Mac Tutorials

How to Download Photos from iCloud to Mac

Want to learn how to move photos from iCloud to Mac? Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select the photos you want to export.
  3. Go to File menu > Export.
  4. Select Export (number) Photos, where the number reflects the quantity selected
  5. Choose your preferred export settings.
  6. Click Export.
  7. Pick a location in Finder to save your files.
  8. Finally, click Export once more to initiate the download.

Imagine scrolling through your photo library, trying to find a particular picture, but all you encounter is chaos. There are duplicate photos everywhere, taking up precious storage space and making it difficult to find what you're looking for. This is a common frustration for many Mac users. In this guide, we’ll help you download and manage all your precious photos from iCloud onto your Apple laptop with ease.

Before we start:


Ready to dive into the process of downloading photos from iCloud to your Mac? One sec! Let's address a pressing issue—duplicate photos—first. Duplicates not only clutter your photo library but also make managing and organizing your pictures a real headache. The solution for Mac users is simple—MacKeeper’s Duplicates Finder. This handy tool will automatically find and remove duplicate photos, instantly decluttering your Apple device.


Let's explore how to use MacKeeper’s Duplicate Finder on your Mac device:

  1. Download MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. Launch the app, choose Duplicates Finder from the sidebar, and click Start Scan.
  3. After the scan is completed, review the results and select the similar photos or screenshots that you want to delete.
  4. Then click Remove Selected to confirm and let MacKeeper tidy up your Mac.

How to manage iCloud photos on Mac

To manage your iCloud photos on your Mac and make it easier to download them:

  1. Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click on your Apple ID account.
  3. In the sidebar, select iCloud, then click on Photos.
  4. Toggle the switch to Sync this Mac to enable iCloud photo syncing.
To download your iCloud photos to your Mac, start by accessing your iCloud settings in System Preferences. This will enable you to efficiently transfer and save your pictures from the iCloud to your Mac.
Step 1. Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences
If you're looking to get your iCloud photos on your Mac, you should begin by opening Apple ID settings. This step will allow you to transfer pictures from iCloud to your MacBook, making them easily accessible on your Mac device.
Step 2. Access Apple ID account information
To be able to manage and store your iCloud photos on your Mac, navigate to the Photos section within iCloud preferences as you will need to ensure your Mac will automatically organize and save your images directly on your Apple laptop.
Step 3. Navigate to iCloud Photos
To transfer your iCloud photos to your Mac, it's crucial to enable photo syncing for your Apple devices. This step enables you to import and store your pictures seamlessly within your MacBook's storage, ensuring all your photos are readily accessible.
Step 4. Enable iCloud photo syncing

Hint from our experts: 


In addition to managing your iCloud photos, you can further enhance your photo management experience with MacKeeper’s Duplicates Finder. The convenient tool offers several benefits for Mac users, including:

  • Streamlined photo organization
  • Enhanced storage management
  • A user-friendly interface designed for Apple users
Before you remove anything that has been found on your device, make sure to review MacKeeper’s Duplicate Finder results first. This will ensure you don’t accidentally delete any photos you intend to keep.

Ways to get photos from iCloud to Mac

Have you been looking for a simple way to transfer your photos from iCloud onto your Mac? If so, there are three different methods to save photos from iCloud onto your MacBook laptop with ease:

If you need a refresh or you’re unsure how to access iCloud on Mac or more especially you want to find out how to access iCloud photos on Mac, you can follow along with these guides to assist you.

1. How to move photos from iCloud to Mac using the Photos app

Use the Photos app to move photos from iCloud to Mac:

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. In the top menu bar, click on Photos > Preferences.
  3. Click on iCloud tab > Download Originals to this Mac.
In order to move iCloud photos to Mac, you will first need to launch the Photos app on your Mac for a seamless photo transfer.
Step 1.  Open Photos App
To access and change your photo preferences, click Photos and find preferences for iCloud to bring up a pop-up menu to allow you to move Photos from iCloud to Mac.
Step 2.  Choose Photos > Preferences
Now, within the pop-up menu, click on iCloud and click Download Originals for Mac Photo storage. Now you'll be able to store all your images in your preferred Photo library.
Step 3. Select iCloud and click Download originals to this Mac

Your motivation to import photos from iCloud to Mac may stem from low iCloud storage. If so, our guide on how to manage iCloud storage on Mac can help you optimize your storage usage and minimize unnecessary clutter.

2. How to transfer photos from iCloud to Mac with Safari

Now, move images from iCloud onto Mac with Safari:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac and visit to log into your iCloud account.
  2. Once logged in, click on Photos, located on the iCloud homepage.
  3. In your iCloud photos library, select the photos you want to transfer to your Mac.
  4. Click the download icon that assembles a cloud with a downward-facing arrow to begin the download process.
To log into your iCloud account, you'll need to open Safari and go to in order to be able to log into your iCloud account and initiate a photo transfer.
Step 1. Open Safari, go to iCloud, and log into your iCloud account
Click on the Photo icon in order to access iCloud Photos and then select the photo or photos you wish to download from iCloud onto Mac.
Step 2. Click on the Photos icon from the homepage
Once you have chosen your preferred photos for transfer to your Mac, you'll need to click on the Cloud icon with a downward arrow to initiate the download process.
Step 3. In your photo library, select the image you want to transfer to your Mac
A pop-up message will ask you to confirm your actions before iCloud can initiate the transfer of your photos from iCloud to your Mac. Then your download can begin.
Step 4. With your images selected, click the Cloud icon to start downloading

If you encounter issues while transferring photos from iCloud to Mac, such as this Mac can't connect to iCloud, our troubleshooting guide will help you resolve it.

3. How to download photos from iCloud to Mac with Shared Albums

To download photos from iCloud onto your Mac with Shared Albums:

  1. Launch the web browser on your Mac and sign into your iCloud account.
  2. On the iCloud homepage, find and click on Shared Albums.
  3. Choose the shared album that has photos inside that you want to download.
  4. Click the download icon or right-click on a photo to begin the download process.
To access you Shared Albums, first you'll need to log into your iCloud account via your web browser. Then head to Photos, and look for your Shared Library to download photos from iCloud to Mac.
Step 1. Sign into your iCloud account and click on Shared Albums
From the iCloud homepage, under Photos you will see your Shared Accounts with different libraries full of your Photos. Locate the images you want to transfer onto your Mac and click the Cloud icon to download.
Step 2. Choose the shared album and click download

Streamlined iCloud Photo Management on your Mac

We've now explored various methods to help you download photos from iCloud to Mac, allowing you to choose the approach that suits you best. To further enhance your photo management experience, below are two valuable tips from MacKeeper’s experts.


First, regularly organize your iCloud photo library by creating separate albums or folders. Secondly, you might also want to consider storing large quantities of photos on an external hard drive. These practical tips can keep your images neatly categorized and make them easier to manage.


Additionally, don't forget to use MacKeeper's Duplicates Finder as a powerful tool to optimize your iCloud photo library. By eliminating duplicates, you can keep your library clutter-free and ensure easy accessibility to your cherished photos. With these tips in mind, you're well-equipped to enjoy efficient and organized photo management on your Mac—good luck.

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