Last Updated on June 11, 2019 by Husain Parvez
How to Access iCloud Photo Library – Guide to Manage iCloud Photos
Looking for a method on how to access iCloud Photo Library to view all of your backup up photos and videos? Here’s a complete guide on how you can get hold of all the media saved to your Apple iCloud account in more ways than one.
When the very first iPhone was released back in the year 2007, the smartphone came with 4GB storage space on the base version. For a phone that had just a 2MP camera on the rear and couldn’t even record videos natively, 4 gigabytes of storage space were ample enough. Generation after generation, the iPhone has evolved, bringing more storage space onboard, charging users a premium for the iDevices for the 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants. However, Apple soon realized that users need a cloud storage solution that helps them add virtual space to their iPhones and iPad, and used it as an opportunity for monetization.
Thus, with the release of iPhone 4S, Apple rolled out the iCloud online cloud storage service for Mac and iOS devices in the year 2011. Offering 5GB of online data storage for free to all users, Apple charges a subscription fee to users who can then choose to upgrade the available online storage to 50GB, 200GB, and even a whopping 1TB. With over 800 million users, there are plenty of users who might find the need to learn how to access iCloud Photo Library on their Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. Although being rebranded as “iCloud Photos” after the release of iOS 12, the features of the cloud storage service from Apple have remained the same.
How to Enable iCloud Sync
Before you can have all of your photos and videos synced to the iCloud Photo Library, you need to make sure that the feature is enabled in the first place. Once you have the iCloud backup enabled, the media on your iDevices will begin to sync, and you can then go ahead and learn how to access iCloud Photo Library from multiple platforms.
Enable iCloud Photo Library on iOS
- On your iPhone or iPad home screen, head over to the Settings
- Scroll down to find the Photos & Camera tab and tap on it.
- Press the toggle switch you see next to the option iCloud Photo Library to enable it.
- You can enable to options My Photo Stream to automatically upload photos and videos to your iCloud account.
- Additionally, the iCloud Photo Sharing option, once enabled, will allow you to share your albums with other users.
Enable iCloud Photo Library on Mac
- From the main screen of your Mac OS X computer, open the System Preferences menu and head over to the iCloud
- You will be asked to sign in you using your Apple ID and password.
- Using the pop-up window, select the iCloud Drive and Photos using the checkbox right next to the two options.
- Press the Options button on the Photos tab and make sure that all three of the checkboxes are enabled (iCloud Photo Sharing, My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Sharing) before you press Done to confirm.
How to Access iCloud Photo Library
You may not be a big fan of the closed environment that Apple has created amongst the iOS and Mac OS X devices, but it surely is efficient. By bridging the gap between the storage spaces of your Apple devices using iCloud, you can ensure that every single image and video that you’ve ever shot or has been shared with you, is safe in the cloud.
Even if you don’t own a suite of Apple devices to seamlessly share media content amongst each other, the ability to have all of your cherished moments safe and sound is reassuring to say the least. Whether you end up losing your iPhone or iPad or breaking it beyond repair, you can always rely on iCloud Photo Library to safeguard the media automatically.
How to Access iCloud Photo Library on Windows
For those who tend to use iTunes to manage the content on their iPhone and iPad with a Windows PC, chances are that you have iCloud installed already. However, if you did not choose to install iCloud along with the iTunes bundle, you can start off by doing so now.
- Download and install the iCloud app for Windows using the link given here – Download iCloud for Windows.
- Once you open the iCloud app on your Windows computer, you will be asked to sign in using your Apple ID and password.
- Next to the Photos icon, press the Options button and select iCloud Photo Library from the list of options.
- You can then choose to the Download, Upload, and iCloud Photo Sharing folders on your Windows computer accordingly.
- Using the File Explorer on your Windows PC, you will be able to access the iCloud Photos folder under the Favorites
- Once synced, you will be able to see the photos and videos in your iCloud account through the three folders – Downloads, Uploads, and Shared
How to Access iCloud Photo Library using Web Browser
Apple has designed iCloud to be the true web-based data storage platform, which is why is available as a web-based service as well. Using a supported desktop browser such as Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or any other, you can sign into your iCloud account online and gain access to the entire Photos Library on the go.
- Open a new browser tab and head over to the iCloud website using the following link – www.icloud.com.
- You will then be asked to enter your Apple ID and password to access your iCloud Photos and other data through the web client.
- The interface of iCloud is quite similar to that of iPhone or iPad, with app-shaped icons for you to open and view the contents.
- Apart from the media in the Photos and iCloud Drive app, you will also be able to access the Mail, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, and a lot more through the web version of iCloud.
- Finally, you can open the Photos app icon and understand how to access the iCloud Photo Library online from anywhere, at any time.
Once you have enabled iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X devices, you will be able to view, manage, and easily delete your images and videos from a centralized platform. Based on the storage plan that you have selected, you will be able to upload, download, and share media files directly through the iCloud app for Windows, or simply by using the web-based platform.
Were you able to figure out how to access iCloud Photo Library using a Windows computer or by just going online over to www.icloud.com to access all of your iPhone and iPad data remotely? Be sure to ask away any questions that you may have in the comments section listed down below, and we’ll get back to you at the earliest.