a person using iCloud Photos

7 Tips for Using iCloud Photos

April 20, 2022 4:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

With Apple’s iCloud service, you can use your Mac or iOS device to quickly and seamlessly view photos from your camera roll on all your other devices. However, you might not be getting the most out of it. You may not know where to start, or you might have questions about making the most of it. Here are some helpful tips for using iCloud Photos on your Mac, iOS device, and other websites or apps.

1. Manage Your Local Storage

As we mentioned in a previous article telling you that iCloud is for photo lovers, if you’re not taking advantage of iCloud Photos, you might be saving space on your Mac or iOS device. The service will automatically use your online storage space when you upload new photos to your cloud, but that doesn’t mean you should let it gobble up all the space on your devices.

You can tell iCloud Photos to save photos to your Mac’s or iOS device’s built-in storage instead of the cloud. However, you can also ask it to save photos to the cloud if your Mac or iOS device doesn’t have enough local storage space.

2. Using Photo Stream Instead of iCloud Photos

With Photo Stream, your pics are stored online and accessible to all your devices, which means you don’t need an internet connection to view the pictures on any device.

However, those taken with your camera aren’t stored online. Instead, they are only on your Mac or iOS device. You can’t share them on other devices, view them on another iOS device unless it’s been set up as a shared photo stream, or edit them on another device.

If you’re frequently switching between devices, you might prefer using Photo Stream instead of iCloud Photos. If that doesn’t work for you, try turning off one of your devices and see if that solves the problem.

MUO says the following drawbacks are evident:

– Photos in My Photo Stream remain in iCloud for 30 days. That should be sufficient time to back up your photos manually. Then you can remove them from iCloud.
– No matter how many photos My Photo Stream uploads to the cloud, the local Photo Stream album on any iOS or iPadOS device only keeps up to 1,000 images.
– My Photo Stream doesn’t support videos, live photos, and formats such as HEIF or HEVC.
– My Photo Stream only works if you connect to a Wi-Fi network.
– Photos are stored in full-resolution on Mac but compressed for iOS and iPadOS devices.

3. Share Using Shared Albums

If you use iCloud Photo Sharing, your photos are automatically shared, but your contacts can also DM, email, or message photos to you.

Ensure your contacts know they can’t send you photos unless you have the option turned on in your iCloud settings. You can also turn this feature off and on in Shared Albums.

You can also share photos with specific friends or family by adding people to your Shared Albums using their iCloud email addresses.

4. Understand the System Photo Library

If you use iCloud for your photos, the system photo library on your Mac will store all your photos. This includes any photos you take with your Mac, iPhone, or iPad and photos from iPhoto, Aperture, and iPhoto for iOS.

This library is automatically backed up to iCloud, where it is available on all your devices. If anything goes wrong and you need to restore your Mac, you can restore the photos from your backups.

You can create additional photo libraries to reduce the space taken by iCloud Photos and backups. However, you can only work in one photo library at a time. If you switch to a different library and re-enable iCloud Photos, the newly selected system photo library will merge with the one already synced to iCloud.

5. Back up your iCloud photos to Cloud Storage

If you take many pictures with your device, you should back them up to iCloud. You can back up your entire photo library to iCloud. If something goes wrong with your device and you need to restore it, you can get your pictures from iCloud. You can also back up your photos from photos.apple.com and share them using Shared Albums.

Cloud storage is one of the safest ways to store your photos, but it does have limitations.

– Store photos up to 1TB in cloud storage, so if you have a lot of photos, you’ll need to download them first.

– Accessibility to cloud storage from certain countries is limited, so be sure to check the list before using it.

– You can’t transfer photos from cloud storage to local storage, so you’ll lose them if your device breaks or your system crashes.

Using iCloud Photos in Windows and on the web

If you or your friends and family members use Windows PCs, they can set up iCloud Photos on their devices. You can also use iCloud Photos on the web since Safari supports it.

You can even use your iCloud Photos on the Apple TV, but you have to use a mobile device to set it up on your computer.

If you’re on Windows 10 and want to use iCloud Photos, make sure you have the Photos app open on your computer. Go to Settings, Privacy, and then Photos. Click on “Sign in with your Apple ID” and enter your credentials.

If you’re on a Mac and want to use iCloud Photos, click on the iCloud icon next to the space bar on your keyboard.

6. Do Photos Stay in iCloud Forever?

What happens to your photos if you stop paying for an iCloud storage subscription? Your devices keep the photos already saved but syncing between them stops. Be careful, however. Apple automatically removes photos from the cloud, but Apple doesn’t say when that happens.

If you chose to Download Originals to this device] on a Mac, your Mac becomes the only device with the full-resolution version of your photos. But if you selected Optimize Storage, you may find yourself with only low-resolution copies of your photos.

7. Using iCloud Photos in Windows and on the Web

You can access every photo and video stored in iCloud Photos from iCloud.com. You can upload, download, view, and delete pictures. Click the Photos icon, and within a few minutes, you’ll see an interface similar to the Photos app for iPadOS, although it is not as capable.

You’ll see all the albums you created in the left panel, and the sort order is according to media type. You can add items to new albums; however, you won’t be able to see shared albums, create projects, or play slideshows.

To access your photos from a PC, download the iCloud for Windows app and sign in with your Apple ID. Then, check Photos, click the Options button next to Photos, and check iCloud Photos to turn on automatic uploads and downloads of photos and videos.


We discussed several components that deal with photos in the tips within this article. It can be challenging to keep track of them. iCloud Photos can back up your entire photo library and sync them across your devices. My Photo Stream is best for those who don’t use iCloud Photos and wish to sync their most recent pictures. And Shared Albums lets you organize and share photos with others.

Contact us now for affordable Mac computer repair in Fernandina Beach. Let our technicians identify and repair software and hardware issues with Mac desktop computers and Mac laptops. We can resolve some problems in your home, but most Mac hardware repairs need to be performed at our repair center.

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This post was written by Pam Lokker

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