How to see photos on iCloud

After thinking about it for a long time, you have finally decided to proceed with the purchase of your first iPhone. Well, if that’s the case, I’m absolutely happy for you: it means that you now have your Apple smartphone in your hands. However, if you have ended up on this guide of mine focused on how to see photos on iCloud , it means that you probably do not yet have a clear understanding of the functioning of some dynamics of the devices of the “bitten apple”, including the iCloud backup service.

I can understand you: especially if in the past you were used to using an Android device, it is not immediately easy to understand how to take advantage of some tools available on a phone with such a different operating system. However, you don’t have to worry at all: from the moment you land on my site you can be sure that I will do everything I can to solve your problems with technology.

Throughout this tutorial, you will therefore find clear and detailed explanations of how iCloud works. I will also show you, step by step, how to use the backup service on your iPhone and how to see the photos of your multimedia gallery through the appropriate online service. For more completeness of information, I will also explain how to use iCloud on PC and Mac to see your photos. What you need is a few minutes of free time: sit comfortably in front of your PC or Mac and carefully follow the information I am about to give you. Ready? Let’s begin!


  • Preliminary operations
  • How to see photos on iCloud from iPhone
  • How to see photos on iCloud from Mac
  • How to see photos on iCloud from Windows
  • How to see photos on iCloud from PC

Preliminary operations

Before getting to the heart of the tutorial, going to explain how to see photos on iCloud , there are some preliminary operations you need to do to succeed in the enterprise.

If you want to use iCloud on your Apple device, you must have an Apple ID . Theoretically, you should already have one, since this is required for setting up Apple devices. However, if you have not yet set up your devices for the first time, I recommend reading my guides on how to set up iPhone , how to configure iPad and how to use the Mac .

And if you do not yet have an Apple ID , to create it, the first thing you need to do is open the appropriate form that you find on the official Apple website and fill in in detail the mandatory text fields visible on the screen, typing name , surname , country / region , date of birth , email address , password and mobile number .

Subsequently, choose whether to verify the account with a text message or by phone call and whether or not you intend to receive any communications from Apple, enter the characters visible in the box below in the appropriate field and click on the Continue button . You will then be asked to confirm your identity , after which the process of creating your Apple ID will then be completed.

In addition to the web, creating an Apple ID can be done from iPhone, iPad, macOS settings, and iTunes on Windows. For more information, you can read my specific guide on how to create an Apple ID .

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that to store and view photos on iCloud you can opt between two different services: iCloud Photos and Photo Stream . Below you will find the characteristics and differences of both solutions.

  • ICloud Photos – is the service designed by Apple dedicated to storing photos and videos. It’s free, but the space occupied by the uploaded items consumes what is available on iCloud, so it may be necessary to expand the 5 GB included in the basic account, by subscribing to one of the paid plans (with prices starting from 0.99 euros / month for 50 GB of space) which I told you about in detail in my guide on how to buy iCloud space . In addition, the intelligent synchronization of contents is supported, so that the elements are loaded on the server at their original resolution and size, while for those present in the memory of the devices it is possible to ensure that they remain stored in an optimized version to save space.
  • Photo Stream – allows you to have a sort of “temporary backup” of your photos on iCloud, which can be automatically shared with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows computer. It is a totally free service and does not consume iCloud space, but it has limits: it allows you to store a limited number of photos (up to 1,000 per hour, 10,000 per day and 25,000 per month), for a total period of 30 days, after which the images are deleted. Also, videos are not included. The feature is also not available for the most recent Apple IDs.

Also know that the devices enabled to view the photos saved on iCloud are iPhone and iPad and Mac and PC, not to mention that the images are always accessible even from the browser.

How to see photos on iCloud from iPhone

At this point, I would say that here we are, we can finally move on to the actual action and first of all go to find out how to see photos on iCloud from iPhone (as well as from iPad , there is no difference).

To begin with, you need to worry about enabling the use of the service on your device or you need to verify that you have already done so. To do this, take the iPhone, unlock it, access the home screen and / or the App Library and select the Settings icon (the one in the shape of a gear wheel ).

In the screen that you now see, tap on your name at the top, then on the iCloud item and then on that Photo , then if you want to use the iCloud Photo service make sure that the lever that you find in correspondence with the words iCloud Photos is ON (otherwise you do it yourself) and choose the option Optimize iPhone space or Download and keep originals according to your needs, while if you want to use photo streaming and if the option is available make sure that the other option is OFF and takes to ON the lever next to Upload to my photo stream .

After configuring the service, you can start taking advantage of the backup system, simply by going back to the home screen and / or the App Library and selecting the Photos app icon (the one with the white background and the multicolored flower ). Then you will find yourself in front of the iOS photo library and, therefore, photos on iCloud.

To view the images, select the Years , Months , Days or All Photos sections at the bottom or access specific albums from the Album section or search by keyword by tapping on the magnifying glass icon located always at the bottom of the screen. I would also like to point out the existence of the For you section which offers personalized contents according to the recurrences, places, etc.

To view a specific photo in an enlarged way, simply tap on it. As for, however, the ability to add new photos from iPhone, all you have to do is take new ones or save the images that interest you in the iOS camera roll and add them to iCloud and synchronization will be done automatically. .

How to see photos on iCloud from Mac

If you want to find out how to see photos on iCloud from Mac , instead, enable the photo management service on your Apple-branded computer in advance or make sure it is active.

So, positioned in front of the computer, unlock it (if necessary), click on the System Preferences icon (the one in the shape of a gear wheel ) that you find on the MacOS Dock bar and touch the word Apple ID in the window that comes to you shown, then put a check mark next to the item Photos to activate iCloud Photos. Alternatively, and if available, you can turn on the Photo Stream service by selecting the Upload to My Photo Stream option .

Next, open the Photos application , by clicking on its icon (the one with the white background and the multicolored flower ) that you find on the Dock bar , then if you had enabled the iCloud Photo service, decide whether to use the optimized upload function or not , by clicking on the Photo menu at the top left, on the Preferences item in it, selecting the iCloud panel and choosing the option Download originals on this Mac or Optimize Mac storage .

Later, you will be able to see photos on iCloud from your Mac by reaching the main window of the Photos application and starting to explore the contents available in the Library section which you can select by expanding the Photos menu in the left sidebar, where you also find other viewing options (by album, by place, etc.). You can also decide to filter the images by days, months, etc. via the drop-down menus at the top, while the Search field at the top left allows you to search for photos by keyword.

To view an enlarged photo, just double-click on it, while to add new images from the Mac select the File menu at the top left, then the Import item in it and then the files to add to the photo library.

How to see photos on iCloud from Windows

Even if you are using Windows you can see the photos on iCloud. How you do it? I’ll explain it to you right away, it’s child’s play!

First, place yourself in front of your computer, unlock it (if necessary), then you need to download, install and configure the iCloud desktop client on your computer, if you have not already done so. If you are using Windows 10 or later (eg Windows 11 ), you can download it directly from the Microsoft Store by visiting the relevant section and clicking the Get button .

If, on the other hand, you are using Windows 8 or earlier versions , you can obtain the client installation package by connecting to the Apple website and clicking on the link On Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can download iCloud for Windows from the Apple website . When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained to start the installation procedure and complete the setup by following the instructions on the screen, as I explained in detail in my post on how to download iCloud .

Regardless of the operating system in use, after starting the iCloud client on Windows, you will find yourself having to choose which items to synchronize with iCloud on your computer by placing a check mark on the items of your choice. As regards the specific case of synchronization and viewing of photos, check the box corresponding to the Photo item . In this way, the images saved on your available Apple, once synchronized with iCloud for Windows will be downloaded to your computer.

You can see the iCloud photos on your computer by going to the folder where they were downloaded. By default, the folder path is C: \ Users \ [your name] \ Pictures \ iCloud Photos \ Downloads .

How to see photos on iCloud from PC

To conclude, it seems only right to explain to you how to view photos on iCloud from a PC , regardless of the operating system used, thus using the web version of the service, which is accessible from all the most popular browsers.

To access it, open the browser you usually use to surf the Net from your computer, go to the iCloud home page and log in to your Apple ID. Once logged in, click on the Photo icon (the one with the white background and the multicolored flower ) that you find on the main screen of the service.

Subsequently, you will be able to view all the photos on iCloud in the center of the screen, while on the left you will find the menu to filter the contents in the library and the one to explore the various albums (if the menu is not visible, click on the Menu button located in top left to enable it). You can also decide to see the photos in list form or by moment via the tabs above.

To view the images in an enlarged way, double-click on them, while to upload new photos, instead, click on the button with the cloud and the upward arrow at the top of the browser window and select the files of your interest.

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