iCloud is a cloud storage service which keeps your mail, photos, contacts, calendars, documents, and other data stored in the cloud and synced to all your Apple devices. It provides free 5 GB of data storage for anyone who signs up for the service. Without much to say, many of us are using this great cloud service to back up photos taken with our iPhone/iPad/iPod.
But if you are a beginner of iCloud, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed. For example, how to sync photos with iCloud? Is it possible to download iCloud photos? If the photo is lost, can it be recovered? Let's start at the very beginning.
How to enable iCloud Photo Library
On iPhone/iPad: Launch Settings on iPhone/iPad > Tap on iCloud > Tap on Photos > Turn on iCloud Photo Library option at top.
On Mac: Go to System Preferences > iCloud > Options next to Photos > Select iCloud Photo Library.
How to enable iCloud Photos Stream
On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings > iCloud > Photos, then turn on My Photo Stream.
On Mac: Go to System Preferences > iCloud > Photos > Click on the Options button and enable My Photo Stream.
Windows PC: Download and install iCloud for Windows first > Open iCloud for Windows > Select Photos and Options > Choose My Photo Stream > Click Done and Apply.
How to download iCloud Photos to PC or Mac
- If you are using Windows:
1. Download and install iCloud control panel on computer. Then launch it.
2. Select Photos and the tap on Options button.
3. Turn on My Photos Sharing, and the click on Ok and Apply to confirm the settings.
4. Now go to Windows Explorer, you will see a new folder called iCloud Photos.
5. Open the folder and you will see My Photo Stream and other Shared Album folders.
6. The photos should start to appear once they’ve been downloaded automatically.
- If you are using Mac:
1. Open iCloud and turn on Photos > My Photo Stream
2. Go to Preferences and then open the iCloud tab.
3. Turn on My Photo Stream and Automatic Import
4. You should now see the iCloud folder under the Shared section. Click on it, and you can find My Photo Stream folder along with other Shared Albums.
If the photo is lost, can it be recovered?
If you delete a picture by accident, or later regret it, you have 30 days to reverse it by going to the Photos app and recover it from the recently deleted album. If you lose or delete some iPhone/iPad photos because of iOS upgrade issue, jailbreak failure, factory reset or water damaged device, you can get back the deleted pictures from iCloud backup if you have any. But this requires you to restore your iPhone/iPad with the entire backup, which means some current data on your device will be erased.
Luckily, numerous companies offer photo backup service for iOS devices, including Google+, Amazon’s new automatic photo backup for Prime members. One of my favorite is FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery, which not only backs up your photos, but also let you selectively recover lost/deleted pictures in three reliable ways. For example, it helps me recover iCloud photos by downloading all photos wanted on my computer. Aside from photos, FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery can be used to retrieve contacts, messages, videos, call history, calendar and more. It feels like magic.
- To download photos from iCloud, you need to enable iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream on your device beforehand.
You can recover lost iCloud photos from iCloud backup or other professional apps like FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery.