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How to Turn off iCloud Photo Library without Deleting Photos

DoubtUser Concern

“I would like to turn off ICloud photo library, but want to know if the photos in iPhoto and photos on my Mac will remain there.”

iCloud Photo Library is the service supplied by Apple to save all photos and videos into iCloud, so that you can access to these photos and videos on all Apple devices with the same iCloud account.

But the free iCloud storage offered by Apple is only 5GB. The photos saved in the iCloud Photo Library would take up a lot of space. That's why you may need to turn off the iCloud Photo Library. However, some users will start to worry about losing photos after that.

Never mind, this article shows you how to turn off iCloud Photo Library without deleting photos on iPhone/Mac.

Part 1. What Will Happen If I Turn Off iCloud Photo Library on iPhone?

When you turn off iCloud Photo Library, all the photos taken on your iPhone will be deleted. If you don’t want to lose important photos during the process, keep reading to learn different ways to turn off iCloud photos without deleting photos.

Part 2. Turn Off iCloud Photo Library without Deleting Photos on Mac

If you need to disable iCloud Photo Library on your Mac, just follow the process below.

  1. Click on Photos on the dock and select Photos in the upper left corner.
  2. Hit the Reference option and tap on iCloud.
  3. Select the option of iCloud Photo Library and Download Originals to this Mac, this will ensure that all the photos are downloaded on your computer.

download originals to this mac

If you have selected Optimize Mac Store before, you'll need to deselect this option and select the option of Download Originals to this Mac. When the syncing process is done, deselect iCloud Photo Library to proceed.

Part 3. Turn Off iCloud Photo Library without Deleting Photos on iPhone

To turn off iCloud Photos on iPhone without deleting photos, go to Settings, click your name > Photos > iCloud Photos to turn it off.

The option of Remove from iPhone and Download Photos & Videos will pop up. Click Download Photos & Videos and everything will be downloaded from iCloud Photos to local iPhone storage.

download photos and videos

Sufficient storage should be guaranteed if you select the option of Download Photos & Videos, since all the files saved within iCloud Photo Library will be transferred to the iPhone storage.

Part 4. Backup iPhone Before Turning Off iCloud Photo Library

We suggest you make a full backup of your iPhone data to prevent potential data loss before turning off iCloud Photos on iPhone.

What you need is a 3rd-party tool to flexibly backup your iPhone data. This tool is called FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore. Why do we recommend this tool? You'll know the reasons after checking the exclusive advantages below:

  • 1-click to backup the whole data on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. All the backup files will be securely kept without being overwritten.
  • Selectively backup any data and restore the backup to iPhone/Android without deleting the previous data.
  • You can also export these files to your computer to edit or print.


Steps to Backup iPhone before Turning off iCloud Photo Library

Step 1. Run the FoneGeek software and you'll see the Backup & Restore option from the tool list. Select it to proceed.

backup restore

Step 2. FoneGeek supports to back up multiple data types for your device, including photos, videos, contacts, text messages, notes, etc. Choose the data based your need and hit Backup.

backup completed

Step 3. When the backup process is finished, the selected data will be listed. You can opt to preview these files or export them to computer.

The photos will be safely kept on your computer, so that you can turn off iCloud Photo Library without deleting photos. You can also backup these photos or export them to computer with FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore software when you are in need.

Part 5. FAQs about Turning Off iCloud Photos

Q1. What does iCloud Photos do for my iPhone Photos?

When you turn on iCloud Photos on iPhone, all iPhone photos and videos will be synced to a safe place: iCloud. It also means that you can view your iPhone photos from every iOS device connected to the same iCloud account.

Q2. What do I lose by turning off iCloud Photos?

If your iPhone and iPad connected with the same iCloud account have enabled iCloud Photos feature, photos taken on iPhone and iPad can be shared across the 2 devices. But when you turn off this feature, the photos created on other devices will be removed from your iPhone if you didn’t downloaded the photos in advance.

Edwin J. Parke

As a professional writer who is interested in technology, Edwin J. Parke has helped thousands of users by offering various tips to solve their problems.

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