How can I download cloud photos?

A reader needs to retrieve some images from the cloud.

“Can you tell me the best way to move photos from One Drive and iCloud please? At the moment, I subscribe and pay both each month but, having recently retired, I am trying to save costs when my current subscriptions expire.”

Sure. But first, depending on how much you have stored, you may have enough room to leave them there. Microsoft offers 5GB of free storage with every OneDrive account as does iCloud. If you require more space than that, you’ll want to transfer your photos.

Thankfully, it’s fairly easy.  On a Windows PC, your OneDrive should just show up like another file folder.

one-drive-picture folder.jpg

You can either copy-paste or drag and drop your images into a folder on your PC or an external drive plugged into your PC.

one-drive-picture scopy.jpg

Or you can go to OneDrive online. Select any folder and right-click. Then choose download from the menu.


It will appear in your Downloads folder as a ZIP file.


If you’re using a Mac, transferring your files is a simple as opening iCloud or the Photos app and dragging and dropping or copy/pasting your files to a folder on your Mac.



If you don’t have a Mac, the simplest solution is to download the iCloud app for Windows. Just open a browser on your Windows PC and go here:

Click Download.


It will take a few minutes for the file to download and you’ll have to grant permission for it to install.


Once it downloads, the iCloud Drive and iCloud Photos should be visible in File Explorer. Click on iCloud Drive and you’ll be able to either drag and drop or copy any folder show in the center pane onto your Windows PC or an external drive you attach.


If your images are stored in iCloud Photo, you’ll have to click on that first.


You’ll see the option in the center window to open and enable iCloud Photos.


Tick the box next to photos and then choose Options.



Tick the box to enable iCloud Photos and then choose Done.


Click on iCloud Photo in File Explorer.  Then choose Download photos and videos. Select the photos you wish to download. Then move them to wherever you wish to store the images.


I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, please ask.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.