How to Transfer iCloud Photos to Google Photos

Advancements in camera technology on phones make it so simple to take a photo with your friend, take a picture of your lunch, and one shot of this beautiful sunset.

How to Transfer iCloud Photos to Google Photos

And just like that, your iCloud storage is full.

According to the Atlantic, a popular American magazine, today we take more photos every two minutes than there were in total 150 years ago. So, it’s no wonder you’ve run out of memory space to store your pictures.

If you’ve started considering other options for storing your photo collection instead of paying for iCloud, here’s one idea.

You might like Google’s service better.

Keep reading our article to learn how to transfer your photos from iCloud to Google Photos.

Transfer Your Photos from iCloud to Google Photos

Sure, you’ll want to keep some photos on your iPhone. Still, if you’re continually taking new ones, this may turn into an inconvenience. To avoid a situation where you want to take a photo, but you’ve run out of space, explore the benefits of Google Photos.

This online storage works similarly to iCloud, and you can access it from a wide variety of devices. You’re not limited to Apple, which is great news for iOS users who want to see what else is available on the market.

If you want to switch from using iCloud to Google Photos, here’s what you need to do. But let us warn you before you begin – depending on the number of photos you’re transferring, this process can take quite a long time.

Follow these instructions:

  1. If you don’t already have the Google Photos app on your device, it’s time to download it. If you’re planning to transfer the photos using a desktop computer, download the Backup and Sync app from Google.
  2. Make sure you’re connected to a strong Wi-Fi signal.
  3. Download your photo library from iCloud to the chosen device.
  4. Open the app you’re using for syncing the photos (Google Photos or Back up and Sync) and give it permission to access your pictures.
  5. Choose how you want the images to upload to Google Photos: in original or high quality. (Don’t go overboard with the high-quality photos since you might run out of space sooner than you think)
  6. Since this process may take a while, ensure that your ‘Use mobile data when there’s no Wi-Fi’ option is turned off. If you accidentally leave it enabled, you may end up with an enormous phone bill.
  7. Tap or click ‘Confirm’ to start the transfer.
  8. The app should remain open on your device until the upload is finished. Some users have reported that it took them a whole day to upload around 1k photos, so make sure you don’t need to use the device in the meanwhile.
  9. You can track your progress on the screen, whether you’re using a mobile phone or a computer.
  10. When the upload is complete, make sure all your photos have been transferred successfully. (Open your iCloud and scroll down to see the total number of images. Then, check the Google Photos app to see if the numbers coincide.)
  11. When done, switch off iCloud on your devices.

Now, you can delete your photos from iCloud. Don’t remove the whole library at once – test the app first. Delete one image, and if that doesn’t affect your newly created Google Photos gallery, you can delete the rest.

Note that when you remove the images from your iCloud library, you’ll be able to find them in the Recently Deleted folder for the next month.

How to Transfer All iCloud Photos to Google Photos

The steps described in the previous section are followed to transfer a whole library from iCloud to Google Photos. By following those instructions, you will move all photos to Google’s service.

However, if you wish to transfer only some selected photos from iCloud to Google Photos, don’t download the whole library to the device you’re using to complete the transfer. Select the desired pictures and only download them, then move them to Google Photos.

How to Transfer Photos from iCloud to Google Photos on Mac

The transfer slightly differs depending on whether you’re using a Mac computer or your mobile device. Here’s what to do if you’re using a Mac:

  1. Open a web browser and sign in to your Apple ID account.
  2. Select the images you want to transfer (or select the whole library) and click on Download.
  3. Once your images have been saved to your computer, go to Google Photos main page using your web browser and use your Google credentials to log in.
  4. Navigate to the top right corner and click on Upload.
  5. From the drop-down menu, choose Computer.
  6. Select the folder you created when you downloaded the photos from iCloud.

There’s also another way to do this using the desktop apps available on your Mac:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Choose Photos and then Preferences from the menu.
  3. Select the Download Originals to this Mac option.
  4. Now that you’ve downloaded the desired photos, you can download the Google Backup and Sync app.
  5. Use your Google credentials to sign in to this app.
  6. When asked what you want to sync, choose your Photo library.
  7. Navigate to the bottom and check the box next to the Upload photos and videos to Google Photos.
  8. Click on Next.
  9. Click on the blue Start button on the lower right corner to begin the transfer.

There have been different opinions on whether you can sync the photos from iCloud to Google Photos without downloading them to a device first. You can try skipping the download and following the steps below.

  1. Download the Google Backup and Sync app to your Mac and install it. Don’t download the photos to the computer – move to sign in to the app.
  2. Log in and select the folder you want to sync when asked to do so. Your photos should be set to be synced by default, so you may not need to change anything.

After this, follow the previously described steps to complete the transfer. Don’t erase any photos until you make sure the transfer has been successful.

How to Transfer Photos from iCloud to Google Photos on iPhone

If you want to transfer your photos from iCloud to Google Photos using your iPhone, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select your name at the top.
  2. Go to iCloud and then choose Photos from the new screen.
  3. The iCloud Photos option should be enabled. If not, switch the toggle to turn it green. That means iCloud photo syncing is on.
  4. Now open the App Store and download Google Photos to your phone. Be aware that you can also use your iPad or iPod Touch to do this.
  5. Log in to your Google account and tap on ‘Settings’ in the menu on the left, which you can access by selecting the menu icon on the upper left corner.
  6. Choose ‘Backup & sync.’
  7. Switch the toggle next to ‘Backup & sync’ to turn it on.
  8. Adjust the settings related to your images, such as upload size.
  9. When the upload is done, check if all your photos have been synced correctly.

Don’t forget to turn off iCloud syncing after you’ve transferred the photos. This way, you’ll stop your phone from making unnecessary duplicates.

Additional FAQ

Is Google Photos Really Free?

In November 2020, Google announced changes in the way Google Photos work. The service will remain free, but only if you have no more than 15GB of data stored on your account. This limit includes Google Drive and Gmail since all the apps are connected.

If you want to upgrade your account and get more space for storing your photos and other documents, you’ll need to pay. The change is scheduled for June 2021, so any images you upload before this date won’t count.

However, Google estimates that you’ll be able to store photos and images for three years before you reach this limit. And it’s worth mentioning that if you remain inactive for more than two years, Google may delete your account – including your data.

What’s the Difference Between iCloud Photos and Google Photos?

iCloud Photos is a native service for Apple devices. It’s available for macOS computers and iOS mobile devices, such as iPad and iPhones. If you use Apple’s mobile devices, the photos you take with your camera will automatically be stored in the iCloud storage. The same goes for photos you post on social media apps and any third-party apps you use to edit your photos.

According to some users, iCloud offers better photo management on desktop devices compared to Google Photos. You may also like the fact that an edited photo will be available on any device you may use, not just the one where you edited it.

On the other hand, Google Photos is a service linked to your Google account. You can therefore access it from any device, not just iOS or macOS. The services are pretty similar in terms of the options you have. Still, you may prefer Google Photos since it allows you to share your library with other people. There isn’t a desktop app that could make it easier to manage your storage, but the new pricing doesn’t make it a less suitable choice than iCloud.

How Do You Download Multiple Photos from iCloud?

Downloading multiple photos from iCloud is a straightforward process. Follow any of the instructions we’ve described in the previous sections. You’ll see that you can either download the entire photo library and save it on your computer or mobile device, or select specific photos and only download those.

How Do I Move Photos from iPhone to Google Photos?

If you want to move your pictures from iPhone to Google Photos, follow the steps below.

• Launch Google Photos on your iPhone.

• Tap on Settings and select the toggle next to the Backup & sync option. It should be enabled.

The pictures from your iPhone will now be moved to your Google Photos storage.

Do I Need iCloud Photos If I Have Google Photos?

No, you don’t. One of these services will do – it’s up to you to choose which one has more benefits for you.

If you like Apple’s native services, you can keep your iCloud storage as well. Your photos will automatically be saved there, and you can transfer them to Google Photos later.

What Will I Miss About iCloud Photos?

If you mostly use iOS and macOS devices, you may prefer using services that come from Apple. Although Google Photos is a well-integrated app, rarely is there an option better than a built-in service that’s designed specifically for the device you’re using.

You may miss the fact that iCloud has a slightly better user interface on desktop computers. Also, it’s much easier to free up storage space using iCloud. When you delete a photo, it’s completely removed from your device since iCloud only offers to sync your images.

Find Your Ideal Storage Choice

Both iCloud and Google Photos have their pros and cons. Since we can no longer enjoy the unlimited storage space on Google Photos, you may want to reconsider your decision to transfer your files from iCloud. It’s up to you – evaluate your needs, compare the services, and pick what suits you better.

Do you have an extensive photo library? Which service do you think will be a better fit for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

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