ICloud Photo Backup, how it works

iCloud is one of the most important functions of an iPhone and an iPad and is an application that is already pre-installed on every Apple device. The purpose of iCloud is to provide one online storage space in which saves a safe copy of your photos, address book, and other personal data so you can restore them to a new iPhone or iPad and so you can also view them on a computer or another mobile device.
If our main concern is the photos taken with the camera of our iPhone, just read the following guide, where we will show you in detail how to save photos online on iPhone taking advantage of the iCloud service, which can automatically synchronize them every time we are connected to a Wi-Fi network.

How to save photos online on iPhone

Saving photos online is the only safe way to always have them at hand even in case of loss, theft, or breakage of the iPhone since the shots will be present as a backup copy in the cloud space offered by the iCloud service.
To access iCloud there is no need to register an account because just use the Apple ID that we created to access the iTunes store or when we started the iPhone for the first time.
Basically iCloud offers little free space, but we can quickly increase this space by paying a monthly sum, as we will show you in the dedicated chapter.

How to set up automatic photo backup on iPhone

To enable automatic backup of photos on the iPhone, all we have to do is open the app Settings, press on the top of the name of our Apple ID (top of all), select the menu iCloud, press on the voice Photo and make sure there is a checkmark next to the entry ICloud photo.
Activate iCloud

From this moment on, the photos taken with our iPhone will be automatically copied to the iCloud space.
Basically the service uses both cellular data network and Wi-Fi for uploading photos; to limit the upload only under the Wi-Fi network we open the app Settings, let’s go to the menu Photo, we press on Cellular data and turn off the switch next to the item Cellular data.
iCloud data

Now the photos taken can be uploaded to the cloud only when we are connected to a Wi-Fi network, so as not to consume data traffic (at the cost of losing photos in case of breakdowns or theft when we are not under wireless coverage).
Personally we advise you to leave the upload on cellular network active, especially if we have an LTE or 5G Internet subscription with at least 30 GB of traffic since we will hardly have difficulties in loading or run the risk of ending the data traffic due to the fault of the photographs.

How to view iCloud photos on PC

After enabling the saving of photos on iCloud we can access photos saved online even to a PC with Windows 10, just add the iCloud app for Windows directly from the Microsoft Store.
Once the installer has been downloaded, start it, insert the Apple ID credentials used on the iPhone, pass the required security checks, and, in the configuration screen, make sure that there is a tick on the item Photo.
iCloud Windows

We press on to apply to make the changes effective; from now on we can access the photos saved on iCloud from the app icon in the lower-left or by opening the folder iCloud in the file explorer.

How to view iCloud photos on Mac

On Mac or MacBook, it is very simple to view photos saved on iCloud, since the service is integrated into the macOS operating system.
First of all, make sure that our computer use is associated with the same Apple ID used on the iPhone by clicking on System preferences and clicking on the top right corner on Apple ID; if the account is registered in the same screen, just check that there is a checkmark in the item Photo (in the section iCloud).
Apple Mac

Once these checks have been carried out, all we have to do is open the app Photo, so you can view all photos synced online on iCloud and choose whether to share, edit or delete them.

How to view iCloud photos on Android

Currently, it is not possible to use an app to view photos saved on iCloud from an Android smartphone, but nothing prevents us from opening your favorite web browser (for example Google Chrome for Android), visiting the iCloud page, entering your Apple ID credentials and finally tap on the voice Photo.

How to expand the space on iCloud

As soon as we activate our iCloud account they will be offered to us 5 GB of free space usable for photos and other items that can be synchronized in the cloud.
If we take many photos this space will fill up quickly and, to continue taking photos and saving them online, we will have to purchase one of the iCloud space extensions, offered as a monthly subscription.

We can activate the subscription for the iCloud space extension directly from the iPhone by opening the app Settings, by opening the menu Apple ID at the top, pressing up iCloud, then on Manage space and finally on Change plan.
ICloud subscription

Currently, you can choose between three monthly subscription plans:

  • 50GB for € 0.99 per month
  • 200GB for € 2.99 per month
  • 2TB for € 9.99 per month

For payments, we can use both credit card and PayPal service.


iCloud was probably the first cloud service that allowed you to save your photos on the cloud online, so you never lose them (making them “immortal” in fact). Although over the years Google Photos has gained increasing popularity even on the iPhone (thanks to the unlimited upload of photos), many users still prefer to use iCloud for uploading their photos, as they are not compressed and can be viewed in the highest possible quality.

If we are looking for guides on how to transfer photos from one device to another, we can read our guides How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC is How to Transfer Photos from Android and iPhone to PC in wifi.


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