Use iCloud with the Photos app
Do more with Photos
With the Photos app, you can store and organize photos and videos on your Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV). You can do more with Photos on your Apple devices when you turn on iCloud. And with the iCloud for Windows app, you can also access your photos and videos on a PC.
There are three different iCloud features you can turn on: iCloud Photos, Shared Albums, and My Photo Stream. Each feature lets you do different things.
When you turn on iCloud Photos (previously called iCloud Photo Library) on a device, the following happens:
All the photos and videos on that device are stored in iCloud. You can access them from any other device with iCloud Photos turned on—whether it’s your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, or Windows computer. You can also view your photos and videos on the web at iCloud.com.
When you edit a photo, organize photos and videos in albums, or delete a photo or video on one device, you see the changes on all of your devices with iCloud Photos turned on.
You can share photos and videos with an iCloud Link from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, or on iCloud.com. Anyone with the link can view your photos; links expire after 30 days.
When you turn on Shared Albums (previously called iCloud Photo Sharing) on a device, the following happens:
You can share albums with other iCloud users. Subscribers to your shared albums can add photos and videos and make comments.
You can also share albums on the web so anyone with the link can view them—even if they don’t use iCloud.
My Photo Stream
Note: My Photo Stream isn’t available for new accounts. If you use iCloud for Windows, My Photo Stream is only available in version 7.
When you turn on My Photo Stream on a device, the following happens:
Recent photos (from the last 30 days) are stored in iCloud. My Photo Stream stores a maximum of 1000 photos across all your devices.
You can access your recent photos on any other device with My Photo Stream turned on—whether it’s your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, or Windows computer. Photos from other devices appear in a My Photo Stream album.
When you delete a photo in My Photo Stream, it’s removed from My Photo Stream on all of your devices.
Photos uses your iCloud storage differently depending on which iCloud features you turn on. See What is iCloud storage?
iCloud Photos: Photos and videos stored in iCloud Photos count toward your iCloud storage.
Shared Albums: The photos and videos in your Shared Albums don’t count toward your iCloud storage.
My Photo Stream: Photos stored in My Photo Stream don’t count toward your iCloud storage.
First, see Set up your iPad to use iCloud with the Photos app. Then, learn what you can do with iCloud and Photos on any device or on iCloud.com.