My Photo Stream

With My Photo Stream, you can access recent photos you've taken with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, or photos you've uploaded from your Mac or PC.

What you'll need

You can use My Photo Stream with these devices after you've set up iCloud on them:

If you've recently created your Apple ID, My Photo Stream may not be available. If My Photo Stream isn't available, use iCloud Photos to keep your photos and videos in iCloud.

How My Photo Stream works with iCloud Photos

My Photo Stream will upload your most recent photos (except Live Photos) so you can view and import them to all of your devices. Photos will be stored in My Photo Stream for 30 days. iCloud Photos will upload all of your photos and videos to iCloud and keep them up to date across your devices.

If you've turned on both My Photo Stream and iCloud Photos on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, photos you take with that device will be uploaded to both iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream.

If you're using another device with the same Apple ID that only has My Photo Stream turned on, photos you take on that device will only be uploaded to My Photo Stream. They won't appear on any devices that only have iCloud Photos enabled.

Find out more about the differences between iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream.

See your photos in My Photo Stream

Find your device below and follow the steps.

iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

  • iOS 8 or later: tap Photos > Albums > My Photo Stream.

Mac

Go to Photos > Albums > My Photo Stream.

Apple TV

  • Apple TV HD: after you've signed in to iCloud, go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud and turn on My Photo Stream.
  • Apple TV (3rd and 2nd generation): after you've signed in to iCloud, go to Settings > iCloud > iCloud Photo Settings > Turn On My Photo Stream.

Windows PC

When you turn on Photos, iCloud for Windows will create a Photos folder in File Explorer called iCloud Photos. My Photo Stream will download any new photos you've taken on your iOS devices to the Downloads folder automatically.

 View My Photo Stream on Windows

You can also follow these steps to see your photos on your PC:

  • Windows 10: enter iCloud Photos in the Search the web and Windows bar. When you can see iCloud Photos – Desktop app in the search results, select it.
  • Windows 8.1: from the Start screen, click Download in the bottom left-hand corner, then click iCloud >iCloud Photos app.
  • Windows 8: from the Start screen, select iCloud Photos.
  • Windows 7: click the Windows Start button, then click Pictures. Click iCloud Photos under the Favourites menu in the panel on the left.

Photo formats you can use with My Photo Stream

My Photo Stream supports JPEG, TIFF, PNG and most RAW photo formats. My Photo Stream doesn't support video or Live Photos.

Delete photos from My Photo Stream

Select one or more photos from My Photo Stream on your iOS device or Mac, then tap Bin icon or click Delete.

On your PC, select the photos you want to remove from My Photo Stream. Right-click, then select Delete.

When you delete a photo from My Photo Stream on one device, the photo will be removed from Photos and iCloud. The photos you've imported from My Photo Stream to your other devices won't be deleted.

Frequently asked questions about My Photo Stream

Find answers to your questions below.

Can I use My Photo Stream to back up my photos instead of iCloud Backup or iTunes?

No. Photos in My Photo Stream will be saved on the iCloud server for 30 days. After that, the photos will be removed from iCloud. To save or back up these photos, you must save them from My Photo Stream to your iOS device. Here's how: on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, open Photos and tap Albums > My Photo Stream > Select. Tap the photos you want to save, then tap Share icon > Save Image. Then you can back up your photos with iCloud or iTunes.

What resolution will My Photo Stream photos be in?

On a Mac or PC, your photos will be downloaded and stored in full resolution. On iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV, your photos will be delivered in a device-optimised resolution that can speed up downloads and save storage space.

Dimensions vary, but an optimised version of a photo taken by a standard point-and-shoot camera will have a 2048x1536 pixel resolution when pushed to your devices. Panoramic photos can be up to 5400 pixels wide.

When will my photos be uploaded to My Photo Stream?

Photos you've taken on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will be uploaded to My Photo Stream automatically when you leave the Camera app and connect to Wi-Fi. And new photos you've imported on your Mac to the Photos app will be uploaded automatically when you're connected to Wi-Fi or Ethernet. You can change your preferences so only the photos you've added to My Photo Stream manually will be uploaded.

To upload photos to My Photo Stream on your PC, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Windows Start button, then click Pictures. 
  2. Select iCloud Photos under the Favourites menu in the panel on the left.
  3. Click Upload photos.
  4. Select the photos you want to add to My Photo Stream, then click Open.

You can also drag and drop photos from your PC into the Uploads folder in iCloud Photos.

How many photos can My Photo Stream store?

To save storage space, your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will keep your most recent 1,000 photos in the My Photo Stream album. From My Photo Stream, you can browse your photos or move the ones you like to another album to keep them on your iOS device forever. And if your Apple TV has limited storage, you'll only see your most recent photos.

You can choose to download all of your photos from My Photo Stream to your Mac and PC automatically.

Open Photos and go to Preferences > General. Select Copy items to the Photos library.

Will My Photo Stream use my iCloud storage?

No. The photos you upload to My Photo Stream won't count towards your iCloud storage.

Where are my burst mode photos in My Photo Stream?

When you take photos with burst mode, only your favourite photos will be imported to your device. You can choose to save all photos you take with burst mode to My Photo Stream: tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos and turn on Upload Burst Photos.

What happens to your photos if you turn off My Photo Stream?

Before turning off My Photo Stream, save any photos you want to keep on your device. If you sign out of iCloud or turn off My Photo Stream on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, all of the photos in the My Photo Stream album will be removed from that device.

The photos from My Photo Stream on your other devices won't be affected. Photos from My Photo Stream will stay on the iCloud server for 30 days from the date you uploaded them to My Photo Stream. If you sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID and turn on My Photo Stream on another device, the photos will be downloaded automatically.

Learn more

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