In short, icloud.com lets you view the photos you have in iCloud and download them one by one. There’s no way to download all photos at once through icloud.com.
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.
Jump to the method you prefer:
- Download all photos from iCloud with CopyTrans Cloudly
- View, select, and download photos on icloud.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||You have to manually select each photo one by one to download (or download by moments)||Downloads everything at once|
|Preserving album structure||Yes||No||No (downloads by year)|
|Downloading originals||Yes||Yes||Not in all cases|
|Deleting all photos||Deletes everything at once||You have to manually select each photo one by one to delete (or delete by moments)||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|
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:
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 😊
View, select, and download photos on icloud.com
The main advantage of icloud.com is that you can quickly view which photos you have in iCloud. You can also use it on your Mac unlike the other two alternatives. However, icloud.com 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: Recently Apple scrapped the ability to select and download multiple iCloud photos to your PC. Earlier, saving up to 5 GB of images could take you just a few clicks.
However, there’s a workaround. You can select multiple pictures by sharing entire 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.
Your photos and videos will be 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 “sharing” as explained above) and click “Delete”. Before deleting, make sure all your photos have been saved to your computer.
Download iCloud for Windows tool from here and install it onto your computer
Open iCloud for Windows from the Start menu
Next to Photos, tap on Options and select all the options that 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
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: