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How To Download iCloud Photos to PC – 3 Easy Steps!

Download iCloud Photos. Original photo: iMore.com

If you’re the unfortunate user of an iPhone + PC + Windows combination like I am, then you might have had the same problem at some point as I’ve had today: you have no idea how to download iCloud photos to your PC, all at once, without saving them one by one. In my case, due to laziness and lots of traveling in the past few months, I now have 7,500 photos on there that I really need to get “back”.

I tried logging on to iCloud.com, but apparently, this newest version only lets you pick one photo at a time and then download it. Ain’t nobody got time for dat! Next, I tried getting my photos back via my phone, but that didn’t really work either. After endless googling and surfing the Apple support groups I think I found the solution: a secret little download button on my very computer!

So, just in case anyone else is struggling with this, here’s some directions to…

How to download iCloud photos to your PC

1. Download the iCloud app for PC. First, you’ll need to install the iCloud manager app from this page. Once you’ve installed it and logged in, it should look something like this:

How to download iCloud photos to your PC

Downloading photos from iCloud to PC: this is how!

2. Take a look in the lower corner of your screen. Fingers crossed this will work for you too, now: as instructed by another friendly user on the Apple support forum, you’ll now have to look to the lower left corner of your screen. You know, down where your printer / clock / battery and all that other little info resides.

See the little iCloud logo? For me, it looks like this.

Photos from iCloud to PC

This icon is the one you’re looking for.

3. Next, click on it! It should offer you the following options:

iCloud Photos: download photos / upload photos

And once you click on the “download photos” one, it should give you the option of selecting all of your iCloud photos or year titled folders. From there it’s easy breezy, just leave your laptop as it is and it’ll eventually sort out your photos into your iCloud Photos / Downloads folder (located under your iCloud folder).

I’m currently in the process of downloading my 7,500 photos and so far, it’s looking good.

By the way… I swear they’re not all selfies. I just pretty much take photos of everything I see when traveling. But from now on, I might choose to transfer them manually onto my computer so I stay a bit more organized!

Happy downloading ?

-Tiia

PS: Do let me know if this worked for you. Please also note that this worked for me with the current iOS, the current version of iCloud and a Windows PC laptop – it might not work later (in which case, I’d appreciate if you’d let me know so I can make a note in this post!) or might not work with other combinations. 

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Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter, marketing assistant. I once traveled across North America in flipflops. I love dogs, ketchup and many inspiring people. Visit my photo portfolio here.

63 Comments

  1. Cass L'Hotellier says:

    Thank you! I was having this exact same problem and this solution works. :-)

    • Amazing!! Really cool that you found this – I battled with the problem for HOURS and got super annoyed :D

    • jane says:

      You are amazing I have spent hours trying to sort this and its been most frustrating..for me I have my last photos of my dad who died suddenly a few days after we saw him and I have been getting very upset….so thank you thank you !!

  2. Chantelle says:

    Thank you so much. I’ve been trying for a day now to solve this and this worked for me too ?

  3. Barbs says:

    Thanks!! As others before me previously stated…I’ve been trying to do this for days…
    BUT, I still have a problem. I don’t have enough storage space on my PC to hold all the photos, so I am trying to figure how to change the destination of the download to my flash drive (G:) which has 128g available. (My photos = 85g) Can you help me with this? THANKS in advance.

    • Ugh, sorry, I’ve only seen this now (odd!). You might not need my advice anymore but just in case someone else reads the thread: if you’re unable to choose the destination folder, maybe transfer some of your other files onto the external drive while you do the download? Bit of a hassle but all that I can think of right now :)

  4. MattS says:

    Question. When you perform this feature, does it download the pictures with the time/date they were taken? In other words, a time stamp? Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

  5. Janson says:

    Unfortunatley for me it just has two options. 1. go to icloud.com 2. Open icloud settings. This is the most ridiculous shit i have ever seen. I am doing this to help my girlfriend transfer her photos to google (where it’s free). I own an Android and would NEVER contemplate getting an iphone after this bag of crap.

  6. Linda says:

    It worked, thank you so much!

  7. Maureen says:

    Curious – after I click download it says it’s preparing to download and could take some time.
    It’s been several hours now. Does this seem correct?

  8. Mary says:

    Doesn’t work on my PC Laptop. It says it does – the icon comes up the box pops up and allows me to choose which pictures I want by year etc, then it creates a folder…then it’s empty. Ive tried a dozen different times and waited a few hours to see if it was because it was a lot of pictures. Unfortunately it won’t work :-(

  9. Mary says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. This worked when nothing else did. You rock!

  10. Richard says:

    Yes!!!! Finally, someone smarter than me figured this out for me/us. We had an iCloud account for years, and always just logged in via the website — it never occurred to us that the PC app would help in this task. A MILLION THANK YOUS!!!!

  11. Kip says:

    Amazing job aid, thank you. Yes, depending on how many pics and videos are on your phone (and your internet speed) it could take hours for your “my pictures” folder to fully upload all your pics and videos. Be patient – they all come through. Once again, thanks.
    ~Kip

  12. MMS says:

    THANK YOU so much for this! You are so much more helpful than any of the Apple support people have been!

  13. Narik says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been trying off/on for months to find the answer to this. you just made me so very happy!

  14. Andrew says:

    I am getting huge temp files accumulating in Users/{name}/appdata/local/apple inc/cloudkit/icloud photos/MMCS, like hundreds of Gb’s. I left it to download overnight and it left just 50Mb on my laptop which would barely function. The hard drive had 300Gb free when i started to download my 55Gb of photos. I can delete the temp files to get the laptop running again but then it won’t continue the download. Instead it makes a xx(1) folder and does them all again until it fills the hard drive again and falls over. Win 7 64 Bit PC Laptop. Anyone else have storage issues way beyond the size of the actual pics you are trying to get hold of?

    • Jeff says:

      ANDREW, did you get an answer or find a solution to this problem with temp files? I have same issue. I free up 4GB and it downloads 1 item and my hard drive is full again. I’m fairly certain this is Apple punishing Windows users…although they fail to realize they’ve already got me to get an iPhone…

  15. Doug says:

    Worked great, thanks!

  16. Jeffrey says:

    This was what I ended up doing but, the problem is I have almost 500 photos missing seems like it takes a while and it downloads like a hundred at a time.

  17. Lana says:

    Thankyou
    I did get that far the other night, but keeps saying
    It may take a while to prepare a large library for the first time, I will give it an hour and see what happens!
    But I’m so going to leave apple, as this is so rubbish
    They are so MY photos and I should be able to download them easily onto MY laptop

    • Lynn says:

      I feel the same way (and I’m also having the same problem with waiting for the library to prepare). This is complete rubbish. It shouldn’t be this hard to get my own photos. I’ve spent my whole day on this and it’s been a huge headache, as I have 10k photos. Not worth it. I’m done with the cult of Apple and will be switching back to Android in the future. I never had problems getting my photos with an Android phone. I’m completely turned off by this.

  18. Gregory White says:

    OMG after hours of failing & searching, the your Step 2 did the trick! Thanks so much.

  19. chris says:

    SO this works for a bit… after downloading icloud and selecting all photos from icoud it downloads like 80 pics to my windows 10 and then stops syncing. anybody any news for this?

  20. Sondra says:

    Thank you so much! this is the first real solution I’ve been able to find that actually WORKS! The oldest photos have already downloaded and I’ll download the newer photos and videos overnight. Bless you and thanks for sharing!

  21. Maddy says:

    so, hopefully someone can advise on this! I’ve followed the instruction, all good so far – i know have folders showing with the years of the photos, fine, however…. there is nothing in them- and nothing to show the photos are downloading? how can i get the photos actually in the folders its created?! any help would be very appreciated!

  22. Murat says:

    Thank you very much. Especially screenshots helped a lot.

  23. Natalia says:

    Thank you, this worked for me.

  24. Rachel says:

    THANK YOU!! I was going crazy so thank you for saving my time. :)

  25. Rachel says:

    THANK YOU!! I was going crazy so thank you for saving my time. Now I can get on and get back to my yoga mat. :)

  26. L says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I have been trying to figure out how to do this as well. Apple is so not user friendly. I would get them to download but lost my original date taken.

  27. Anne says:

    Question: how does it label/name the photos once downloaded? How easy is it to then organize them by month and year once downloaded? I have approx 20,000 to download from Icloud… Thanks.

  28. Claudia says:

    I’m just trying to download or is it upload photos from my iPhone to my computer. Used to be I would plug my phone into the computer and, ba-da-bing, it would open up a photo software program, I don’t know which one, and I could click download. Not anymore. Not sure why that is. When I open iCloud, it doesn’t look anything like what you have above. I need to empty the photos off my phone so I can take new ones! Argh.

  29. Naime says:

    Was going insane (especially reading Apple.com ‘no help’ site and blogs etc) looking for a simple method to ‘select all’ pictures at once and download them off the cloud; simply installing windows cloud manager and using these instructions worked perfectly.

  30. Nawas0010@mail.com says:

    com

  31. Masi D says:

    Hi,
    Just a question, by mistake I am downloading twice the same folders, how do I stop the process for downloading pics?

    • Gilbert says:

      I did the same thing and I don’t have enough space in my HardDrive to hold twice the amount of photos… did you find a way to stop the second download? Thanks!

  32. Margreet van der Weide says:

    Thank you so much! I really didn’t get the synchronising work from my I-Phone to my Acer. This information made it possible.
    Thanks again.

  33. Sarah says:

    Hi,

    thanks for your tips. so far it didnt work for me yet. i found the icloud icon but im only getting the following options. go to icloud.com/ icloud settings.

    im not sure what to do next, could you perhaps further assist me?

  34. Mlouise Caruana Galea says:

    Thank you so much! Finally downloaded my photos from my iphone!

  35. THANK YOU!! I was going crazy so thank you for saving my time. Now I can get on and get back to my yoga mat. :)

  36. hank you, thank you. I’ve been trying off/on for months to find the answer to this. you just made me so very happy!

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  40. Paul says:

    Thank you. Wonderful!

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