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In case you wonder how to download photos from iCloud to PC, we have an excellent comprehensive guide covering several popular methods.
Read the guide

If you are trying to understand how to get pictures from iCloud to your iPhone, you probably noticed battling iCloud is not that easy. Thankfully, there’s are 4 workable solutions to download photos from iCloud to your iPhone. Choose the one that suits you best:

The following methods will work for both iPhone and iPad. Let’s start transferring photos from iCloud to iPhone!

How to download photos from iCloud to iPhone

Method 1 is simply to download photos from iCloud to a computer and then to your iPhone. One extra perk here is you can select the photos to transfer to your iPhone. The best thing about this method is it doesn’t require overwriting your data – you just add photos to your iPhone. Period.

First of all, you need to choose how to download photos from iCloud to PC.

We 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

To download photos using CopyTrans Cloudly, follow the steps:

  1. First, let’s download photos from iCloud to a computer. For that, please install CopyTrans Cloudly:
    Download CopyTrans Cloudly
  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.

    log in to iCloud with CopyTrans Cloudly

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

    Two-factor authentication for iCloud

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

    Download photos from iCloud

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

    Downloading photos from iCLoud with CopyTrans Cloudly

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

    Download CopyTrans Photo

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

    CopyTrans Photo iPhone photos and PC photos

  8. In the rightmost pane, select a PC folder with your iCloud photos. Then select the exact 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.

    Select the photo album where you want to transfer iPhone photos

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

    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
  10. To put pictures from computer to iPhone, just drag and drop the selected files to 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 cleaning your iPhone before downloading images.

  11. To finish transferring iCloud photos to iPhone, click “Apply changes”.

    Click Apply changes to download iCloud photos to iPhone

CopyTrans Photo allows you to:

⚡ Transfer photos and videos in original quality with EXIF data between iPhone and PC
⚡ Back up your entire photo library in two clicks and store it safely on PC
⚡ Stop paying monthly iCloud fees
⚡ Convert HEIC to JPEG on the fly
⚡ Work with the new Apple ProRAW format
⚡ Work offline, independently from the internet
⚡ Easily organize and clean up your library to free up space

And that’s it! You have successfully moved photos from iCloud to iPhone in a matter of minutes!

Get photos from iCloud backup

If iCloud Photos was disabled on your device and the photos were not in iCloud, do not lose heart. It means that they would be included into an iCloud backup if you made one recently. You can discover and look inside your iCloud backups with CopyTrans Backup Extractor. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Backup Extractor:
  2. Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  3. Install and run the program. If you need help, refer to the installation guide.
  4. On the welcome screen, choose “Log in to iCloud for more backups”.

    Log in to iCloud with CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  5. Enter your Apple ID and password.

    Enter Apple ID and password to access iCloud backups

  6. If you have 2-factor authentication enabled, you will also need to insert a verification code sent to your device.

    Enter the verification code to log in to iCloud

  7. 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

  8. Choose the backup that contains your photos. If the backup is encrypted, enter the backup password to proceed.

    Enter the backup password if needed

  9. Click on “Photos”.

    Select photo data type to be extracted

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

    CopyTrans Backup Extractor finished data extraction

  11. Your photos are successfully out of the backup! You can now transfer them to your iPhone.

Restore photos from iCloud to iPhone

If your photos are not in iCloud (they weren’t synced), don’t worry – it means they would be included into an iCloud backup. You can now restore photos directly to your iPhone using iCloud restore. The drawbacks are that you won’t be able to restore iCloud photos only and you will need to erase all content from your iPhone first. If you would like a more “democratic” way of restoring your photos, use CopyTrans Backup Extractor: it will find your iCloud backups and extract data to your PC, after which you can easily import them to 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. Open “Settings” on your iPhone and tap on your name -> iCloud -> Manage Storage -> Backups.

  2. Your iCloud backups

  3. To restore photos to iPhone from iCloud backup, go back to Settings and choose “General”. Scroll down and find the “Reset” tab.

  4. Choose “Erase All Content and Settings”.

  5. Select “Erase now”.
    TIP: If you are not comfortable with erasing your data, try taking a roundabout route.

  6. How to reset iPhone

  7. 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.

  8. Restore iPhone from iCloud

Get photos from iCloud to be stored on 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 get photos from iCloud to iPhone

Hope you’ve managed to successfully download photos from iCloud to iPhone using one of these solutions. 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.