How to transfer iCloud photos to Mac and PC?

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Our smartphones quickly replaced traditional cameras and we all tend to take them out to take our (many) shots. Fatally, these memories end up saturating the storage memory from the phone. It is possible to save the photos and videos taken from our iPhone on Apple’s online storage service called iCloud which offers 5 GB of free storage.

But this capacity being quickly reached, it is necessary to regularly release it. Although the most classic way to transfer photos is to connect your iPhone to your computer with a Lightning-to-USB cable, other alternatives may prove to be much more convenient for some. Without even having to go through iTunes (which by the way no longer exists) or without having to pay to benefit from more storage capacity.

We explain everything to you, step by step. And if you are looking for a new computer (Mac or PC), do not hesitate to take a look at our catalog!

Transfer your photos to Windows

iCloud from Windows

The iCloud app has long been compatible on Windows versions. For Windows 10, the giants Microsoft and Apple even worked together to make files more easily accessible.

How to install iCloud on Windows?

On Windows 10, you can directly go to the Microsoft Store to download iCloud software for Windows. On previous versions, you will be able to download it from the site from apple.

Once the installation is complete, restart your computer and open the software, if it does not open automatically, and enter your Apple ID to connect to your iCloud.

Then all you have to do is choose the data you want to synchronize with your computer.

For your photos, click on the tab Pictures, select the photo (s) you want to transfer, click on Download and wait for the download. Your photos will be sorted by default by year.

CopyTrans Cloudly

Clear and intuitive software, CopyTrans Cloudly is just an alternative to iCloud for Windows.

Simple and quick to install, it will allow you to recover your photos on your PC in just three clicks. Child’s play ! The icing on the cake, beyond the fact that the quality, format and structure of your photos are preserved, this software will also respect the structure of your folders without creating duplicates and you can stop the transfer and resume it at any time. .

Once you have downloaded the CopyTrans Cloudly software on your PC, launch it and enter your Apple ID as well as your password. Then enter the verification code that will be sent to you.

Once you have completed these steps, in the main menu of the software, all you have to do is select the action you want: Download, remove your photos or recover deleted photos (if you despair of having inadvertently deleted one or more photos “permanently”, be aware that they are kept for some time on the servers of the Apple brand and that you will therefore be able to find them). Then select the folder or USB key where you want to keep your photos and wait while the download is in progress.

Transfer your photos to Mac

iCloud from the Mac

The service iCloud, also called small cloud, is installed by default on all Apple computers since OS X Yosemite 10.3 and its simple interface allows quick use.

To use it:

  • Select System Preferences available in the Dock
  • Click the option iCloud, Pictures then Options
  • Check the box ICloud Photo Library or ICloud Photos
  • Open the Photos app on your Mac

Your photos taken with your iPhone will be automatically transferred to your Mac in their original format.

Import photos to Mac with Photo Stream

Photo Stream allows you to automatically transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac when your smartphone is in a WiFi area. To do this, you must activate it on your iPhone and on your Mac :

  • Open the app Settings from your iPhone
  • Click on the banner with your name at the top of the page
  • Press on iCloud and select Pictures
  • Activate Upload to my Photo Stream
  • On your Mac, in the Apple menu at the top of the screen, open System Preferences
  • Select iCloud and log in
  • Click Options next to Photos and check the box next to My Photo Stream

Note that your photos will stay in the Photo Stream for 30 days up to 1000 photos if you don’t have them automatically downloaded to your Mac. To configure this option:

  • On your Mac, open the app Pictures and select Preferences, then General
  • Check the box next to Import ” Copy items to the photo library“.

transfer photos icloud

AirDrop on Mac

AirDrop is only available on 2012 and newer Mac models and requires a WiFi connection in order to transfer files from iPhone to computer and vice versa.

For its use,

  • Open the app Pictures from your smartphone
  • Select the photos you want to transfer and click share icon
  • AirDrop will appear at the top of the menu
  • Choose the name of the computer you want to send your photos to

This method is useful if you are using a computer that does not have the same account. iCloud than your iPhone.

And if you are ever looking for a laptop, of a MacBook or a iPhone, do not hesitate to take a look at our refurbished products, up to 70% cheaper!


Content creator at Back Market, he taps the keyboard to analyze the environmental impact of digital technology. In his spare time, he plays apprentice fiction writer, does Kung Fu, and eats five fruits and vegetables a day.

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