If your iCloud Photos aren't loading on your PC

Learn how to use iCloud Photos or My Photo Stream with your Windows PC, upload and download your photos and videos so you can view them on your Apple devices, and delete the ones you don’t want any more.


What do I need to use iCloud Photos on my PC?


How can I see the photos and videos I've uploaded to iCloud Photos from my PC?

After you've uploaded the photos from your PC to iCloud Photos, you can view and manage your photos and videos in the Photos app on iCloud.com and your Apple devices.


How do I download all of my photos and videos to my Windows PC?

In iCloud for Windows 11.1 and later, optimised versions of all photos and videos automatically download to your PC once you enable iCloud Photos. Open the photo or video to download the full version.

In iCloud for Windows 10 and earlier, after you turn on iCloud Photos on all of your devices, any new photos and videos you add to your library will automatically download to your PC.* You can also download your photos and videos by year. You can find the download button by clicking iCloud in the Windows Notification Area. 

* New photos and videos automatically download to your PC at C:\Users\your name\My Pictures\iCloud Photos\Downloads.


How do I see the status of my upload or download?

You can add iCloud for Windows to your status bar to see the progress of your iCloud uploads and downloads. Click the iCloud icon in the Windows Notification Area on your PC. You might need to click Show hidden icons in the Notification Area to see iCloud.


How can I view edited versions of photos on my PC?

In the latest version of iCloud for Windows, edits and deletions will download automatically.

In iCloud for Windows 10 and earlier, iCloud Photos on your Windows PC downloads your photos one time. If you make photo edits after they download to your PC, the edited version won't download again. If you want to save the edited version to your PC, you can download individual photos and videos from iCloud.com or download them by year.

  1. Click the iCloud icon in the Windows Notification Area on your PC.
  2. Click Download Photos.
  3. Choose the photos and videos you want to download and click Download.

If you edit a photo on your PC that you've already uploaded to iCloud Photos, you can change the filename of the photo and upload it to iCloud Photos again.


How can I see photos from my PC in My Photo Stream on my iOS devices?

  1. On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, tap Settings > Wi-Fi. Make sure that Wi-Fi is on and your iOS device is connected to the internet. Get help if you can't connect to Wi-Fi on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
  2. On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud. Make sure that you’re signed in with the same Apple ID that you’re using with iCloud for Windows.
  3. Open iCloud for Windows, and next to Photos, click Options. Turn on My Photo Stream.
  4. Close and then reopen iCloud for Windows.
  5. Restart your computer.

If you still don’t see your Photos on your iOS devices, copy your photos to the Uploads folder.


What happened to the My Photo Stream folder?

In iCloud for Windows 10 and later, My Photo Stream is no longer available. 

In iCloud for Windows 7, after you turn on iCloud Photos on your PC, My Photo Stream turns 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 in iCloud Photo Options. When you use both iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream, you can see your My Photo Stream photos when you go to Pictures > iCloud Photos > Downloads.


How do I copy photos to an iCloud folder?

  1. Open a File Explorer window.
  2. In the Navigation pane (sidebar), click on iCloud Photos. If you're using an earlier version of iCloud for Windows, go to Favourites > 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. In earlier versions of iCloud for Windows, drag them into Favourites > iCloud Photos > Uploads.

Why am I seeing duplicate photos?

In iCloud for Windows 7.x, you see both a video and a key still image for each Live Photo downloaded from iCloud Photos. Upgrade to the latest version of iCloud for Windows to see a JPEG or MOV file for each Live Photo currently stored in iCloud Photos, instead of both a video and a still image.

You may also see extra copies of photos when they have been edited in the iOS or macOS Photos app before being downloaded to your PC. Learn more about edited photos in iCloud Photos


How do I delete photos and videos in iCloud Photos?

In iCloud for Windows 11.1 and later, photos and videos that you delete from your Apple device or iCloud.com will delete from your PC unless you have chosen to pin them. And when you delete a photo or video on your PC, one of the following happens:

  • iCloud for Windows 11 and later: the files and thumbnails are removed from your PC but are still stored in iCloud Photos. If you edit a photo or video on another device, the thumbnail reappears on your PC.

  • iCloud for Windows 10 and earlier: the files are removed from your PC but are still stored in iCloud Photos.

In iCloud for Windows 7, you can delete photos and videos in the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, and on iCloud.com.

When you delete photos and videos from your Apple device or on iCloud.com, they won't be deleted from your PC. And when you delete a photo or video on your PC, it won't be deleted in iCloud Photos.


How does iCloud Photos handle RAW photos?

iCloud Photos keeps all of your RAW photos with embedded JPEGs stored in their original formats. You can view thumbnail versions on your Mac, or download and edit them on your Mac or PC.


What should I do if I see a "We detected that you are using an older version of Windows" message?

If you are running an older version of Windows 10, you may see a message that states "We detected that you are using an older version of Windows. iCloud Photos capability will be slightly limited on this version of Windows." To get full iCloud Photos capabilities, upgrade to Windows 10 build 18363 or later and download and install the HEVC decoder and HEIF plugin from the Microsoft Store.

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