How to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac or Windows PC

How to download photos from iCloud once they have been stored there is the most common asked question regarding iCloud Photo Library. While this may look like a very simple and straightforward question, there is quite a bit of complexity involved in it. But we are going to look at the simplest, easiest and most direct way to download pictures from iCloud to Windows or a Mac.

In this article, we will show you how to download a multiple pictures at once and also how to download single picture from iCloud.

Steps to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac OS or Windows PC

1. How Can I Download All Photos from iCloud at once?

I believe this is the solution that most people are looking for: “is there any way to download all of my pictures from iCloud?”. It would have been simple and easy, if only there was a “download all” button on iCloud Photos. What is even worse is that you can’t access iCloud Photos through iCloud Drive and copy them like you would from Dropbox on a computer. Hopefully, Apple might add these features to iCloud website in the coming days. Until then, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Go to iCloud.com and login with your Apple ID and password.download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-1
  2. Go to “Photos” section.download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-2
  3. Choose the “All Photos” album.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the All Photos album and click the “Select Photos” button on the top of the iCloud Photos bar.
  5. Hold down the Shift key and click on the very last picture in the album. Now every photo in the All Photos album will be selected. You should see the iCloud Photos bar saying something similar to “361 photos selected”.
  6. Next, choose the blue “Download” button at the top of the iCloud Photos bar.
  7. If you are asked to – simply confirm that you want to download all the selected photos and click on “Download”.download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-5

After the last step above, all your photos will be downloaded to your Downloads folder unless you have intentionally specified to have them saved elsewhere.

Unfortunately there is no “Select All” button or “Download All” button in iCloud Photos on the web currently. The trick here is to use SHIFT key to select multiple photos or even all photos to download in bulk from iCloud this way. Yes, it does require some manual effort from our side but it is the only way to get this job done, at least for now.

2. How Can I Download a Photo from iCloud?

If you have a photo stored in iCloud that you want to download locally on any Mac, Windows PC, or other device? Follow the below steps:

  1. Open a web browser and go to iCloud.com.
  2. Login with your Apple ID and password.download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-1
  3. Click on the “Photos” icon.download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-2
  4. Click and select the photo you want to download. download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-3
  5. When the picture is loaded on screen, you will see a little download icon at the top right. It will look like a cloud with an arrow coming out of the bottom of it. Simply click on it to download the photo from iCloud to the computer.download-photos-from-icloud-to-mac-or-windows-4

You can repeat this process to download any photo you want.

This method works the fine on any web browser. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a Mac or Windows PC, Android, or Linux, you’ll be able to download the pictures from iCloud using this method.

Sure, there are other ways of downloading full resolution pictures from iCloud as well. But note that they require iCloud Photo Library and Photos app in either Mac OS X or iOS, which is of no use to Windows users.

3. How Can I Download All iCloud Photos to Windows PC?

Luckily, Windows users have another choice available for them: iCloud for Windows. Here are the steps to download iCloud Photos on Windows using iCloud for Windows:

  1. Download and install iCloud for Windows from here.
  2. Post installation, find and choose “iCloud Photos” from the Windows File Explorer.
  3. Click on the “Download photos and videos” in the file explorer navigation bar.
  4. Select the date or years of pictures you want to download. You can even choose all years if you want to download all the pictures.
  5. iCloud will now download all the selected photos to Windows. The photos will be saved to
    \Pictures\iCloud Pictures\Downloads\

Please note that it can take a while to download photos from iCloud to Windows PC, depending on the internet speed and the number of pictures selected for download.

4. How to Download Pictures from iCloud backups or iTunes backups?

iCloud backups are completely different from iCloud Photo Library. Just by having a backup of an iPhone in iCloud, you cannot simply access the pictures in that particular backup. That is not how backups work on Apple ecosystem. In order to get photos from iCloud or iTunes backups made from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you need to restore them to a device or the usage of a third party tool if the backup was made with iTunes.

If you know any other solution to bulk downloading pictures from iCloud or downloading iCloud pictures to Windows, do share them in the comments below.

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