How to Backup Photos to iCloud from iPhone/Mac/PC

Last Updated on January 9, 2022 by Peter Wood

Backing up photos to iCloud is a wise choice for iPhone users. If you had used iOS devices before, you should be familiar with iCloud. iCloud is the default storage space among iPhone, iPad, and iPod. You can use iCloud to sync images among all Apple devices, such as iPhone, Mac, and iPad, or even PC. Once you had opened an Apple account, you can get 5 GB for free to save photos. If you need more storage room from iCloud, you need to purchase per month. The popular choices are $0.99/ month for 50 GB and $9.99/ month for 2 TB. That's pretty considerable to use iCloud, as the security of iCloud is powerful. Thus, if you have any important images to duplicate, you can choose to backup the photo to iCloud drive.

Backup Photos to iCloud

Part 1: iCloud Photo Library V.S. Photo Stream

There are two main choices for users to duplicate photos to iCloud, which are iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream. Once you have set to backup images to iCloud automatically, you should figure out the differences between the iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream. iCloud Photo Library is the place to store all images and videos as long as possible. You can save full resolutions with many photo formats, like JPG, TIFF, RAW, and so on. However, if you sync images to iCloud Photo Stream, you can only store the recent 1000 images for 30 days, not including videos. Moreover, the image quality will reduce, because Photo Stream only supports storing web-optimized image formats.


If you back up photos to iCloud Photo Stream, these images will not cost any storage of iCloud. In addition, iCloud Photo Library cannot transfer photo albums, while Photo Stream can sync. The common point of iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream is that you can both sync images between Mac and PC. Therefore, before backing up all images to iCloud from iPhone, you need to consider the above factors to access iCloud photos.

Part 2: How to Backup Photos to iCloud from iPhone

As iPhone is easy to take in daily use, people prefer iPhone to save pictures during browsing funny photos or self-portraits. As time went by, iPhone storage space will be smaller and smaller. Thus, you can backup photos to iCloud and delete them from your iPhone to accept new images.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone with the same Wi-Fi.

Step 2: Go to the Settings app and choose the iCloud option.

Step 3: Find the Backup option, and then turn on iCloud Backup.

Step 4: Click the Back Up Now option to start to copy photos to iCloud from iPhone.


The above process is to sync images to the iCloud Photo Library. Thus, you need to go to iCloud Storage to manage iCloud photos. You can also duplicate images to iCloud drive from iPhone without any storage space. If you just need to copy images within a month, backing up photos to iCloud Photo Stream without deleting is better.

Step 1: Click the Upload to My Photo Stream option to duplicate new images automatically during Wi-Fi connection.

Step 2: Go to Camera Roll to delete iPhone photos after backing up to iCloud.


If you choose the Optimize iPhone Storage selection, iCloud images will replace the full-resolution originals automatically to optimize. Thus, it is also a nice choice to backup photos to iCloud then delete them. iPad users can also try this way to backup existing photos to iCloud from the iPad.

Part 3: How to Copy Photos to iCloud from Mac/ PC Computer

There are many methods to backup iCloud photos to a PC or Mac. If your wireless connection is super fast or you do not need to sync too many images to iCloud, you can log in to your Apple ID on the iCloud website. After that, go back to your iPhone to choose files from the iCloud drive. Click the download icon on your Mac or Windows computer to download backed-up photos to iCloud. However, things become a little different when you need to backup photos to iCloud from a PC or Mac.

How to Backup Photos to iCloud from Mac

Step 1: Connect your iPhone or other devices and computers with the same network.

Step 2: Download and open iCloud on your Mac computer.

Step 3: Choose the System Preferences option from the Apple menu.

Step 4: Log in to iCloud with your Apple ID.

Step 5: Select services you want to duplicate images to.

Step 6: Launch Photos on your Mac to turn on Photo Stream.


After that, you can backup photos to iCloud from MacBook. As for syncing photos to iCloud from PC, you need to operate more steps than backing up on Mac.

How to Backup Photos to iCloud from Windows

Step 1: Download and install iCloud on your Windows computer.

Step 2: Choose the Photos option and then select whether to sync by My Photo Stream or iCloud Photo Sharing.

Step 3: Right-click iCloud Photos to add to quick access by choosing the Pin to Quick Access option.

Step 4: Open iCloud Photos from the start menu to choose a location and click the Choose photos or videos option.

Step 5: Fill in the New shared album option to create the place to collect windows images to iCloud.


The final step is to click the Done button. After that, you can backup photos to iCloud from Windows. Thus, duplicating images from PC to iCloud is not as difficult as it seems. You just need to install iCloud on Windows computers, with which you can backup photos and videos to iCloud from a PC.

Part 4: The Best Alternative to Backup iPhone Photos to iCloud

Is there a method to backup photos to iCloud without a subscription? When you need to save a large number of photos with the original quality, iPhone Transfer is the best alternative to backup iCloud photos. It enables you to transfer the photos and videos between iPhone and computer without size limitation. Moreover, you can also manage the photos, convert HEIC to JPEG, and group them into different categories.

  1. Back up photos and videos from iPhone to iTunes and computer within clicks.
  2. Browse the iPhone or computer photos within the program before transferring.
  3. Convert the iPhone HEIC to JPEG when you back up the iPhone photos to PC.
  4. Provide some basic editing features to rotate, convert, and manage photos.
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Step 1: Once you have installed iPhone Transfer, you can launch the program on your computer. Select the Photos menu on the left, you can find the iPhone photos that have been classified in different categories.

iOS Transfer

Step 2: Just select the desired photos you want to backup or check the Select All option to backup all the iPhone photos. Click the drop-down Export to menu and choose the Export to PC option to backup iPhone photos.

Export Media to PC

Step 3: Choose the destination folder where the file will be exported. Wait for seconds and your files will be exported successfully. After that, you can remove the photos from your iPhone to release up more space accordingly.

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Part 5: FAQs about How to Backup Photos to iCloud

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1Why cannot back up photos to iCloud?

If you run out of iCloud storage, you cannot back up photos to iCloud. You can either change JPEG to HEIC, delete some unwanted photos, or subscribe to another iCloud plan to have more storage space. You can always check how much iCloud storage you're using in the Settings app on your device or on

2How to reduce the size of iCloud backup?

Go to the Settings app and choose the name of the iCloud account. Tap the Manage Storage option and choose the Backups option. Tap the name of the device that you're using and turn off any apps that you don't want to back up. After that, you can choose the Turn Off & Delete option.

3Can you back up photos to iCloud only?

Yes. Go to the Settings app and choose the Storage & Backups option. Select the Manage Storage option and tap the device's name and on the next screen. Make sure to turn on the Camera Roll only if you just need to store and backup photos in the Cloud only.


If you need to backup Android photos to iCloud, you need to connect your Android with Mac or Windows computer. And then, pick out Android photos to the new photo album. After that, follow the above methods to sync pictures to iCloud from a PC or Mac computer. iCloud is the transit station to accept and share all photos from different devices. All Apple users can upload photos to iCloud to backup in case. Moreover, you can share iCloud images with families and friends just with the same wireless network. Therefore, even if you delete iPhone photos by mistake, you can still get backed-up photos to iCloud drive to apply.

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