How to download photos from iCloud to iPhone

Did you recently get a new iPhone? Perhaps you upgraded, or your last one had an untimely demise. Either way, in this situation you’ll be grateful for iCloud backing up and syncing all of our stuff. Especially your pictures. But now you’re probably wondering how to get those photos from iCloud.

Well, keep reading, and we’ll go over all that — and cover some things you should try to avoid.

How to retrieve photos from iCloud

If you just want to download select images from your iCloud library, you can actually do so from the Photos app on your iPhone:

  1. In Photos, go to Shared Albums
  2. Open an album
  3. Select the image(s) you want to download
  4. Tap the Share button in the bottom left corner
  5. Tap “Save Image”
How to download a photo from iCloud to your iPhone

The picture(s) you just saved should now appear in your Camera Roll. You might have to scroll up to find them, as the Camera Roll saves pictures in chronological order with the most recent at the bottom.

Before you download all photos from iCloud to your iPhone

If you want to download your entire iCloud photo library to your iPhone, ensure you have enough storage first. If you’ve been using iCloud for a while, then there’s the possibility that your photo library is too large to fit on your iPhone. Before attempting to download all your iCloud photos, a good practice is to scan them for redundant pictures, like similar shots, old screenshots, and the like.

To do that, download CleanMy®Phone and run a scan. CleanMy®Phone will analyze the previews of your photos stored on your iPhone (or iPad) and help you quickly delete unwanted photo clutter. The removed images will be automatically deleted from iCloud, freeing up valuable space for you.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download CleanMy®Phone
  2. Allow CleanMy®Phone to access your photo library.
  3. From the Declutter tab, tap Scan.
  4. After the app scans your library, you’ll see the following folders: Duplicates, Screenshots, Blur, Screen Recordings, and others.
  5. Tap any folder and review the photos the app suggests deleting. Don’t worry: your favorites won’t be selected for deletion.
  6. Clean all unwanted pics.
  7. Tap Continue and go back to the main screen of the app.
  8. Tap Organize and then Scan to categorize all your photos and remove similar images.

    How do I download all my photos from iCloud?

    If you’re reading this to learn how to get all your photos from iCloud on to your iPhone, then you’re in luck — it couldn’t be easier.

    1. Go to Settings > Photos
    2. Toggle on iCloud Photos
    3. Select Download and Keep Originals

    Note: If you opt for Optimize iPhone Storage, it will reduce the resolution of your photos.

    Downloading pictures from iCloud to iPhone couldn’t be simpler. Whether you’re retrieving only one photo or your entire library, you’ll be glad you had everything backed up to iCloud. And if you're trying to figure out how to upload your photos to iCloud, we've got a guide to that as well.

    How do I back up my iPhone correctly? Delete a few GBs of clutter with CleanMy®Phone

    QR code to CleanMy®Phone in App Store

    Scan with iPhone camera

    Download on the App Store