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iCloud Storage Full: Transfer Photos from iCloud to Google Photos

Apple’s iCloud has always been criticized for the lack of enough storage space, on the free plan that they offer. The company offers just 5 GB of cloud storage for the free plan, which is not even good enough to store all the photos that we have in our library. If you want to avoid frequent “iCloud Storage Full” messages, you will have to shell out at least $0.99 a month for the base 50 GB plan. Unfortunately, this has forced people to look for better cloud storage options.

If you’re running very low on your iCloud storage space and getting “iCloud Storage Full” popups (there are USB flash drives for iPhone to transfer photos and videos), you might be interested in moving all your beautiful photos to Google Photos, especially because of the unlimited storage space that Google brings to the table.

However, shifting to a different cloud service has always been a confusing task for many. But don’t worry, as we’ll let you know exactly how to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos.

Download Photos from iCloud and Upload to Google Photos

First of all, you will be making use of your PC to download all the photos from your iCloud, in order to transfer it to Google’s cloud storage. So, without further ado, download iCloud for Windows and sign in with your Apple ID.

Once done, go to your system tray by clicking on the up arrow located at the right of your taskbar. You will notice the iCloud icon in this system tray.

Now, right click on this iCloud icon and you’ll immediately notice a small pop-up with an option to Download all the photos. Click on it and wait for a while, especially if you’ve tons of photos stored in the cloud. Your downloaded photos will probably be located in Pictures -> iCloud Photos -> Downloads, which is the default directory used by iCloud, unless you’ve changed it using the desktop client.

Once you’ve downloaded all your photos, head over to Google Photos website, sign in with your Google account and click on Upload. You will be asked to browse through and choose the required photos as per your preference.

Related: 18 Best iPhone X Tricks, Gesture Shortcuts and Button Combos.

Since we’re trying to upload our iCloud photos, go to the default directory for iCloud on Windows (Pictures -> iCloud Photos -> Downloads) and select all the pictures that are located inside the folder in this directory.

Once you’ve selected all the photos, click on Open and wait for a few minutes, until all the photos are uploaded to Google’s cloud storage. The time you’ll have to wait will totally depend on your internet connection. So, if you have a slower connection, you might have to wait longer.

Well, that’s pretty much the whole process. You’ve successfully managed to transfer all your photos from iCloud to Google Photos. You can very well remove all these photos from your iCloud, in order to free up your precious 5 GB allocation and use it for something else. However, if you don’t have a PC in your reach, we have an easier and alternate solution for you. So, let’s take a look at that as well.

Related: How to Directly Import iCloud Contacts to Google?

Alternate Method: Using Google Photos App

If you’re using iCloud on your iOS device, all the photos stored on that device are uploaded to the cloud as well. So, we’ll be making use of the Google Photos App that’s available on the iOS App Store to back up all your photos to Google’s cloud storage. Once you’ve installed the application, simply follow the instructions below to get this process completed within seconds.

Open the Google Photos App and go to the menu, by touching on the three-line icon. Now, tap on Settings.

Now, tap on Backup & sync and enable that option. In the Backup & sync menu, there’ll also be an option to choose Upload size. If you’d like to let Google to slightly compress the image without sacrificing much on quality, choose High quality where you’ll get unlimited storage space for your photos. However, if you want to keep the original file size, without any change in resolution, you will have to store it on your 15 GB allocation for Google Drive.

Well, this procedure is much easier than the previous method we discussed, as it doesn’t need a PC or desktop client and you don’t even have to download all the photos. So, once you’ve successfully transferred all the photos to Google’s cloud, you can very well remove the photos and save up storage space on your iCloud, or disable it on your iPhone altogether, if you don’t intend to use it anymore.

Related: Synchronize Apple iCloud Email to Windows 8 Mail

Experience Unlimited Photo Storage with Google Photos

Google Photos is rapidly growing to be one of the best places to store all your photos, especially because of the fact that it offers unlimited storage if you’re willing to let Google reduce the file size of your images, without sacrificing much on quality.

With Google Photos unlimited storage, you will be able to store unlimited photos up to a maximum resolution of 16 MP, but if you want to store images at its full resolution and size, your 15 GB free allocation on Google Drive will be used up. Still, 15 GB is much more than what Apple has to offer.

Well, you don’t even have to worry anymore as soon as you start running out on your 5 GB free allocation for iCloud, as you can store as many photos as you want on Google Photos, without sacrificing much on image quality. Also, there are ways to move iCloud Files to Google Drive, other than just photos.

Even after Google’s compression, the pictures look exceptionally good, so there’s no gripe in that regard. So, are you looking forward to make the switch to Google Photos? Do let us know in the comments section down below, as we at Technical Tips, would like to know exactly what you guys think about Google Photos and its unlimited storage option.

Disclosure: Mashtips is supported by its audience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. This is great! Just wonder what the flipside is? Does Google now have the right to use my personal pics commercially? Are they doing biometric IDs on everyone in my life, in order to enrich the social graph database..? Would be nice if you mentioned what the downside is..!

  2. “Unfortunately, this has forced people to look for better cloud storage options”.

    I’m rethinking a lot about sharing my private data out there. Sharing cloud storage for free does not mean “better” cloud storage. It means cheaper or even free unlimited cloud storage, which does not necessarily means it’s better.

    Have you ever thought why this is free? What is Google doing with your pictures as a tradeoff for being a free service?

    Maybe paying $1/mo can be worth the privacy.


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