Easily Download iCloud Photos and Keep the Original Quality

iCloud can back up every data on your iPhone. How can you download the photos from iCloud? When you get a new iPhone or reset your iPhone, you can easily restore everything with iCloud. However, if you only want to restore photos in iCloud, there's no one-click feature to fulfill that. Don't worry; you can learn from this article to learn how to download photos from iCloud and learn some tips to optimize the iCloud storage space.

Download iCloud Photo

Part 1: How to Download Photos from iCloud on iPhone

It's very easy to download photos from iCloud. The only trick is to put your eyes on a web browser but not the Photos app.

Step 1 Go to the official website of iCloud and click the Sign In button to sign into your Apple ID. Then, tap the Photos button.

Log Into iCloud iPhone

Step 2 Then, you only need to select the desired photos and tap on them. Then, tap the More button in the bottom right corner. Tap the Download button to download the photo from iCloud to your iPhone. You can also sync photos from your iPhone to your computer if you log into iCloud on a desktop browser.

Download Photo From iCloud On iPhone

Part 2: Smart Tips to Optimize iCloud Storage Space

Two tips must be provided to you if you want to manage the iCloud storage space. After all, the free storage is only 5GB. They are Download and Keep Originals and Optimize iPhone Storage. When you want to download photos from iCloud, you will see the 2 options.

Download and Keep Originals means that the photos that will be backed up to iCloud will be kept original and full-resolution both on iCloud and iOS devices. Optimize iPhone Storage means that the pictures that will be backed up to iCloud will be replaced with the optimized version on iOS devices and full versions are stored in iCloud.

How to Use Download and Keep Originals and optimize iPhone Storage

If your iPhone has enough space, it will be OK to store original photos in full resolution on the iPhone. However, once your iPhone has no enough storage, Optimize iPhone Storage will be good and automatically enabled, and smaller and space-saving photos and videos will be kept on your device.

For manually changing the settings, the steps are very easy to follow.

Step 1 Go to Settings >your name >iCloud >Photos.

For iOS devices running in iOS 17 or earlier, tap Settings >iCloud >Photos, and then turn on iCloud Photos.

Step 2Tap the Optimize iPhone Storage or Download and Keep Originals button as you wish.

Download and Keep Originals

Part 3: How to Access Full-Resolution Photos on iPhone

As mentioned above, once you select "optimize iPhone Storage", your iPhone will keep the optimized images with smaller size. In other word, the images on your iPhone will be not full-resolution.

When you access your iPhone photos on a computer with some third-party tools, you will find the image may not be as clear as its originals. It's not like iCloud Photo Sharing which can sync high-quality photos easily. Want to access the full-resolution photos? Here are 3 ways, download iCloud photos to iPhone, download iPhone photos from iCloud, and disable photos iCloud backup.

Want to access the full-resolution photos? Here are 3 ways, download iCloud photos to iPhone, download iPhone photos from iCloud, and disable photos iCloud backup.

Transfer Full Resolution Photos from iPhone to Computer

For downloading the original full-resolution photos on iPhone, you just need to switch from optimize iPhone Storage to Download and Keep Originals in Part 2.

Or just turn off photos backup on iCloud.

Go to Settings >your name > iCloud > Photos > Toggle iCloud Photos to OFF.

For iOS device running in iOS 17 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos > Toggle iCloud Photos to OFF.


Note: Once you disable photos backup on iCloud, the photos synced to iCloud before will store in iCloud, but it will not sync to iCloud later. However, the photos backed up to iCloud will still keep optimized versions on your iOS device.

Then you could use third-party programs like Apeaksoft iPhone Transfer, etc. to easily transfer photos from iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to computer with original high quality.

iPhone Transfer

4,000,000+ Downloads

Easily transfer contacts, photos, videos, etc between iOS devices.

Quickly detect your iOS devices with only a USB cable.

Neatly classify your iOS data into specific groups.

Preview each data before you transfer between iOS devices.

Download the Original Photos from iCloud for iPhone

Moreover, you can use Apeaksoft iPhone Data Recovery to access the full resolution images from Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Photo Library and app photos. Apart from accessing photos from iCloud, it can also restore the photos from iTunes. Moreover, even the deleted photos can be retrieved from iPhone 15/14/13/12, iPad Pro/mini/Air, etc.

iPhone Data Recovery

4,000,000+ Downloads

Recover deleted photos from iCloud backups with a few steps.

View iCloud photos and selectively retrieve certain ones.

Keep the original format and quality of iCloud photos.

Access iCloud photos on your computer without an iPhone.

Step 1Download Apeaksoft iPhone Data Recovery and launch it. Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable. Click the Recover from iCloud Backup File button in the left bar. Input your Apple ID and the password to log in to your iCloud account..

Choose iCloud Backup

Step 2 After the successful login, you can see all the iCloud backups with the iCloud account. Select the one you need, and click Download to start to download the iCloud backup.

Download iCloud Backup

Step 3 In the pop-up window, you need to select the data type that you want to access from iCloud.

Here, you need to select Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Photo Library, and App Photos. You can also sync messages from your iPhone to your Mac/Windows if you click the Messages button. If you have other photos that are attached in apps like Kik, Line, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc., just also checkmark them. Then click Next to start to scan and download the full-resolution photos from iCloud.

If you want to download documents from iCloud to Mac or Windows, then you should select the checkbox of App Document.

Select iCloud Photo Types

Step 4 Wait minutes and you can see all the selected photo types shown in the left sidebar. Click it and the detailed photos will show in the right window.

Checkmark the full-resolution photos that you want to download, and click Recover to save them on your computer.

Download Original Photos from iCloud

Download Original iPhone Photos from iCloud to Computer

If you only want to access the photos from iCloud to computer in full-resolution, you just download the photos from a web iCloud. You can also upload data to a web iCloud, which is also a good way to put music on your iPhone through iCloud easily.

Go to on your computer > Sign into your iCloud account with Apple ID and password > Click Photos > Select one or more photos and videos that you want to download > Click and hold the Download button in the upper-right corner of the window > Choose Unmodified Original to download the original full-resolution photos to your computer.

Note: Surely, you can upload high-quality photos to the web iCloud, and then you can transfer photos from Mac to iPhone.

Part 4: FAQs of Downloading iCloud Photos

Why are my iCloud Photos not downloading?

There are many reasons for iCloud photos not downloading to iPhone. iCloud Photo Library is not enabled. Network connection is not available, etc.

Which is better optimize iPhone storage or download and keep originals?

optimize iPhone Storage will keep the optimized photos on your iOS device after the iCloud backup, and keeps the full-resolution of the pictures in iCloud, which will take up more space on iCloud and free up space on iOS device. Download and Keep Originals will keep full-resolution images on both iOS device and iCloud, which will eat up the space on iCloud and iOS device. If you want to view the full-resolution images on iOS device, then Download and Keep Originals is better for you. If you want to free up space for iOS device, then optimize iPhone Storage is better for you.

How long does it take to download and keep originals to iPhone?

The time you take to download and keep the originals to iPhone from iCloud will depend on your Internet connection status and file size. However, one thing you should notice that the original photos and videos are stored in your iCloud account for 30 days. You should download them within the time.


Here we mainly talk about the options of Download and Keep Originals and Optimize iPhone Storage in iCloud Photos. You can use them to download iCloud photos to your iPhone with high quality and manage iCloud storage well. Apeaksoft iPhone Data Recovery can help you quickly transfer photos from iCloud to your PC/Mac/iPhone when the network connection on your iPhone is not stable.

Which one will be your choice? Leave your comments below.

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