How to upload photos to iCloud from PC

How to upload photos to iCloud

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In this article, we will talk about how to upload photos to iCloud from a PC running Windows.

There are several good reasons to use iCloud Photos. Firstly, it’s safe: no need to worry whether all twenty pictures of your new puppy eating its breakfast from ten different angles are stored carefully in a cloud. The second reason is that it’s very convenient: you just need to remember your Apple ID credentials to access all your pictures from any device.

The issues you may encounter when you move photos to iCloud:
connectivity issues;
iOS glitch;
iCloud internal issues;
iCloud.com only allows to upload 1,000 items at a time;
unclear interface of iCloud for Windows.

Basically, you have three options to upload photos to iCloud:

How to move photos to iCloud

using CopyTrans Cloudly

If you got yourself an iPhone driven by its intuitive interface, you would like this: CopyTrans Cloudly is easy to navigate and can upload large amounts of data to iCloud in just a couple of clicks. Besides, Cloudly is the only app to help you out if you need to recover your permanently deleted photos.

What do I gain by using CopyTrans Cloudly?

Retain the date taken stamp and other image metadata.

Upload HEIC, JPEG, and PNG images to iCloud in great numbers.

Upload MOV, MP4, and M4V videos to iCloud.

After you’ve uploaded your files to iCloud, you can move or delete them from the PC folder: they will still be available in iCloud.

Here is what you need to do to backup photos to iCloud:

  1. Download CopyTrans Cloudly here:
    Download CopyTrans Cloudly
  2. Install and run the app. It will ask you to enter your iCloud credentials. We use an SSL connection to exchange data with iCloud and guarantee 100% safety: you can read more about SSL connections on Wikipedia to make sure.
    How to upload photos to iCloud
  3. If two-factor authentication is enabled on your device, unlock the device and press Allow.
    Allow authentication on your device
  4. Enter the verification code from your device.
    How to move photos to iCloud
  5. Click on the Upload button.
    How to upload pictures to iCloud
  6. Select files you want to upload to iCloud. CopyTrans Cloudly works with HEIC, PNG, and JPEG images along with MOV, MP4, and M4V video files.
  7. When everything is selected, click on the Upload button.
    How do I upload photos to iCloud
  8. Wait while CopyTrans Cloudly is doing the job.
    CopyTrans Cloudly uploading process
  9. All done. Your photos joined the iCloud.
    Successful upload CopyTrans Cloudly

YouTube guide

CopyTrans Cloudly also can:

Rescue your permanently deleted photos from Apple servers.

Download all iCloud photos to your PC in one go.

Delete all iCloud photos if necessary.


We currently have a great deal – you can get 75% off CopyTrans 7 Pack. It’s cheaper than buying just two programs


If you don’t like your experience with iTunes, there is always an alternative. Check out CopyTrans programs: they can do as much as iTunes, and even more.

CopyTrans Photo interface

Transfer iPhone photos to the PC and back

  • Transfer photos and videos from iPhone to PC
  • Move photos and videos from PC to iPhone
  • Create and edit iPad albums
  • Organize photos and preserve album structure
  • Keep EXIF data intact
  • JPG, HEIC, MOV, Live photos
Download and try for free!

Manage iPhone contacts, messages, notes, and calendars on your PC

  • Transfer contacts from one iPhone to another
  • Back up your messages to a PC
  • Manage your iPhone and iCloud calendars
  • Save your iPhone notes to the computer
Download and try for free!
CopyTrans Contacts interface
CopyTrans Shelbee interface

Back up your iPhone to the PC without iTunes

  • Back up and restore iPhone without iTunes
  • Restore iPhone data selectively
  • Restore WhatsApp without iCloud
  • Transfer iOS apps to new iPhone
Download and try for free!

Upload photos to iCloud

via iCloud for Windows

How long does it take to upload photos to iCloud? You will never know if you use iCloud for Windows because there is no progress bar and the only way to know if your photos are in iCloud is to check using another device. However, this program allows you to interact with iCloud uniquely – through Windows File Explorer.

Advantages:

iCloud for Windows allows you to Select folders with images to upload.

Disadvantages:

The Windows version of iCloud Photos does not upload HEIC images;

Can’t upload video files;

It is unclear how long it takes for photos to upload to iCloud;

iCloud for Windows has an unintuitive and confusing user interface;

The app is unstable and buggy.

Follow the steps below to learn how to save photos to iCloud using iCloud.com:

  1. First of all, you need to install iCloud for Windows.
    • If you have Windows 10 and Windows 11 – use the Microsoft store
    • If you have Windows 7 or 8 – download an installer from Apple.com
  2. After the installation is completed, log in using your Apple ID.
    Log in to iCloud for Windows
  3. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, you will be prompted to verify your login with a code from your device.
  4. Select the Photos option and click on Apply to start the synchronization process.
    Set up iCloud for Windows app
  5. Open File Explorer. On the left, you will see a new folder, iCloud Photos.
    iCloud for Windows folder in Windows Explorer
  6. Inside the folder, you will see all the photos synced to iCloud.
    iCloud for Windows in Windows Explorer
  7. Copy and paste JPEG and PNG files (or entire directories) inside this folder, and they will appear in iCloud shortly.

If you are wondering Is iCloud for Windows really as good as Apple says it is? Then read the article and find it out!


How to put photos on iCloud

with iCloud.com

The last option to upload photos to iCloud from PC on our list allows you to interact with iCloud through your browser. But if you are wondering why some of your iCloud photos are not uploading – it is because you can only upload JPEG files.

Advantages:

There is no need to install anything on your PC: use any browser.

Disadvantages:

Doesn’t allow to select a folder;

Can’t upload video files;

Only works with JPEG images.

If you select this option:

  1. Open icloud.com.
  2. Sign in using your Apple ID.
    Log in to your iCloud via website
  3. Select Photos.
    Choose Photos option on iCloud.com
  4. Click on a cloud icon in the upper-right corner.
    Click on the upload icon on iCloud website
  5. Select the PC photos you want to upload and click Open. In a couple of seconds, selected photos will be uploaded to the server.
    Select photos to be uploaded

This is how to upload files to iCloud from a PC using iCloud.com.

If you have an issue when iCloud photos not sync, then look into our detailed guide on how to fix the iCloud not syncing photos problem.


In the table below, you can see the strengths and weaknesses of each option.

CopyTrans Cloudly iCloud.com iCloud for Windows
Uploading photos to iCloud Yes Yes Yes
Uploading HEIC and PNG files Yes No No
Uploading videos to iCloud Yes No No
Uploading MOV, MP4, and M4V files Yes No No
Uploading all photos Uploads everything at once Uploads only 1000 items at a time Uploads everything at once
Speed (depends on the internet connection speed) 15-30 minutes for every 5 GB Eternity 1,5-3 hours for every 5 GB
Incremental upload and download of new photos (without creating duplicates) Yes No No
Downloading all photos Downloads everything at once Downloads only 1000 items at a time Downloads everything at once
Downloading originals Yes Yes Not always
Deleting all photos Deletes everything at once Deletes only 1000 items at a time No
Preserving album structure Yes No No (downloads by year)
Retrieving permanently deleted photos Yes No No

Conclusion

Now you know how to move photos to iCloud from a PC in three different ways. In the end, it all boils down to what is more convenient for you. If you want to easily sync photos to iCloud in batches, CopyTrans Cloudly is your choice. If you are not afraid of a confusing interface but appreciate an opportunity to operate through File Explorer – choose iCloud for Windows; finally, if you prefer to use your browser, go with icloud.com.

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By James

Pavel is a support specialist who thinks that he can do a triathlon one day, straight after he gives up junk food.