Download photos to your Mac from iCloud
iCloud Photos uploads your photos to iCloud and automatically transfers them to your Mac and your iOS and iPadOS devices. You don’t need to upload or download photos—iCloud Photos does it for you. iCloud Photos stores your original photos in iCloud. You can also keep the originals in your System Photo Library on your Mac. Or you can just keep thumbnails (smaller versions) of your photos on your Mac to conserve storage space. If you choose to keep smaller versions, iCloud downloads the complete original photo each time you select it for viewing or editing, so you’re always working with an original full-size photo. See Change preferences in Photos on Mac.
You can make copies of your photos to use in other apps on your Mac. You don’t need to download them from iCloud; you just select the photos and export them from your System Photo Library so the other apps can access them.
In the Photos app on your Mac, select the photos that you want to export.
Choose File > Export > Export [number] Photos, then choose the export settings you want and click Export.
Choose a location in the Finder or on an external disk to store your files, then click Export.