How to turn off iCloud Photos on iPhone and iPad

iCloud Photos is a great way to seamlessly backup iPhone photos to iCloud. However, if you’re running out of iCloud storage and would rather not upgrade to a paid plan, here’s how to turn off iCloud Photos.

Do not worry. You can turn off iCloud Photos without losing a photo or video. Before we begin, however, we strongly encourage you to back up all of your photos and videos. You can download all the photos and videos from the iCloud website, or transfer the photos to your Mac or PC.

How to download iPhone photos from iCloud to your Mac

Prepare to turn off iCloud Photos

First, open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad.

Then go to the Photos section.

Go to the Photos section in Settings.

Before we turn off the feature, let’s talk about what happens to your photos and videos when you turn it off. If you use the Optimize iPhone Storage feature, you have not copied all of your photos locally. Many photos will only be a compressed version.

Before turning off iCloud Photos, we recommend that you switch to the “Download and Keep Originals” option. This will download a full resolution copy of all photos and videos in iCloud (taken from all of your Apple devices). If you don’t have enough space for this, download photos from the iCloud website before proceeding.

To download all photos and videos locally, switch to the


If you’re using iCloud Photos on a separate device (like a Mac or iPad), the original, full-resolution versions are still available on other devices that use iCloud Photos.

However, the photos will be removed from your current device. Apple will keep a copy of your data for 30 days, so don’t worry. You can still get your data by reactivating the feature and using the “Download and Keep Originals” option.

Turn off iCloud Photos

Once your photos are securely downloaded and backed up, tap the switch next to the iCloud Photos option to turn it off.

Tap the switch next to iCloud Photos to turn it off.

When you use the Optimize iPhone Storage feature, you will see a pop-up asking if you want to download a copy of your iCloud photos to your iPhone. Here, select the “Download photos and videos” option.

If your iPhone or iPad does not have the space and you are sure you have a backup, you can choose the “Remove from iPhone” option.

Select the

In a few seconds, the iCloud Photos feature will be disabled. To check the storage space that has been freed up, go to your profile in the Settings app and select the “iCloud” option.


You can reactivate the function at any time in the Settings app. Just go to the Photos section and tap the switch next to the iCloud Photos option to turn it on.

Just because you’ve stopped using iCloud Photos doesn’t mean you’ll stop backing up your photo library. Google Photos, for example, is a great alternative to iCloud Photos. Apple makes it really easy to migrate your entire iCloud Photos library to Google Photos in just a few clicks!

How to Transfer Your iCloud Photo Library to Google Photos

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