How to Download Photos from iCloud

iCloud is one of this century’s greatest inventions. All of your most precious memories, contacts, documents, photos, and videos are stored safely on Apple’s servers for you to access at any time. Available to all Apple users, one common question is: “How do I get my photos back?”

How to Download Photos from iCloud

No, they aren’t stored in some cloud in the sky, never to be accessed again. No matter what device you use, you can easily recover and download your photos from iCloud. In this article, we’ll help you download your photos stored in Apple’s dedicated cloud service.

How to Download iCloud Photos from a Browser

Whether you’re using a Mac or a PC, it’s easy to download iCloud photos onto your machine. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Go to the iCloud website and sign in. Note: You may need to complete the verification steps to login. If you don’t have an Apple device available to receive the code, click the ‘Didn’t get a verification code’ hyperlink to receive a text message.
  2. Once signed in, click on the ‘Photos’ option.
  3. Click on the photo you’d like to download. Then, click on the Download icon in the upper right.
  4. Mac users need to click ‘Ok’ in the pop-up window to open with Apple’s Preview software. PC users will need to click on the download and select a folder to send the image to.
  5. Mac users will then need to select ‘File’ then ‘Save’ from the Preview app while PC users should find their saved photos in the folder they selected in step 4.

You can also download multiple photos all at once. Use these keyboard shortcuts to select multiple photos quickly:

  • Select all photos in an album by using the Command+A keyboard shortcut on a Mac. Or, Control+A on a PC.
  • To select multiple photos, use the Mouse Click+Command shortcut on a Mac, or the Mouse click+Control shortcut on a PC.
  • To select consecutive photos, but not all photos, use the Mouse Click+Shift shortcut on both PC and Mac.

After selecting the photos you’d like to download, click the download icon and choose your Save location. All of your photos will be saved in the designated folder on your computer.

How to Download iCloud Photos on a Smartphone

If you don’t have access to a computer or you want to download your iCloud photos to a mobile device, you can. In this section, we’ll show you how to download iCloud photos using an iOS device, or an Android device.

Download iCloud Photos On an iOS Device

If you want to recover your iCloud photos on your iPhone or download some stored over the years, you can. There are two ways you can recover your iCloud photos on an iPhone or an iPad.

First, you can turn the option on in the Settings of your iPhone to sync any iCloud photos you have. This, of course, will only work if the photos you want to download are stored in the iCloud account. Assuming this feature isn’t turned on yet, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on your name at the top.
  2. Tap on ‘iCloud.’
  3. Tap on ‘Photos.’
  4. Toggle the switch next to Photos on.

You may need to power cycle your phone for all of your photos to appear. If they do not come over automatically, you will need to download them manually.

Next, you can download the photos from the iCloud using the same method that we did in the first section of this article. This is great if you’re trying to download photos from a different iCloud account. Here’s how to download your iCloud photos using a web browser on your iPhone. Note: You can use any browser you’d like, but we’ll use Apple’s native Safari browser because it’s one that every iPhone user has.

To download your iCloud photos to your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open Safari and go to
  2. Sign into your iCloud account and tap on ‘Photos.’
  3. Tap ‘Select’ in the upper right corner and tap the photos you want to download. Note: Tap ‘Select All’ in the upper left to download all of your iCloud photos.
  4. Click on the circle with the three vertical dots in the lower right corner.
  5. Tap ‘Download.’
  6. A new web page will open. Tap ‘Download‘ again.
  7. Tap the download icon in the upper right corner.
  8. Tap the Zip file to unpack it. Then, tap the new iCloud folder. It may take a moment but your photos will download and appear in the Photos app on your iPhone.

Download Your iCloud Photos Using an Android Device

This section uses the same exact steps as the one above. You’ll want to use a web browser and visit You will need to sign in which means you’ll need to get a verification code on either an Apple device or via text message.

Upon signing in, you can select all of your photos, or some of your photos just as we did above. Then, select the three vertical dot icon with a circle around it, and download your images.

At the bottom of the web page you’ll see the ‘Download’ option, tap it. Then, a new window will appear showing the iCloud Zip file. Tap it to unpack it and your photos will appear in a new folder labeled ‘iCloud Photos.’

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more answers to your questions about downloading photos from iCloud.

How do I download photos from a different iCloud account?

You may have switched iCloud accounts, or you’re trying to recover photos from another person’s account. If so, you’ll need to use a web browser to download your photos. No matter the device, if you have access to the other iCloud account you can login using a web browser and follow the steps above to download your photos.

Is the iCloud free?

Apple gives every Apple ID 5Gb of free storage. After that, you will need to pay for more. Unfortunately, these days, 5Gb doesn’t go very far so you may need to upgrade your storage plan.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

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