Get help with iCloud Photos

Learn how to manage iCloud Photos, find missing photos and videos, and delete the ones you don’t want anymore.

What if some of my photos and videos are missing after I turn on iCloud Photos?

Look for your missing photos and videos in the Recently Deleted album of your Photos app, and make sure that you signed in to iCloud with the correct Apple ID. Learn more about how to find missing photos and videos in the Photos app

Any photos or videos you copy to your device through iTunes are not copied in iCloud Photos. To add your original, full resolution versions, follow these steps:

On your Mac with OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 or later

To upload original versions of your photo library, open the Photos app, then choose Photos > Preferences and turn on iCloud Photos.

You can also use AirDrop to copy the photos from your computer to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Make sure that you're signed in with the same Apple ID on your computer and iOS device.
  2. Unlock your iOS device and turn on AirDrop.
  3. Open a new Finder window on your Mac and choose AirDrop in the sidebar.
  4. Drag the photos to the icon for the iOS device in the Finder window.

On your PC with Windows 8 or later

What happens when you delete photos from a device using iCloud Photos?

When you delete a photo or video from the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, it also deletes from your iCloud Photos and any other devices where you're signed in to iCloud Photos. It also no longer counts towards your iCloud storage. If you want to remove photos and videos from all your iOS devices, your Mac, and iCloud.com, you can delete them in the Photos app

You can recover your photos and videos from the Recently Deleted album for 30 days. Learn how to recover a recently deleted photo

Can I see all the photos and videos from my Mac on iCloud.com?

iCloud Photos uploads photos and videos from your Mac System Library. Photos and videos that you keep outside of your System Library won't upload or update across your devices.

How do I check the status of my uploads or downloads to iCloud Photos?

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Select the Library tab, then tap All Photos.
  3. Scroll to the bottom to see the status bar. 

You can also find photos and videos from your Photos Library that haven't been uploaded to iCloud in a smart album on your Mac.

What happens when I go over my iCloud storage limit?

If you exceed your iCloud storage limit, photos and videos won't upload to iCloud and your library won’t stay up to date across your devices. To continue using iCloud Photos, upgrade your storage plan or reduce the amount of storage that you're using.

Reduce the storage for iCloud Photos by deleting photos and videos that you don't want to keep from your iOS devices or on iCloud.com. Your device will immediately remove any photos and videos that you delete and they won't be available for recovery in your Recently Deleted album.

If you're out of storage, your devices won't back up to iCloud, and new photos, videos, documents, and your information won't stay up to date.

How do I turn off iCloud Photos on only one device?

You can turn off iCloud Photos on a single device when you follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos, then turn off iCloud Photos.
  • On your Mac, open the Photos app, then choose Photos > Preferences, then click iCloud, then deselect iCloud Photos.
  • On your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud. Under Photos, press Select to turn off iCloud Photos.

If you have Optimize Storage turned on, you might not have all of your original photos and videos on your device. To download the original photos and videos on your iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos and select Download and Keep Originals. On your Mac, open Photos, choose Photos > Preferences, then click iCloud, then select Download Originals to this Mac. Keep your device plugged in to power and connected to the internet. After your originals download, you can turn off iCloud Photos. You can also select the photos and videos that you want to download from iCloud.com.

Before you turn off iCloud Photos, you might want to make a copy of your photos and videos.

How do I remove all iCloud Photos content from iCloud and my devices?

To turn off your iCloud Photos everywhere, follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Photos, then tap Disable & Delete. 
  • On your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Apple ID. Choose iCloud, then click Manage. Select Photos, then click Turn Off and Delete. 

If you change your mind, follow the steps above on your device then select Undo Delete. 

Photos and videos are stored in your account for 30 days. To download your photos and videos on your iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos and select Download and Keep Originals. On your Mac, open Photos, choose Photos > Preferences, then click iCloud, then select Download Originals to this Mac. You can also select the photos and videos that you want to download from iCloud.com.

What happened to the My Photo Stream album?

When you turn on iCloud Photos, photos from My Photo Stream that are in your My Photo Stream album but not saved to your library are removed. After you turn on iCloud Photos, you won't see a separate My Photo Stream album.  

If you have an additional device with My Photo Stream turned on and iCloud Photos turned off, you'll still see a My Photo Stream album on that device. Any new photos that you take or add to your library show in that album on that device.

Learn more

In earlier versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and iCloud for Windows, iCloud Photos was called iCloud Photo Library.

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