Complete Guide on How to Download All Photos from iCloud

For many Apple users, iCloud is a vital tool for storing photos and videos. However, there may come a time when you need to download all photos from iCloud—whether for backup purposes, device switching, or just to have a local copy. This guide will walk you through the entire process, ensuring you can access your memories anytime, anywhere.

1. iCloud Photo Library

Before learning how to download all photos from iCloud, it’s important to understand what iCloud Photo Library is. It’s a feature that keeps your photos and videos stored in iCloud, so they are accessible on any device, at any time, as long as you are connected to the internet. This synchronization ensures all your devices have the latest version of every photo you take.

2. Preparing to Download Photos

Before you start to download all photos from iCloud, make sure you have enough storage space on the device you plan to download them to. This can be a computer, external hard drive, or another form of digital storage. Ensure your device is connected to a stable internet connection to facilitate a smooth download process.

3. How to Download All Photos from iCloud on an iPhone or iPad

To download all photos from iCloud directly to your iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos, and ensure iCloud Photos is turned on. Then, visit the Photos app, select the photos you wish to download, tap the Share button, and choose ‘Save Image’ to save the photos to your device.

4. Using to Download Photos

For users who prefer to download their photos via a web browser, provides a straightforward solution. Simply log into your iCloud account, select Photos, and you can manually select individual photos or click “Select Photos” at the top to choose multiple images. After selection, click the download button to start downloading your photos.

5. Downloading All Photos at Once Using a PC

If you need to download all photos from iCloud to a PC, you’ll first need to ensure you have iCloud for Windows installed and set up. Open the iCloud application, select Options next to Photos, then check the box for iCloud Photo Library. Choose ‘Download new photos and videos to my PC,’ and click Done. iCloud will automatically download all photos to the location you specify.

6. Mac Users: Downloading Photos via Photos App

Mac users can download all photos from iCloud by opening the Photos app and ensuring iCloud Photos is enabled in Preferences under the iCloud section. Once confirmed, simply select the photos you want to download, go to File > Export > Export Unmodified Original, and select where you want to save them.

7. Handling Large Photo Libraries

When learning how to download all photos from iCloud, handling large libraries can be challenging due to space and bandwidth limitations. Consider downloading in batches or using an Ethernet connection if Wi-Fi is unstable, and ensure you have sufficient data storage available.

8. What to Do After Downloading

Once you have learned how to download all photos from iCloud and completed the process, it’s important to verify that all files have been saved correctly. Check the integrity of the downloads by opening various files and ensure your backup is stored securely in more than one location if possible.

9. Tips for Managing iCloud Storage

After you download all photos from iCloud, managing your iCloud storage becomes easier. You can delete old or unnecessary photos from iCloud to free up space, knowing you have a local copy saved. Regularly review your iCloud storage to optimize space and manage backups effectively.

10. Alternatives to iCloud for Photo Storage

If downloading all photos from iCloud frequently becomes cumbersome, consider using alternative cloud services like Google Photos, Dropbox, or Amazon Photos. These platforms offer different features and storage plans that might better suit your photo storage needs.


Knowing how to download all photos from iCloud can free up online storage space, secure personal data, and allow greater flexibility in how you access your digital memories. Whether you’re using an iOS device, a Mac, or a PC, the process can be straightforward if you follow the steps outlined in this guide. Manage your digital memories effectively and ensure your cherished moments are always within reach.


Q1: Can I download all photos from iCloud at once?

A1: Yes, you can download all your photos at once by using iCloud for Windows on a PC, or the Photos app on a Mac. Each platform offers tools to download multiple photos simultaneously.

Q2: Will downloading photos from iCloud delete them from the cloud?

A2: No, downloading photos onto a device or computer does not automatically delete them from iCloud. If you wish to remove photos from iCloud, you must delete them manually after downloading.

Q3: What happens if I run out of storage space while downloading photos?

A3: If you run out of storage space during the download process, the download will pause. You will need to free up space before resuming the download.

Q4: Can I choose a specific folder to save my photos when downloading from iCloud?

A4: Yes, on a PC or Mac, you can specify the folder where you want your downloaded photos to be saved. This option is available during the setup process or within the export settings on a Mac.

Q5: Is it necessary to have iCloud Photo Library enabled to download photos?

A5: Yes, iCloud Photo Library must be enabled to download photos from iCloud, as this service syncs your photos across all devices and the cloud.

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