iTunes doesn't show albums because iCloud is on. I could download from iCloud but then the photos lose all the date/time metadata that I need. Would appreciate. iCloud Photo Library is Apple`s online file storage service, which uploads photos How to download one or multiple photos from iCloud 2. your cloud media files and delete unnecessary duplicate photos in just a few clicks. You can easily download your iCloud photos onto your PC through your web browser. As long as you are using iCloud to back up your iPhone, it only takes a You can click on an album or scroll through the entire library.
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iCloud Photos (formerly called iCloud Photo Library) is a part of Apple's iCloud suite of services that stores your entire photo library in iCloud. This way, you can access them on any device supported by iCloud that uses the same Apple ID.
It automatically manages your photo collection so that you can spend more time focusing on taking good photos. There’s a lot to know about how iCloud Photos works. We’ll show you some tips and tricks to get more out from iCloud Photos.
1. Managing Local Storage with iCloud Photos
When you enable iCloud Photos, it uploads your entire photo collection to iCloud and makes it accessible on other devices. The Photos app stores a version of all those photos, depending on the settings you choose:
Download Originals to this Mac or Download and Keep Originals stores the full-resolution version of photos and videos on both the device and iCloud. Choose this option if your device has enough storage space to fit your entire photo collection. On an iOS device, this option is off by default.
Optimize Mac Storage or Optimize iPhone Storage stores the compressed version of photos and videos on the device. The full-sized copy remains in the iCloud. Photos discards the original versions and replaces them with thumbnails, then downloads the originals when you need them.
If you want to edit a photo, Photos will download it from iCloud. To make sure you have a copy of your original images, you'll want to make sure at least one computer keeps everything at the original quality. You can then take a backup with Time Machine or a third-party backup app. You can also download your original photos from iCloud.com.
2. Using Photo Stream Instead of iCloud Photos
With Photo Stream, your Mac or iOS/iPadOS device can automatically upload newly taken or imported photos to the cloud, from where they distribute to the My Photo Stream album on all your devices. But if iCloud Photos also does all these things, then what’s the point of Photo Stream?
The minimum system requirements for iCloud Photos are iOS 8.3, OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, or iCloud 5 for Windows. If you don’t meet these criteria and don’t want to pay for extra storage, Photo Stream remains an excellent replacement for iCloud Photos.
Limitations of Photo Stream
- Photos in My Photo Stream remain saved in iCloud for 30 days. That should be sufficient time to back up your photos manually. After that, they are removed from iCloud.
- No matter how many photos My Photo Stream uploads to the cloud, the local Photo Stream album on any iOS or iPadOS device only keeps up to 1,000 images.
- My Photo Stream doesn’t support videos, live photos, and formats such as HEIF or HEVC.
- My Photo Stream works only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, not cellular data.
- Photos are stored in full-resolution on Mac but optimized for iOS or iPadOS devices.
Despite these limitations, you may want to keep Photo Stream enabled if you want to stream your recent images on an Apple TV, for example. Pick one device, like your Mac, and activate it there.
3. Share Using Shared Albums
Shared Albums are a private way to share digital memories with friends and family. At first, you create an album, then invite others to subscribe to it via email. Subscribers can like what you post, add comments, and add their photos if you permit them.
Once you create a shared album, it syncs your photos on every device for free. But Apple has placed certain limitations. You can hold a maximum of 5,000 photos or videos up to five minutes long. Look over Apple's My Photo Stream and Shared Albums limits for more details.
Enable Shared Albums
Mac: Open the Photos app. From the menu bar, choose Photos > Preferences. Click the iCloud tab, then check Shared Albums.
iOS/iPadOS: Launch the Settings app. Scroll down and tap Photos. Then turn on Shared Albums.
Using Shared Albums
iOS/iPadOS: Select the photos you want to share, tap the Share icon, and choose Add to Shared Album. If you haven’t created any albums yet, you’ll be asked to create a new album.
Mac: Select your photos, then drag it into the shared album in the sidebar, or select the album and click Add photos and videos.
iOS/iPadOS: To change the album settings, tap a shared album, then People. You can invite more people, let subscribers add their photos, create a public website (anyone with a shared URL), show notifications if they add a comment.
4. Understand the System Photo Library
When you first launch Photos, it lets you create a new library or select the existing library. Apple designates it as System Photo Library. It’s the only library that iCloud uses and iCloud-enabled apps have access to it. By default, it lives in the Pictures folder.
You can create additional photo libraries to reduce the space taken by iCloud Photos and backups. However, you can work in only one photo library at a time. If you switch to a different library and re-enable iCloud Photos, the newly selected system photo library will merge with the one already synced to iCloud.
5. Back Up Your iCloud Photos to Cloud Storage
One drive failure can wipe out all your photos in an instant. The solution is to ensure you have a reliable backup system in place. We recommend having an online backup, a duplicate backup on an external hard drive, and an offsite backup.
Our first choice is Google Photos. There are some excellent reasons for using Google Photos over iCloud Photos. Setting up is easy.
In Google Photos on your iOS/iPadOS device, tap the Profile icon and choose Photos settings. Toggle the Backup & Sync switch, and allow Google Photos to access your entire photo library. Then, select the Upload size setting you prefer.
Microsoft's OneDrive is another good option. In the OneDrive mobile app, tap the Profile icon and choose Settings. Toggle the switch of Camera Upload. All the photos and videos on your device and any new ones will get uploaded to OneDrive.
6. Do Photos Stay in iCloud Forever?
What will happen to your photos if you stop paying for an iCloud storage subscription? Your devices keep the photos that are already saved, but syncing between them comes to a halt. Also, your photos will eventually be deleted from the cloud, but Apple doesn’t say when that happens.
If you choose Download Originals to this Mac, your Mac becomes the only device with the full-resolution version of your photos. But if you selected Optimize Storage, that could leave you with only low-resolution copies of your photos.
7. Using iCloud Photos in Windows and on the Web
You can access every photo and video stored in iCloud Photos from iCloud.com. Click the Photos icon, and within a few minutes, you’ll see an interface similar to the Photos app for iPad OS, albeit a little less capable. You can upload, download, view, and delete photos.
In the left panel, you’ll see all the albums you created and photos sorted according to the Media Types. You can add items to new albums, but it doesn’t let you see shared albums, create projects, or play slideshows.
To access your photos from a PC, download the iCloud app from the Microsoft Store. Sign in with your Apple ID and check Photos. Click the Options button next to Photos and check iCloud Photos to turn on automatic uploads and downloads of photos and videos.
Check Shared Albums to share your photos, and you can also customize the location of your Shared Albums folder if there is too little space on your C:\ drive. Unfortunately, My Photo Stream is no longer available on Windows 10.
Click Done when you’re finished.
Keep Your Photos Under Control
iCloud has several components that deal with photos, and keeping track of them can be tough. iCloud Photos can backup your entire photo library and sync them across your devices. My Photo Stream is for those who don’t use iCloud Photos and wish to sync their most recent files. Finally, Shared albums lets you organize and share photos with others.
The tips discussed here show you how each component works and ways to use them effectively. While iCloud Photos will automatically introduce some order to your photo library, there is still more you can do to better organize your photos.
Are your Mac photos a mess? Follow these beginner's tips to get them under control and improve your picture organization.
With his M.Optom Degree in Eye Care Speciality, Rahul worked as a lecturer for many years in the college. Writing and teaching others is always his passion. He now writes about technology and make it digestible for readers who don't understand it well.
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