Don’t Lose Your Photos: How to Backup and Sync Your iPhone Photos with iCloud

If you’re an iPhone user who takes a lot of photos and videos, you need a way to back them up in case your phone gets lost or damaged. iCloud Photos can be used to back up everything and sync everything accessible across multiple devices.

Apple offers 5 GB of free storage in iCloud, but since free unlimited storage it’s mostly dead these days, you’ll have to pay in no time. Still, iCloud gives you the ability to view photos and videos online and easily access them from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows PC (via the free iCloud app).

iCloud storage plans: How much space do I need?

You’ll find that backing up all your photos via iCloud will quickly eat up the free space Apple gave you. If 5 GB isn’t enough to store your many years of photos and videos, you may need to invest in iCloud+, Apple’s subscription-based offerings. The service offers 50 GB for 99 cents per month, 200 GB for $2.99 ​​per month, and 2 TB for $9.99 per month.

See iCloud storage

You can measure how much space you would need to store your photos and videos in iCloud. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storagethen swipe down the screen to the Photos entry to see how much storage this content type is currently using.

Review and delete photos

Next, open the Photos app on your iPhone to review the photos and videos you’ve taken. You may want to take this opportunity to clear some space removing everything you don’t want to keep, especially if they are taking up a lot of storage.

Enable iCloud Photos on iPhone

Now is the time to turn on iCloud Photos. On your phone, go to Settings and touch your name. To choose iCloud > Photosthen enable Sync this iPhone. You are also asked to choose between optimizing iPhone storage or downloading and keeping the originals.

icloud photo settings

If your phone is low on space, choose Optimize iPhone storage to download smaller, lower-resolution copies of your photos. If you have a lot of space, choose Download and keep originals to save larger, higher-resolution versions of your photos on your phone.

While you’re here, you may also want to activate shared albums if you want the ability to share your own photo albums with others or access albums that are shared with you (to share photos with your Apple Family, try a shared photo library instead). Allow your photos and videos to upload and sync with iCloud Photos.

Depending on how many there are, it could take a while. From this point, everything you take on your phone will also be backed up to iCloud.

Enable iCloud Photos on iPad, Mac, and Apple TV

iCloud Photos can also be enabled from your other Apple devices, including iPad, Mac, and even Apple TV. Once the feature is turned on, photos and videos can be viewed through the Photos app on these respective devices.

Turn on the switch for iCloud Photos

To use iCloud Photos on an iPad, go to Settings and touch your name. Open iCloud > Photosthen turn on the switch next to iCloud photos. You should then be able to see your synced photos in the Photos app.

Set up iCloud Photos on a Mac

You can set up iCloud Photos on a Mac from System Preferences. select Apple IDthen click iCloud in the left pane. Check the box to Photos and enter the password for your username, if prompted. Once your photos and videos are synced, you can view them in the Photos app on your Mac.

Use iCloud Photos on Apple TV

To set up iCloud Photos on an Apple TV, go to Settings > Users and accounts. select iCloud and then turn on iCloud photos. Open the Photos app on your Apple TV to view your photos and videos.

Enable iCloud Photos on Windows PC

You can also set up iCloud Photos on a Windows PC if you download the free app iCloud for Windows(Opens in a new window) Microsoft Store app. After installation, click the Start button and select the iCloud shortcut. Sign in with your Apple username and password, and the iCloud app displays all the potential content to sync.

Set up iCloud Photos on a Windows PC

Click on the Options next to Photos and enable iCloud photos Y Share albums (if you want to share your albums and access other shared albums). Click Donethen select Apply to save your changes.

Turn on the switch for iCloud Photos

You can view your iCloud photos in File Explorer by navigating to Photos\iCloud Photos\Photos. However, there will be no date classification or other organizational features. A better option is to import your photos and videos into the Windows Photos app (which Windows 11 does it automatically(Opens in a new window)).

Open the Photos app

To do this, open the Photos app. Click the ellipsis icon in the upper right corner and select Settings. To choose Add a folder and select your iCloud Photos folder. Click Add this folder to Pictures.

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Add folder for iCloud Photos

Return to the main Photos screen and wait for the photos to sync. You should then be able to view your photos and videos by date. The main drawback to iCloud for Windows is that sync only works one way, which means changes you make in Windows won’t be reflected anywhere else.

To see photos

For that reason, you’ll want to edit, delete, and manage your photos on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, or on

View photos on

Your photos and videos will also be synced online. Open your browser and go to in a new window). Sign in with your Apple account, then click Photos to view all your backed up photos and videos sorted by date. You can then click Favorites to view any you have tagged as favorites or recent to see the new additions.

Go to

Under Albums, click the arrow to media types and select a specific type of item, such as Videos or Panoramas. If you created any photo albums on your iPhone, click the arrow to my albums and select a specific one to view the photos and videos inside.

view albums

You can click a photo to view it full screen, then click the right or left arrow to move forward or back in your photo library. Or zoom in or out on a photo by moving the slider at the top left.

see a photo

You can select multiple photos if you use ctrl+click either shift + click. From the toolbar in the upper right corner, you can upload more photos, add selected photos to an album, tag photos as favorites, share photos, download images, or delete images.

select multiple photos

Keep in mind that if you delete a photo from, it’s also deleted from your iPhone and any other synced devices.

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