Photo Stream

What is Photo Stream and How to Enable It

So what is photo stream? Is there anything different to distinguish my photo stream and iCloud Photo Library? And how to use it smartly, to deal with iOS images? So many questions asked among most forums and many other online question sites. Well, today, I will explain iCloud in detail, which contained my photo stream.

Nowadays, people like to record everything in life by photos, to take pictures of pets, babies, or the plants daily. If somebody travels abroad or somewhere with good sceneries, he or she must take many photos with iPhone, since Apple is the World’s largest smart phone provider. Because of the ability of storing large amount of pictures, iCloud has been most people’s choices, to share and save all kinds of photos. There are two main aspects you can get on iOS device, the first one is iCloud Photo Library, and latter is My Photo Stream. Let’s see the accurate destinations below.

Photo Stream

iCloud Photo Library VS My Photo Stream

There is totally 5GB free iCloud storage for you to use. It does not mean you can get only 5GB to save photos into iCloud, once you pay for iCloud storage space improving service, it will be enlarged as well. And iCloud Photo Library will take place the limited iCloud storage space and keep all your stored videos and photos updated. The videos and photos stored in iCloud Photo Library will not get any quality damage. Moreover, most file formats are supported here. In addition, iCloud Photo Library has the high compatible with iOS 8.1 or later, plus OS X10.10.3 or later.

If you wanna to know what is photo stream, you can regard it as the spin-off of iCloud Photo Library. In another word, iCloud Photo Library is the upgrade version of My Photo Stream. Both iCloud Photo Library and iPhone Photo Stream have the capacity to upload your photos automatically. But there are many differences between these two features.


Firstly, you can access iCloud Photo Library on a wider range of platforms, including Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Windows PC, Apple TV, Apple Watch and But Photo Stream is not available on Apple Watch and website.

File types

The iCloud Photo Library is not only able to sync photos at JPEG, TIFF, PNG, RAW and GIF, but also able to backup MP4 videos. iPhone Photo Stream focuses on JPEG, TIFF and PNG photos.


The iCloud Photo Library uses your iCloud storage and Apple just offers 5GB free storage to each iCloud account; while Photo Stream, which only uploads last 30 days and up to 1000 photos, does not seize your iCloud storage. Moreover, former feature will store the original photos at full resolution; but latter feature will only deliver full resolution photos on Mac and PC.

You are able to keep latest 30 days pictures, and not up to 1000. The advantage of using photo stream is that, it will not cost your iPhone storage space, because of the cloud storage. It is hard to tell whether my photo stream is useful to everyone. But there are still certain cases to benefit from it.For people whose images stored in my photo stream have over 1000, or greater, your previous images will be removed automatically. It depends on how much photos you have exceeded.

iCloud Photo Library

How to Use My Photo Stream

After knowing what is photo stream, it is time to equip the detail operations. Now let us see the whole process to enable, access and delete photos in my photo stream.

Enable My Photo Stream

If you have no plan to store pictures in iCloud Photo Library, but still wanna to view recent images on iPhone, iPad and iPod devices, the following steps are something you have better know.

Step 1: Go to Settings application on your iOS device.

Step 2: Turn to Photos & Camera option.

Step 3: Turn on Upload to My Photo Stream selection.

Once you turn off my photo stream, your will disable all previous iCloud images on your iOS device.

Turn Off Photo Stream iCloud

Access My Photo Stream

How to view Photo Streams on iPhone

1. If you have turn on Photo Stream on iPhone, you can look at the photos on another iPhone or iPad after connect to Wi-Fi. These two devices should log in the same Apple ID.

2. Open the Photos app and tap on the Albums.

3. Then you can see an album called My Photo Stream. Open it; you can browse all the photos taken within 30 days on another iPhone.

You can select any photos in this album and delete or share them.

view Photo Streams on iPhone

How to view Photo Streams on Mac

1. Go to System Preferences on your Mac computer, open iCloud, check the Photo Stream box and click on the Options.

2. On the options dialog, check the My Photo Stream option and click on the OK button to enable this feature on Mac.

3. Run iPhoto or Aperture and navigate to Preferences-> Photo Streams-> My Photo Streams. Once turn Automatic Import option on, you can view photo stream in iPhoto or Aperture.

view Photo Streams on Mac

How to view Photo Stream on Apple TV

1. After you enable iPhone Photo Stream, open your Apple TV.

2. Turn on Wi-Fi in Settings-> Network on Apple TV.

3. Then go to iCloud in Settings-> Account and check the My Photo Stream option to turn it on. If you already turn on this feature on Apple TV, you should turn it off and turn it on again.

view Photo Stream on Apple TV

Delete Photos in My Photo Stream

So how the delete the specific image you do not keep but has existed in my photo stream already? Is there any necessary to delete that image among all iOS devices, or just to log in my photo stream to delete for one time? Uhm, actually, if you have enabled iCloud photo library on any Apple device, your shoots will be uploaded to iCloud in auto mode. And you have to go to All Photos section to delete it totally.

Step 1: Launch Photos application as usual.

Step 2: Choose Albums and click My Photo Streams.

Step 3: Select the picture you want to remove.

Step 4: Click the Trash icon on the lower right corner.

Step 5: Hit the X option to erase the picture you want to remove from My Photos Streams.

All other Apple devices cannot receive the deleted image any more, after the above operation.

Delete Photo Stream from iPhone


My Photo Stream feature is useful, but some users complaint that the album disappeared or did not work after update. According to Apple, My Photo Stream folder will disappear once you enable iCloud Photo Library on the latest iOS. So, if you want to evoke Photo Stream album, you will need to go to Setting-> iCloud-> Photos and turn iCloud Photo Library off.

When it comes to My Photo Stream not working, you should check:

1. Whether you have turned on My Photo Stream feature.

2. Whether the battery power is enough. If the battery power is less than 20%, this feature will be disabled automatically.

3. Whether your iPhone or iPad connects to Wi-Fi.

4. Whether you login with the same Apple ID.

If My Photo Stream is still not working, you can go to Apple website and ask for help.


With the above paragraphs have mentioned, do you have clearer impression of what is photo stream at present? If the answer is not quite sure, then I will organize some final descriptions here. My Photo Stream is the feature provided from iCloud, with which you can store recent images in 30 days. Make sure your photo collections are not up to 1000. Moreover, your iPhone storage will not be influenced. So you will not face the embarrassing situation of running out of space. All in all, it is worth to enable my photo stream, to duplicate images without costing anything. Thus, it is safe and free to try my photo stream, to collect not so important pictures within a month.