About iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream

iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream can help you get your photos on your Apple devices and on your PC. But what’s the difference between them? Learn more about both features to help you choose which is best for you.

Where you can access your photos

iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream automatically upload your photos so that you can see them at home or on the go. And with iCloud Photo Library, your videos stay up to date too. You can access your collection on these devices when you sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID.

iCloud Photo Library

  • Mac
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod touch
  • Windows PC
  • Apple TV (4th generation)
  • Apple Watch
  • iCloud.com

My Photo Stream

  • Mac
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod touch
  • Windows PC
  • Apple TV (4th generation)

What file types upload to iCloud

iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream upload your collection to iCloud each time your device connects to the Internet and your battery is charged. iCloud will upload these file types.

iCloud Photo Library

  • JPEG
  • TIFF
  • PNG
  • RAW*
  • GIF
  • MP4

My Photo Stream

  • JPEG
  • TIFF
  • PNG

How your photos are stored

When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage. If you have a large collection in iCloud Photo Library and need more storage, you can buy extra starting at $0.99 a month. Learn more about iCloud storage prices in your country or region.

iCloud Photo Library

  • Uses your iCloud storage.
  • As long as you have enough space in iCloud, you can store as many photos and videos as you like.
  • Stored in the original format at full-resolution.
  • You can turn on Optimize Storage and save space on your device.
  • Edits are stored in iCloud and stay up to date on your Apple devices.

My Photo Stream

  • Doesn't count against your iCloud storage.
  • Uploads your last 30 days and up to 1000 photos.
  • Downloads to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in a smaller device-optimized resolution. On your Mac or PC, your photos download in full-resolution.
  • Edits you make won't update across your devices.

Need help?

*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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