How to Transfer Photos from iCloud to PC (Windows 10/8/7)

For anyone who uses an Apple device, either iPhone or iPad, photos are automatically backed up to iCloud if iCloud Photos is enabled. But need may arise, and you might want to make a backup of these iCloud photos on your PC. Unlike downloading iCloud photos onto your Mac, this is a bit complicated than you may expect.

So how to transfer photos from iCloud to PC? Relax and read on as we will share with you some of the best methods to transfer photos from iCloud to PC running on Windows 10/8/7.

Part 1. Where Are Your Photos Stored in iCloud?

iCloud stores your photos via two means: iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream. Now let's take a quick overview of what each entails.

iCloud Photo Library

  • Photos and videos taken with your iOS device are automatically stored in iCloud, and they can be accessed at any time from any device.
  • Storage is not limited by time, therefore, it can save your photos as long as you want if you have enough storage space.
  • Retains the original qualities of photos including high resolutions.
  • Stores photos you edit and update them across all your Apple devices.
  • Acceptable formats include: JPEG, TIFF, PNG, RAW, HEVC, GIF, MP4.

My Photo Stream

  • My Photo Stream does not use iCloud Storage.
  • Limited storage time and photos. Photos can only be stored for 30-days and only up to 1000 photos can be saved.
  • Only the most recent photos (except Live Photos) are stored. They can be viewed and imported to your other devices. 
  • The qualities of photos are affected when downloaded on other Apple devices. Only photos downloaded on Mac and PC can retain their full resolution.
  • It does not update your Apple devices with edits.
  • Acceptable formats include: JPEG, TIFF, PNG, Most RAW Formats

Part 2. Transfer Photos from iCloud Photo Library to PC via File Explorer

When you add new photos and videos to the iCloud Photo Library, they will be automatically downloaded onto your PC (Windows 7 and later). However, that's not always the case. You can manually download photos from iCloud Photo Library to PC via Windows File Explorer. Here is how to do that:

  • On your PC, open a File Explorer window.
  • Click on iCloud Photos under Favorites, then click Download photos and videos.
  • Select the photos you want to save and click Download.

Part 3. Transfer Photos from iCloud Photo Library to PC via offers users another option to transfer pictures from the iCloud Photo Library to their PC. Like the previous method, you don't need to break a sweat completing the process. However, you'll need a browser and internet connection. To transfer photos from iCloud Photo Library to PC via, follow the steps below: 

  • Launch your preferred browser and visit, then sign-in with your account.
  • Click Photos and select the photos you want to transfer, then Click and hold the Download icon. The Download icon is in the upper-right corner of the window.
  • To download your photos in its original resolution, you can select "Unmodified Original”.
  • Lastly, click Download to transfer the chosen photos to your PC.

download icloud photos to pc

Part 4. Transfer Photos from My Photo Stream to PC

My Photo Stream saves photos automatically to your Windows computer as long as the feature is turned on. If it is, all your photos will be kept in a folder named "iCloud Photos” created by iCloud for Windows. New photos you take on your iOS devices will be saved in the Download folder in iCloud Photos on your PC.

Figuring out how to transfer photos from iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream can seem confusing for many users. So we'll introduce you to a simple solution. Read the next part to find out.

Part 5. Transfer Photos from iCloud Photo Library & My Photo Stream to PC

FoneGeek iPhone Data Recovery is a professional software available for download on Windows and Mac, which can be used to backup iPhone/iPad to computer or selectively restore data from iTunes/iCloud backup. Using this tool, you can easily transfer all photos in iCloud to PC selectively. Not only photos, you can also transfer many other data like videos, contacts, text messages, WhatsApp, notes, etc. You are allowed to preview the data in the backup files and select whatever content you want to transfer. It is fully compatible with all the latest iOS devices and iOS versions, including iPhone 12, iPhone 11/11 Pro and iOS 14.


Here’s how to transfer photos from iCloud to PC using iPhone Data Recovery:

Step 1: Download the iPhone Data Recovery software on your PC and install it. Run the program and select the tool “Recover”, then choose “Recover iOS Data” to continue.

iphone recovery

Step 2: In the left panel, select “Restore from iCloud Backup Files” and sign in to your iCloud account. Enter the verification code you received if you have enabled the two-factor authentication.

sign in icloud

Step 3: Once you’ve logged into iCloud, the program will display all backup files in your account. Choose the one where you want to transfer data and click on “Download”.

select icloud backup

Step 4: In the pop-up window, choose “Camera Roll” and any other type of files you would like to transfer, then click on “Next” to start downloading.

preview photos icloud

Step 5: After scanning, you can preview all found photos in your iCloud backup file and check the pictures you want to transfer, then click on “Recover to Computer” to save them on your PC.


In this article we’ve shown how to transfer photos from iCloud to PC, whether you are using a Windows 10, 8, or 7. The process involved are straightforward and easy to implement. Do let us know if these solutions worked for you. Please feel free to leave your questions or problems in the comments below.


By Fay J. Melton

Posted on Jan 01, 2020, 15:08:24

Fay J. Melton has explored the area of technology and software for more than 5 years and he is enthusiastic about helping users solve various technology issues.