We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. Click here to learn more. Got it

How to Download Photos from iCloud to iPhone? 3 Ways

After getting the newest iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, users may find themselves caught up in the problem of downloading photos from iCloud to iPhone. They may be confused of iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream. They also fear that if they get iCloud photos via iCloud restoration, the current data on iPhone will be erased. Don’t afraid about that, you can make effective use of the 4 approaches in this article for free to download photos from iCloud to iPhone.

1. Download Photos from iCloud to iPhone via iCloud Photo Library

iCloud Photo Stream feature developed by Apple company allows you to transfer photos from iCloud to iPhone with one click option. However, what you ought to remember is that well and stable network connection is the premise of transferring via iCloud Photo Stream. And it will be time-consuming to transfer a large number of photos.

Step 1. Log into your iCloud account and head over to Settings > iCloud > Photos.

Step 2. Under the options of Photos settings, click on ‘My Photo Stream’ to turn it on.

Step 3. After verifying and activating the iCloud account, the photos on the iPhone will all be transferred to the iCloud. You can then sync the iCloud photos with another iPhone later.

enable my photo stream

2. Download Photos from iCloud Photo Library to iPhone

You can also transfer photos from iCloud to iPhone through the assistance of iCloud Photo Library. The photos and videos saved on your iPhone will take up much room. By using iCloud Photo Library, all the photos will be uploaded from your current phone to the iCloud cloud wirelessly, so as to free up more storage on the device. Now you can download photos from iCloud to iPhone via iCloud Photo Library through the steps below.

Step 1. Click on the Settings on your iPhone to bring up the Settings app.

Step 2. Head over to iCloud and click on Photos option.

Step 3. Make sure that ‘iCloud Photo Library’ and ‘Download and Keep Originals’ option are turned on if they are turned off. If you are doing so, all of the photos saved on the iCloud will be downloaded to your iPhone or iPad.

download and keep originals

Note: If you select ‘Optimize iPhone Storage’, all the existing photos will be removed from the iCloud to spare more iCloud storage.

3. Download Photos from iCloud to iPhone by Restoring iCloud Backup

It is perhaps that most traditional method to access and download iCloud photos to iPhone. By restoring the iCloud backup, all the data backed up to iCloud will be downloaded to iPhone/iPad including photos. The trouble with this method, however, is that the iPhone data will all be deleted after the iCloud restoration. This explains the reason why we don’t recommend iCloud restoration.

Step 1. Set up the iPhone to default settings by erasing all content and Settings on the Settings.

Step 2. On the screen of ‘App & Data’, select ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’.

Step 3. Sign into your iCloud account and select the last iCloud backup that you want to download photos to iPhone.

recover data from iphone via icloud

4. Download Photos from iCloud to Computer

If your intention to download photos from iCloud to iPhone is to free up space for the iCloud storage, then here is a better alternative tutorial for you. You can export all photos from the iCloud backup and delete them permanently. What can accomplish this is FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter.

  • The program can selectively or fully extract your iCloud photos without damaging the existing data on the device.
  • Recover all kinds of data from your iPhone along or from iTunes/iCloud backup, along with previewing them for free before the recovery.
  • Besides photos, the data can be recovered or exported by this program also include videos, notes, contacts, call logs, voice memos, WhatsApp messages, etc.


Step 1. When you have downloaded and installed this FoneGeek iPhone Data Exporter on your computer, choose ‘Data Recovery ’ from the main interface.

iphone recovery

Step 2. Tap ‘Recover from iCloud Backup File’ and input the iCloud account and password. You don’t have to worry about the security of your iCloud account, FoneGeek will never keep the account information.

sign in icloud

Step 3. When you are logged into the account, the iCloud backup files will all be listed. Select the iCloud backup that save the photos you need to download and tap "Download".

select icloud backup

Step 4. After downloading the selected iCloud backup file, all the data types that can be exported will be displayed. Click ‘Photos’ to preview all the photos contained on the iCloud account, including the deleted and undeleted photos. Then tap ‘Recover’ to export the iCloud photos to your computer.

preview photos icloud

Write in the End

It could't be easier to download photos from iCloud to iPhone for free with the 4 available approaches in this article. Carefully read each method and choose the best one for yourself.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

homeHome>Backup & Restore>How to Download Photos from iCloud to iPhone? 3 Ways
Appoword by

Copyright © 2022 FoneGeek Software Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved