows.
  3. Next to Photos, click Options.
  4. Select iCloud Photos.
  5. Click Done, then click Apply.
  6. Turn on iCloud Photos on all of your Apple devices.

If you're using iCloud for Windows 10 or later, you can also choose to use Shared Albums, and customize the location of your Shared Albums folders.

If you're using iCloud for Windows 7, you can also choose to use My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing (Shared Albums), and customize the location of your upload and download folders.

When you turn on iCloud Photos on your PC in iCloud for Windows 7, My Photo Stream is turned off automatically. If you want to send new photos to your devices that don't use iCloud Photos, you can turn My Photo Stream back on.

Upload your photos and videos to iCloud Photos

You can upload your photos and videos from your PC to iCloud Photos when you follow these steps:

If you're using iCloud for Windows 10 or later:

  1. Open a File Explorer window.
  2. In the Navigation pane, click on iCloud Photos.
  3. In another window, open the folder where you currently store the photos that you want to add to iCloud Photos.
  4. Select the photos that you want to add.
  5. Drag them into the iCloud Photos folder.

If you're using iCloud for Windows 7:

  1. Open a File Explorer window.
  2. Under Quick Access (Favorites in Windows 7 and 8), click iCloud Photos.
  3. Click Upload photos and videos.
  4. Choose the photos and videos you want to upload and click Open.

You can view the photos and videos you uploaded in the Photos app on and on all your Apple devices.

Download your photos and videos from iCloud Photos

New photos and videos you add to iCloud Photos will automatically download to your PC. You can also download your collection by year, in iCloud for Windows 10 or earlier, when you follow these steps:

  1. On your Windows computer, open File Explorer (Windows 8 or later) or Windows Explorer (Windows 7).
  2. Click iCloud Photos in the Navigation pane. If you don’t see iCloud Photos, click Pictures in the Navigation pane, then double-click iCloud Photos.
    • If you're using iCloud for Windows 11.1, double-click a thumbnail to download the file.
    • If you're using iCloud for Windows 10 or iCloud for Windows 7: New photos and videos you add to iCloud on another device are automatically downloaded to your PC. To download older photos and videos in iCloud for Windows 10, click the Notification area in the taskbar, then click Download Photos in the iCloud Photos notification. Choose the photos and videos you want to download by year.
    • In iCloud for Windows 7, click “Download photos and videos” in the Windows Explorer toolbar. Choose the photos and videos you want to download by year, then click Download.

Your photos and videos download to the location you set in iCloud Photos Options.

In iCloud for Windows 10 or later, if a photo or video is changed on another device or on, it’s updated automatically on your PC. In iCloud for Windows version 7, you need to re-download the photos to see any updates.

Learn more

If you need help managing and using iCloud Photos with your Windows PC, you can learn more.

iCloud is a great place to store photos as it means you can access them on all of your devices, from anywhere in the world. But downloading photos to your Mac has its benefits too.

First of all, Mac has greater disk space than other iOS devices and dwarfs the 5GB of free storage offered by iCloud. You can also easily connect an external hard drive for extra storage whenever you need it. As it's recommended to backup your photos in more than one place, keeping them on your Mac makes sense. That way, you’ll be able to access them offline.

Secondly, Mac is the best platform from which to organize, manage, and edit your photos. Apps such as Spotlight and iMovie and third-party tools like Adobe Photoshop give you control over your images that no other device can offer.

But whatever your reasons, you’ve come here to find out how to get pictures from iCloud so let’s get into showing you how to do exactly that.

First, make sure your Mac has enough disk space


If you plan on downloading all of your iCloud photos to your Mac you could be looking at quite a few gigabytes, particularly so if you’re on one of the paid iCloud storage plans. So before you download, you need to check that you have enough space on your disk.

How to check your available hard drive space

On macOS 10.7 or later:

  1. Select About This Mac from the Apple menu.
  2. Click More Info, then click Storage.

On macOS 10.6 or earlier:

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Select your hard drive from the sidebar.
  3. Go to the File menu and click Get Info.

If available space is looking limited, you’ll need to remove some of the things you don’t need to make room for the incoming photos.

How to clean up your startup disk

If you’re running macOS Sierra or higher, Mac has a built-in Optimize Storage feature that stops your hard drive becoming full by moving files over to the cloud. The problem is, it moves them to iCloud which might well be already full with photos. So it’s not ideal.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on Optimize Storage. You can go ahead and free up space yourself by cleaning up cache files, getting rid of localization files, removing old iOS and iTunes backups, and emptying out the Trash. Be warned, though, not all of these methods are quick and straightforward.

If you like to know how to free up disk space manually, check out our article on “What is Startup Disk Full on Mac OS?”

Right now, though, we’re just going to show you the easy way to get rid of old files and free up space. This way involves CleanMyMac X. This utility tool scans your entire system for junk files and removes them in minutes to free up gigabytes of space.

You can download CleanMyMac X for free here. Do it now.

...Done it? Great! Here’s how to perform a Smart Cleanup to rid your system of unneeded files in a few clicks.

  1. Launch CleanMyMac X.
  2. Click on Smart Cleanup from the sidebar.
  3. Hit Scan and wait while CleanMyMac scans your system for junk files that can be safely removed.
  4. Hit Run and enjoy a whole lot more disk space.

How to download individual photos from iCloud

Now that you’ve made room for your photos, let’s look at how to download from iCloud to Mac. If you want to pick and choose which photos to save to your computer, you’ll need to download images individually.

Here’s how it’s done:

Download Photos From Icloud To Mac Catalina

  1. Open a browser and go to, then log in with your Apple ID.
  2. Click on Photos.
  3. Click on any photo that you want to download. When it loads, click the download icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Repeat with every photo that you want to download.

Any photo that you download will be sent to your Downloads folder unless you’ve specified otherwise.

How to download all photos from iCloud

Downloading individual photos is quick and easy. Unfortunately, when clicking on the download icon, there is no “download all” option. That’s because no such button exists. We wish it existed and we hope that Apple will include it in future versions of iCloud, but for now, we have to make do with a workaround.

Because Apple also decided to remove the ability to Shift+click in, you'll need to download files in bulk from the Photos app on your Mac.

Here’s how:

  1. Open Photos.
  2. When all of your images load, use Command+A to select them all.
  3. Open up the folder where you want to save the images.
  4. Drag the highlighted images into the folder. A green + icon and red number showing how many photos are about to be saved to your Mac will show.

That’s it, job done!

How To Download Photos To Icloud From Mac

You should make a regular habit of downloading images from your iCloud account to your Mac or external hard drive as an additional method of backup. It’s easy to do and ensures you can access your precious photos even if you have no internet connection. Before downloading in bulk, make sure to check how much disk space you have available and use CleanMyMac X to quickly free up a few gigabytes.

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