December 15th, 2015

How to upload photos to iCloud and sync your photos across all of your devices

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Summary List Placement

iCloud does more than just backup your iPhone and iPad. iCloud can keep your photos in sync across all your devices, for example – iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC. You can set up your devices to automatically place a copy of all photos in iCloud, and you can manually upload photos from your Mac or Windows PC to iCloud as well.

How to turn on iCloud Photos on an iPhone or iPad

To get started with iCloud Photos, you should ensure that it's turned on and set to upload your mobile photos to the cloud. 

1. On your iPhone or iPad device, start the Settings app.

2. Scroll down and tap "Photos."

3. If it's not already on, turn on iCloud Photos by swiping the button to the right, turning it green.

How_to_upload_photos_to_iCloud 1Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Repeat for every Apple mobile device device you want to sync with iCloud. All your iPhone and iPad photos should now be automatically uploaded to iCloud. Note: if you want to delete certain photos from your iPhone but not from iCloud, follow our how-to guide to do so. 

How to turn on iCloud Photos on a Mac

1. Start the Photos app.

2. In the menu bar at the top left of your screen, click "Photos" and then click "Preferences…"

3. Be sure the "iCloud" tab is selected at the top of the window and then turn on "iCloud Photos" by clicking the checkbox.

How_to_upload_photos_to_iCloud 3Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to turn on iCloud Photos on a PC

Before you can upload photos to iCloud from your Windows computer, you need to turn on iCloud using the iCloud desktop app. 

1. Download and install iCloud for Windows 10. If you are using an older version of Windows, get the iCloud app from Apple.com

2. Restart your computer. After it reboots, iCloud might start automatically. If it doesn't, click the Start button and start iCloud from the Start menu. 

3. Sign in using your Apple ID.

4. Choose the features you want to back up and synchronize across your devices. Be sure to choose "Photos" and then click "Apply." 

How_to_upload_photos_to_iCloud 2Dave Johnson/Business Insider

After installing the iCloud desktop app, you can use it to choose how photos are backed up and synchronized, if you want to share your desktop browser bookmarks with Safari on your iOS device, and more. 

How to upload photos from your computer to iCloud

Once you've turned everything on, uploading photos to iCloud is easy: 

  • If you are using Windows, open a File Explorer folder and click "iCloud Photos" in the pane on the left. Drag photos into the iCloud Photos folder. They'll be immediately uploaded to iCloud and copied to your other synced devices. 
  • If you are using a Mac, start the Photos app and drag photos into the app. They'll be immediately uploaded to iCloud and copied to your other synced devices. This method will let you upload specific photos to iCloud, rather than your entire iCloud library, which can be done by accessing your Photos Preferences, as detailed above.

How_to_upload_photos_to_iCloud 4Dave Johnson/Business Insider

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