iCloud Photos (formerly known as iCloud Photo Library) is a service provided by Apple that stores your entire photo library in the cloud. This way, you can access your photos on any iCloud-enabled device that uses the same Apple ID.

It manages your photo collection automatically, allowing you to spend more time focusing on taking new photos. There’s a lot to learn about how iCloud Photos works, so we’ll share some tips and tricks for getting the most out of it down below.

Manage Your Local Storage With iCloud Photos

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Swipe down and select Photos.
  3. Tap Optimize iPhone Storage if you’re using iCloud Photos.
  4. If you haven’t already enabled iCloud Photos, do so first, then select Optimize iPhone Storage.

iCloud Photos optimized storage saves space by storing full-resolution photos and videos on iCloud and smaller, more efficient-sized versions on your device for easy viewing. At any time, you can revert to keeping original, full-resolution photos and videos on your iOS device.

Using Photo Stream Instead of iCloud Photos

With Photo Stream, your Mac, iPhone, or iPad automatically uploads newly taken or imported photos to the cloud, where they are saved in the My Photo Stream album on all of your devices. But, if iCloud Photos can do all of this, what’s the point of Photo Stream?

iOS 8.3, OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, and iCloud for Windows 7 are the minimum system requirements for iCloud Photos. If you don’t meet these requirements and don’t want to pay for additional storage, Photo Stream is a great alternative to iCloud Photos.

Photo Stream’s Restrictions

However, there are some drawbacks to using Photo Stream instead of iCloud Photos:

  • My Photo Stream photos are kept in iCloud for 30 days. That should be enough time to manually backup your photos. They are then removed from iCloud.
  • The local Photo Stream album on any iOS or iPadOS device only keeps up to 1,000 images, regardless of how many photos My Photo Stream uploads to the cloud.
  • Videos, live photos, and formats such as HEIF or HEVC are not supported by My Photo Stream.
  • My Photo Stream only works when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, not when it is connected to cellular data.
  • Photos on the Mac are stored in full resolution but are compressed for iOS and iPadOS devices.

Regardless of these limitations, you may want to keep Photo Stream enabled if you want to stream your recent images on an Apple TV, for example. Choose one device, such as your Mac, and activate it there.

Back-Up Your iCloud Photos to Cloud Storage

All of your photos could be lost in an instant if your hard drive fails. The solution is to have a dependable backup system in place. We recommend creating an online backup, an external hard drive duplicate backup, and an offsite backup.

Tap the Profile icon in Google Photos on your iOS or iPadOS device, then select Photos settings. To enable Google Photos to access your entire photo library, toggle the Backup & Sync switch. Then, choose your preferred Upload size setting.

Another good option is Microsoft’s OneDrive. Tap the Profile icon in the OneDrive mobile app and select Settings. Then, turn the Camera Upload switch on. All of the photos and videos on your device, as well as any new ones, will be saved to OneDrive.

iCloud has several photo-related components, and keeping track of them can be difficult. iCloud Photos can back up and sync your entire photo library across all of your devices. My Photo Stream is ideal for those who do not use iCloud Photos but want to sync their most recent photos. Additionally, Shared albums allow you to organize and share photos with others.