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iCloud Photos logo

If you are trying to learn how to get photos from iCloud to iPhone, you have probably noticed that battling iCloud is not that easy. You may find yourself facing one of these issues:

iCloud Photos not syncing;
photos not showing up in your gallery;
you are running out of iPhone storage;
you don’t want to install iCloud for Windows.

Don’t panic! Thankfully, there are 4 workable solutions to download photos from iCloud to iPhone. Choose the one that suits you best:

These methods will work for both iPhones and iPads.

⚡ There’s a discount coupon for those who will read the guide till the end 😉


How to download photos from iCloud to iPhone

without iCloud

To manually download photos from iCloud to iPhone without installing iCloud for Windows, we will download iCloud photos to the PC first and then transfer them to the iPhone. We will do so by using CopyTrans software.

CopyTrans apps will let you:
download more than 1000 items at a time,
manually select the photos to transfer to your iPhone,
and keep all the other iPhone data intact.

If you are ready, let’s get started.

How do I retrieve photos from iCloud to my iPhone

Step 1: Download iCloud photos to your computer

Download photos from iCloud to PC in 1 click using CopyTrans Cloudly. It’s super easy, you’ll see! Just follow the steps:

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Cloudly by clicking on the link below:
    Try CopyTrans Cloudly for free
    If you need help, please refer to the installation guide.
  2. Run CopyTrans Cloudly. You will see a login screen. Enter your Apple ID and password.

    NOTE: We use a secure SSL connection and do not store your account data unless you want us to save it for faster login. In this case, it will be saved on your PC within the app’s settings.

    How to download photos from iCloud to iPhone

  3. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, make sure to allow the connection on your device:

    How do I retrieve photos from iCloud to my iPhone

  4. Wait until your iCloud photo library is loaded. To download all photos from iCloud, click Download and select the destination folder:

    download all photos from iCloud

  5. Voila! All you need to do now is wait until all your photos and videos are downloaded from iCloud.

    NOTE: If you need to delete these photos from iCloud afterward, have a look at this guide: How to delete photos from iCloud.

    Download photos from iCloud to PC

YouTube guide

If you are still not sure about CopyTrans Cloudly, check out this comparison table of ways to download photos from iCloud to PC. We have compared three ways including one of our own invention:

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

Step 2: Transfer photos from PC to iPhone

We are ready to download iCloud photos to iPhone! For a smooth transfer, use CopyTrans Photo.

😉 Check out the discount coupon for those who are planning to buy two apps at the end of the article.

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Photo by clicking on the link below:
    Download CopyTrans Photo for free
    If you need help, please refer to the installation guide.

  2. Start CopyTrans Photo and connect your device. iPhone photos are displayed on the left while PC photos appear on the right.

    download photos from iCloud to iPhone

  3. Select a PC folder with your iCloud photos in the right pane. Then select the photos you wish to transfer to the iPhone.

    TIP: To select multiple photos, press and hold CTRL while clicking on individual photos. To select all the images at once, press CTRL+A.

    download iCloud photos to iPhone

  4. Next, choose the iPhone album on the left to add photos from the computer.

    NOTE: Due to Apple limitations, you cannot add photos to the albums that were created on the iPhone. Please create a new album to download iCloud photos to iPhone.

    Click on the green icon at the top left corner to create a new album

  5. To put pictures from computer to iPhone, just drag and drop the selected files to the iPhone photo pane on the left.

    Select the album and drag and drop photos you want to recover

    If you don’t have enough storage space on your iPhone, consider freeing up your iPhone storage space before downloading the images.

  6. To finish transferring iCloud photos to iPhone, click Apply changes.

    move photos from iCloud to iPhone

    And that’s it! Now you know how to move photos from iCloud to iPhone in a matter of minutes!

Advantages of CopyTrans Photo

✔️ Transfers photos and videos between iPhone and PC;
✔️ Saves EXIF data;
✔️ Makes a full backup;
✔️ Converts HEIC to JPEG on the fly;
✔️ Works offline.
Try CopyTrans Photo for free


How to get photos from iCloud

from iCloud backup

If iCloud Photos is disabled on your device and your photos are not in iCloud, it means that they are included in iCloud backups. You can look for one, see what your iCloud backup contains and save these files to a PC with CopyTrans Backup Extractor.

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Backup Extractor by clicking on the link below:
    Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor
    If you need help, please refer to the installation guide.
  2. On the welcome screen, choose Log in to iCloud for more backups.

    How to get photos from iCloud

  3. Enter your Apple ID and password.

    Enter Apple ID and password to access iCloud backups

  4. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, you will also need to enter a verification code sent to your device.

    Enter the verification code to log in to iCloud

  5. There you are! After a short search, CopyTrans Backup Extractor will display all your backups, both on PC and in iCloud. iCloud backups are marked with a cloud icon, while PC backups have a folder icon next to them.

    Find iCloud backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  6. To download iCloud photos, choose the backup that contains your photos. If the backup is encrypted, enter the backup password to proceed.

    Enter the backup password if needed

  7. Click on Photos.

    how to retrieve photos from icloud

  8. Finally, select the folder you want to extract the photos to and wait for the process to complete. Voila! You can now click Open containing folder to see all the extracted photos.

    how to get pictures from icloud

  9. Your photos are successfully retrieved from the backup! You can now transfer them to your iPhone.

Advantages of CopyTrans Backup Extractor

✔️ Compatible with different backups: iCloud, iTunes, CopyTrans Shelbee, or other programs;
✔️ Save photos, contacts, notes, messages, chats, and all the attachments to the PC;
✔️ Looks for all the backups automatically;
✔️ Free version allows you to view what a backup includes.
Start with CopyTrans Backup Extractor


How to restore photos from iCloud

to iPhone

If your photos are not in iCloud (they weren’t synced), it means they are included in iCloud backups. You can now restore photos from iСloud directly to your iPhone using iCloud restore. But this method has some huge disadvantages:

❌ you won’t be able to restore only iCloud photos;
❌ restore will erase all other data on your iPhone first.

If you would like to selectively restore photos from iCloud to iPhone, use CopyTrans Backup Extractor: it will find your iCloud backups and extract data to your PC. After that, you can easily import them to the device.

If you wish to proceed with Erase and Restore, follow the steps below:

  1. First of all, let’s make sure that you have a valid iCloud backup. Go to Settings and tap on your name > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups.

  2. How to restore photos from iCloud

  3. To restore photos from iCloud backup, go back to Settings and choose General. Scroll down and find the Reset tab. Choose Erase All Content and Settings. Select Erase now.
    TIP: If you are not comfortable with erasing your data, try taking a roundabout route.

  4. How to reset iPhone to get photos fro iCloud

  5. After the reset, your iPhone will reboot and take you through the setup steps. Once you are offered to restore your device from an old backup, choose the backup with your iCloud photos.

  6. Restore photos from iCloud to iPhone


How to download iCloud photos

directly to your iPhone

One of the most obvious ways of getting iCloud photos on iPhone is actually hidden in the iPhone Settings. The major drawback of this method is that you have no control over the downloading process and have no estimate of the download time. If you don’t mind waiting, check the Apple guide or follow the instruction below:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings. Tap on your name > iCloud. Select Photos, then toggle off iCloud Photos (or iCloud Photo Library for older iOS versions). Make sure that you have opted to Download and Keep Originals.
  2. Now, all you have to do is wait until your iCloud photos are downloaded to the iPhone. Make sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. It’s even better to leave it working overnight.

How to download iCloud photos


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⭐ Activate on 5 PCs;
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⭐ 2 years of free updates;
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* The offer includes an additional 3$ discount and is only valid when purchasing CopyTrans 7 Pack for private use.


Conclusion

If you are having trouble with syncing your iPhone to iCloud Photos and you don’t want to use iCloud for Windows, we offer you an alternative way to get your photos from iCloud to your iPhone.

Let me know which one worked for you in the comments!

Avatar for Marika CopyTrans
By Marika CopyTrans

Marika (pronounce like 'Merica) dreams of saving the world from boredom. Fairly believes that she was the one for the part of Wonder Woman in DC movies, but for now she is eager to make your CopyTrans journey remarkable.