How to Download Photos and Videos from iCloud Backup

iCloud automatically backs up your photos, videos, documents and other data from your iPhone, iPad and Mac. This ensures your data is safe and you can access it from any device by simply logging into your iCloud account.

However, you may want to download your photos and videos from iCloud to your computer for safekeeping or to free up storage space on your iCloud account. Downloading iCloud data can also allow you to view and edit your photos or videos more easily on a larger screen.

Fortunately, it’s easy to download your iCloud photos, videos and other data to your Windows PC or Mac computer. Here’s how.


Before downloading your iCloud data, make sure:

  • You have an iCloud account set up on your iPhone, iPad or Mac
  • iCloud Photos is enabled on your devices
  • Your devices have uploaded your photos and videos to iCloud
  • You have enough available storage space on your computer

On Windows PC

Follow these steps to download photos and videos from iCloud to your Windows PC:

Install iCloud for Windows

  1. Go to on your Windows PC
  2. Download and install iCloud for Windows
  3. Sign into iCloud using your Apple ID

Download Photos and Videos

  1. Open iCloud Photos from the system tray or start menu
  2. Click the Options button next to Photos
  3. Click Download originals to this PC
  4. Select Download new photos and videos or Download all photos and videos
  5. Choose a download location on your PC
  6. Click OK to start the download

iCloud will now download your photos and videos from iCloud to your selected folder on your Windows PC.

On Mac

Use these steps to save your iCloud photos and videos to your Mac:

Enable iCloud Photo Library

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac
  2. Click Photos > Preferences in the menu bar
  3. Go to the iCloud tab
  4. Check Download Originals to this Mac

Download Photos and Videos

  1. Click Download to start downloading original versions of all your iCloud photos and videos
  2. Or click Choose Library to select a folder to save specific albums or years

Your iCloud photos and videos will download to the Photos library or your selected folder on your Mac.

Via iCloud Website

You can also use to manually download your photos and videos:

  1. Go to and login
  2. Click Photos
  3. Select the photos and videos you want to download
  4. Click the Download button
  5. Choose download format:
  • Unmodified Original for original quality
  • Most Compatible for standard formats
  1. Select download location on your computer
  2. Click Download

This will download the selected iCloud photos and videos to your computer.


  • Check iCloud storage usage before downloading to avoid exceeding limits
  • Download over WiFi for faster speeds
  • Keep backups of downloaded photos and videos on an external hard drive

With the ability to access and download your iCloud photos, videos and files on demand, you get the best of both worlds – automatic cloud backup and local storage.

So if you ever need to recover or access your important data, you’ll always have a copy saved on your computer or external devices.

Author’s Expertise

I have over 10 years of experience using Apple products and helping people manage their photos, videos and data across different devices. As an Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) and technical writer, I’m familiar with best practices for downloading, organizing and backing up iCloud data.