How to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac [3 Ways]

This article demonstrates how to download photos from iCloud to Mac in 3 ways, including using a third-party iCloud manager, the iCloud Sync feature, and the iCloud website. You can effortlessly download all or selected photos and videos from iCloud to your Mac hard drive without quality loss.

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Sofia Albert

Updated on May 25, 2024

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EaseUS MobiMover's iCloud Manager offers the best flexibility for downloading photos and videos from iCloud to Mac. You can easily transfer all or selected iCloud photos to your Mac hard drive or an external storage device.
To transfer photos from iCloud to Mac, you can turn off iCloud Sync and choose to save a copy of all photos on your Apple computer.
To move iCloud photos to Mac, you can log into the iCloud website, go to the iCloud Photos feature, and download selected photos and videos using the download button.

iCloud allows you to store, back up, and access photos and videos across different devices signed in with the same Apple ID. While it offers convenience, here is the catch - it relies on an internet connection to work. Accessing your photos can become problematic without a stable network or if you encounter an iCloud sync stuck issue. Therefore, saving your iCloud photos to local storage is necessary.

This article will focus on how to download photos from iCloud to Mac. All the methods outlined below require your Mac to be connected to a stable Wi-Fi network to download data from iCloud.

How to Download All Photos from iCloud to Mac with EaseUS MobiMover

Downloading images from iCloud to your Mac is straightforward using iCloud Sync or However, you might consider using a third-party iCloud management tool like EaseUS MobiMover for greater control and flexibility.

EaseUS MobiMover enhances its functionality by transferring data from iPhone to iPhone and handling iCloud data transfers, making it a versatile solution for all your data transfer needs. Its newly added feature, iCloud Manager, is an ideal tool for downloading photos from iCloud to your Apple computer. 

Why use EaseUS MobiMover to manage your iCloud photos:

  • Download all or selected photos from iCloud to Mac
  • Download more than 1000 photos from iCloud
  • Save iCloud photos to your Mac hard drive with original quality
  • Export iCloud photos and videos to an external storage device
  • Manage and organize your iCloud photos
  • Ensure a secure and fast process with minimal technical skills

Other key features:


How to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac via iCloud Sync

If you don't want to use a third-party iCloud data downloader, you can download all your iCloud photos to your Mac using the iCloud Sync feature. However, this method requires that iCloud Sync is enabled first.

Here is how:

Step 1. Open the Apple menu (the Apple icon) in the top left corner of your screen and select System Settings. If you are using earlier macOS versions, it may be System Preferences.

Step 2. Click your Apple ID name at the top and go to iCloud.

Step 3. In the Apps Using iCloud section, make sure Photos is turned on. If not, click Photos and enable Sync this Mac.

icloud photos sync on mac

Step 4. Toggle off Sync this Mac, and you will be prompted with "Do you want to download a copy of your iCloud photos to this Mac?"

Step 5. Click Download.

download icloud photos to mac

Step 6. Choose to download original photos or photos with lower quality.

choose download originals or lower quality photos mac

Step 7. Open the Photos app on your Mac and go to the Library. Scroll down to the bottom to check the download process.

How to Move iCloud Photos to Mac Through

Using the iCloud Sync feature will download all your iCloud photos to your Mac. If you only want to transfer specific photos from iCloud to your Mac, you should use the iCloud website.

Step 1. Open a web browser on your Mac and visit the iCloud website.

Step 2. Sign in with your Apple ID email address or phone number and password.

Step 3. Choose Photos in iCloud and go to Library.

icloud photos on the web

Step 4. Select the photo you want to download to your Mac. Hold down the Command key and left-click on the photos to select multiple photos. To select all photos, press the Command + A keys.

Step 5. Click the three-dot icon in the top right corner and choose More Download Options.

download options in icloud photos

Step 6. Click the download icon next to the quality you want. iCloud allows you to download originals, the highest resolution, or the most compatible version of your photos. The selected images will immediately download to your Mac's Download folder. 

download icloud photos

Why Do You Download Photos from iCloud to Mac

Here are some situations where downloading photos from iCloud to Mac becomes essential.

1. Keep a local backup

Even though iCloud is a reliable storage service, keeping a local copy of your photos provides an additional backup layer. This ensures you won't lose your photos if your iCloud account is hacked.

2. Access photos offline

Downloading photos from iCloud to PC or Mac allows you to view, manage, transfer, share, and edit them without needing an internet connection. This is particularly useful when you have limited access to internet connectivity. 

3. Free up iCloud storage

Saving photos to your Mac and deleting them on iCloud can release space for other files and new photos. In this case, you need to keep the iCloud photo sync off on your Mac. 

4. Integrate with projects

Photos on your Mac can be more easily integrated into work or school tasks that require high-resolution images, including professional photo editing, presentations, and video creation.


Storing photos and videos solely on iCloud is convenient, but sometimes you must save a local copy. If your Mac has sufficient storage space, this article will guide you on how to download photos from iCloud to Mac using EaseUS MobiMover, iCloud Sync, or the iCloud web app. Among these methods, EaseUS MobiMover is highly recommended as it allows you to quickly download unlimited iCloud photos, either all at once or selectively.

Here is a comparison table to compare the ways to move iCloud photos to Mac:

Features EaseUS MobiMover iCloud Sync
Downloading all photos Download unlimited photos at once Download all photos at once Download up to 1000 photos at a time
Downloading original photos Yes Yes only when you choose to download the originals Yes only when you choose to download the originals
Preserving album structure Yes No No
Downloading Shared album Yes Yes Yes
Download speed Fast Medium Medium
Uploading photos to iCloud Yes Yes Yes
Uploading photos to another iCloud account Yes No No

FAQs on How to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac

Do you have other questions about transferring photos from iCloud to Mac? Read the below queries and answers. 

1. How long does it take to download iCloud photos to Mac?

The time it takes to download photos from iCloud to Mac can vary primarily based on the number of photos, the total file sizes, and your internet speed. Ideally, data under 20 GB should be downloaded within 30 minutes. However, if you have more than 20 GB of photos, the process could take one to several hours.

2. Why can't I see my iCloud Photos on my Mac?

If you can't see your iCloud photos on your Mac, your iCloud photo sync may be working properly due to incorrect settings, a wrong Apple ID login, or a bad internet connection.

3. How do I upload photos from Mac to iCloud?

To upload photos from your Mac to iCloud, you can use the Photos app by importing photos to the photo library and enabling iCloud Photos. Alternatively, you can upload photos to iCloud on a Mac using - sign in to and drag and drop photos from your Mac's Finder into the iCloud Photos web interface. 

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Updated by Sofia Albert

Sofia has been involved with tech ever since she joined the EaseUS editor team in March 2011 and now she is a senior website editor. She is good at solving various iPhone and Android issues, such as iPhone or Android data transfer & recovery.

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