Get help with iCloud Photos on your Windows PC

Learn how to use iCloud Photo Library 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 anymore.

Before you begin

Here's what you need to use iCloud Photos on your PC:

To learn more, you can check the system requirements for iCloud.

How do I see the photos and videos I uploaded to iCloud Photo Library from my PC?

After you upload the photos from your PC to iCloud Photo Library, 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?

After you turn on iCloud Photo Library 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.

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

After you download iCloud for Windows, you can add it 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.

What downloads automatically?

New photos and videos automatically download to your PC at C:\Users\your name\My Pictures\iCloud Photos\Downloads. You can change the location of your downloads in iCloud Photo Options.

I made edits to a photo or video on my Apple device but don’t see them on my PC

iCloud Photo Library 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. Open a File Explorer window.
  2. Under Favorites, click iCloud Photos.
  3. Click Download Photos.
  4. Choose the year you want to download and click Download.

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

I added photos to My Photo Stream, but they aren't on my devices

If you add photos to iCloud on your PC, but you don't see them on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, follow these steps:

  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. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > 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.

When you turn on iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, or Mac, the photos you add from your PC appear in the All Photos album.

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

Copy photos to the Photos Uploads folder

You can also copy your photos from a folder on your PC to the Photos Uploads folder in iCloud.

  1. Open a File Explorer window (Windows 8 and later) or Windows Explorer window (Windows 7).
  2. Go to Favorites > iCloud Photos.
  3. In another window, open the folder where you currently store the photos that you want to add to My Photo Stream.
  4. Select the photos that you want to add.
  5. Drag and drop them into the Uploads folder within iCloud Photos.

What happened to the My Photo Stream folder?

After you turn on iCloud Photo Library on your PC, My Photo Stream is turned off automatically. If you want to send new photos to your devices that don't use iCloud Photo Library, you can turn My Photo Stream back on in iCloud Photo Options.

When you use both iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream, you can see your My Photo Stream photos when you go to Pictures > iCloud Photos > Downloads.

How do I delete photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library?

If you want to delete photos and videos, you can remove them 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 delete from your PC. And when you delete a photo or video on your PC, they won't delete in iCloud Photo Library.

I can't see my new comments in the shared album, or I see deleted comments

If you add comments to photos and videos in your shared album and you don't see them, or if you deleted comments and you still see them, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your device has an Internet connection. You need to connect to the Internet to make a comment.
  2. Check the System Status page for issues affecting Photos.
  3. See if the number of comments is the same on your iOS device and your Mac or PC.

If you have an Internet connection and a photo or video has a different number of comments on your devices, try these steps:

  1. Open iCloud for Windows. 
  2. Next to Photos, click Options, then deselect iCloud Photo Sharing.
  3. Click OK > Apply.
  4. Wait about one minute, then click Options again.
  5. Select iCloud Photo Sharing > OK > Apply.
  6. Open My Photo Stream.
  7. Double-click the shared album, then click Comments.
  8. Check the comments on the photo or video.

How does iCloud Photo Library handle RAW photos?

iCloud Photo Library 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.

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