In short, iСloud.com lets you access your iCloud photos on PC through your browser: you can view, select all or multiple photos on iCloud and download them one by one to your PC. There’s no way to download or select all photos at once through iСloud.com if you have more than 1000 items in your library.
iCloud for Windows does let you download all of the photos without selecting them all one by one, but it doesn’t preserve the album structure (only downloads photos by years) and isn’t very stable in general and quite difficult to set up.
CopyTrans Cloudly doesn’t let you view or select the photos, but it downloads all the photos and videos at once in the original format, size, and quality, and it also preserves your iCloud album structure. And it’s faster than both of the alternatives.
This article focuses on Windows computers. If you own a Mac, follow the official Apple guide on how to download photos from iCloud to Mac.
Jump to the method you prefer to get your photos from iCloud:
- Download all photos from iCloud with CopyTrans Cloudly
- Access iCloud photos on PC through iСloud.com
- Download iCloud photos using iCloud for Windows
Or check out our comparison table:
|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 in all cases|
|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||No||Yes||Yes|
Keep in mind that this is a tutorial for Windows users, if you have a Mac, please refer to the guide for macOS users.
Download all photos from iCloud with CopyTrans Cloudly:
To download all photos and videos you have in iCloud at once, use CopyTrans Cloudly
Download iCloud photos
Run CopyTrans Cloudly. You will see a login screen. Enter your Apple ID and password.
If you have a two-factor authentication enabled, make sure to allow the connection on your device:
Enter the code you received on your device:
Wait until your iCloud Photo Library is loaded. You will see the main app screen after. To download all photos and videos from iCloud, click Download:
Select which folder you want to download your library to:
TIP: You can also backup your iCloud photos to external drive to save up space on your PC.
Voila! All you need to do now is wait until all your photos and videos are downloaded.
If you want to move the photos to your iPhone, here’s how to transfer photos from your computer to your iPhone.
Now that you’ve downloaded all the photos and videos, you might want to delete everything from iCloud.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, there are two other alternatives: you can download all your photos and videos with iCloud for Windows or through your browser, using iCloud.com. But, of course, CopyTrans Cloudly is much better 😊
Access iCloud photos on PC through iCloud.com
The main advantage of iCloud.com is that you can quickly see the overwiew of the photos you have in iCloud. You can also use it on your Mac unlike the other two alternatives. However, iCloud.com is no use for you if you want to download or delete all of your photos and videos and don’t spend eternity on it. Anyway, let’s start with the instructions:
Go to iCloud browser version and log in using your Apple ID.
Once logged in, click on Photos.
You will see all your iCloud Photos displayed in the browser by moments (photos grouped by location you took them at, time of day, etc). If you prefer another display mode, select All Photos from the left-hand pane.
Now you can view all your photos in the browser.
Select each photo and tap on the cloud icon in the top right corner to download images one by one from your iCloud account to the computer.
Note: If you have less than 1000 photos in iCloud you can easily download all the photos by pressing Ctrl + A, then clicking on the download button. If you have more than 1000 photos, however, it becomes a bit more tricky. You will have to track which 1000 photos you already downloaded, then select another 1000 and so on. With CopyTrans Cloudly you can download everything at once 🙂
You can also select multiple photos on iCloud by selecting moments. Click the small plus sign at the right top corner of one of the moments. Voila! All the pictures in your moment are selected. You can download them to your PC now.
Once your photos and videos are downloaded to your computer, you will need to manually extract them from the Downloads folder (or wherever your browser stores downloaded files, mine is in This PC >> Downloads) since the browser version of iCloud doesn’t give you the option to download all your photos and videos to a folder of your choice.
Once the downloading process is finished, you can delete all your photos from iCloud and forget about it forever or continue using it. Personally, I haven’t been a fan of iCloud Photo Library since the time I ran out of space on both my iCloud and iPhone and couldn’t do much about it. I didn’t know about CopyTrans Photo at the time, so I had to manually download each photo to my PC since, back then, iCloud didn’t support selecting multiple photos for whatever reason.
Anyway, to delete all the pictures from your iCloud, you’ll have to select all your photos one by one again (or by selecting entire moments as explained above) and click “Delete”. Before deleting, make sure all your photos have been saved to your computer.
How to select all photos on iCloud?
iCloud.com now lets you select all the photos you have in your library by pressing Ctrl + A. Unfortunately, you can only download or delete or do anything with 1000 of those photos:
If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled on your iPhone or iPad, you can simply select all photos and send a link to download them from your computer. Here’s how:
Go to your iPhone, tap on Photos app. Click Select in the top right corner.
Tap, hold, and swipe to select multiple photos.
After you’ve selected all the photos you need, click the Share button in the bottom left corner.
Swipe left on the bottom icons to get to the icon you need, then select Copy iCloud link.
Then simply paste this link somewhere (send it to your own email, for example) and click on it from your PC. Make sure you aren’t signed in to iCloud in your browser.
Click Download again. The photos will be downloaded in a .zip archive. You can extract them to a folder of your choice after the download is completed.
Download iCloud photos using iCloud for Windows
iCloud for Widnows is a nice tool provided by Apple that lets you download iCloud photos to PC in bulk. It also lets you upload photos to iCloud (in case you’re interested in that). However, it doesn’t preserve the album structure of your iCloud Library, it’s not always stable, and sometimes it doesn’t download all the photos in the original quality. There are also cases when iCloud for Windows just doesn’t install or returns unknown errors here and there. Anyway, the instructions:
Download iCloud for Windows tool from here and install it onto your computer.
Open iCloud for Windows from the Start menu.
Tap on Options and select everything you need. Click Done.
Then click Apply and close the main window.
Next, open the system tray and click on the cloud icon.
Hit Download Photos to initiate the process.
Your photos are now downloading to C:\Users\[USER NAME]\Pictures\iCloud Photos\Downloads
You’ll find your iCloud photos and videos organized by years.