Set up and use iCloud Photos on your Windows PC

iCloud Photos safely stores all your photos and videos in iCloud, so they're available on all your devices. Learn how to get started with iCloud Photos on your Windows PC.

Turn on iCloud Photos

Make sure that you set up iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch or Mac, that you turned on iCloud Photos, and that you're signed in with your Apple ID.

  1. Open iCloud for Windows on your PC. Make sure you're signed in with your Apple ID.

  2. Next to iCloud Photos, click the arrow.

  3. Turn on iCloud Photos.

    Turn on the toggle below Photo Settings, iCloud Photos.
  4. In iCloud for Windows 14.2 or later, you can click Advanced to choose your preferred format for downloading photos and videos: “Download High-Efficiency format photos and videos” or “Download HDR videos.”

  5. To access Shared Albums on your PC, turn on Shared Albums.*

  6. Click Done.

* If you'd like to change the location of your Shared Albums to another folder, you can change it to another location on the C: Drive. External drives aren’t supported.

Find your photos on your PC

Your photos and videos are stored in C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\iCloud Photos\Photos.

In Windows 11

  1. Open Microsoft Photos.

  2. Select iCloud Photos in the pane on the left.

In Windows 10 or later

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click iCloud Photos from the Navigation pane.

Download your photos and videos from iCloud Photos

New photos and videos you add to iCloud Photos are shown on your PC automatically. To download the file from iCloud when you view it, double-click its thumbnail. You can also keep your photos downloaded on your PC with these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. In the Navigation pane, click iCloud Photos.

  3. Select the images you want to keep on your PC.

  4. Right-click the selection and choose "Always keep on this device."

If you change a photo or video on another device or on, it updates automatically on your PC.

Upload your photos and videos to iCloud Photos

You can upload your photos and videos from your PC to iCloud Photos when you follow these steps:

  1. Open a File Explorer window.

  2. In the Navigation pane, click 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.

You can view the photos and videos you uploaded in the Photos app on and on all your Apple devices. When you delete a photo in File Explorer or in Microsoft Photos, the deletes sync automatically to iCloud Photos.

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