iCloud is a lifeline for the millions of iPhone users who take selfie around the world. Having the iCloud photo library enabled means you can adjust to your heart’s content without having to choose between the limited storage of your iPhone and your memories. But, what happens when you want to download photos from iCloud and save them on your computer? Or what if you plan to switch to an Android device and need to take your photos from iCloud and the iOS ecosystem?
Unfortunately, Apple has not done the most direct thing, primarily if it uses a Windows machine. Fortunately, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you quickly take your photos from iCloud, and to your computer or external hard drive.
How to download photos from iCloud using a PC
- On your PC, go to the Apple ‘iCloud for Windows’ download page and click on the ‘Download’ button.
- Accept the license agreement when the installation starts and click “Install.”
- After iCloud for Windows finishes installing, click on ‘Finish’ and restart your computer.
- Start iCloud for Windows and enter your Apple ID and password.
- Select ‘Options’ in the Photos tab and check the box next to iCloud Photo Library. Now click on ‘Apply.’
Now that you have done so, you must open the iCloud Photo Library program on your computer.
- Once the iCloud Photo Library opens, click on ‘Download photos and videos.’
- There will be a range of checkboxes. Check the boxes on the right depending on which photos you want to
- download. ‘All’ will download all the photos stored in iCloud and, when verifying specific years as ‘2018’, will only save the iCloud photos for that year.
- Once selected, click on the ‘Download’ button.
- Your iCloud photos will start downloading to your computer. This may take a while depending on how many you have.
How to download photos from iCloud using your Mac
If you have a Mac, you’re in luck: things are much more straightforward.
- Open the Photos application and then click on ‘Photos.’
- Click on ‘Preferences’ and then click on ‘iCloud.’
- If it is not yet enabled, select ‘Download originals on this Mac.’
- Once done, go back to ‘Photos’ in the Photos application and press Command + A to select all the photos.
- Click File> Export.
- Select “Export items” or “Export original unmodified.” ‘Export items’ will export all the photos saved in iCloud that you have edited.
- Click on ‘Export.’