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macrumors member
Original poster
May 12, 2016
Hey guys!

Currently I have iCloud "optimize storage" on iPhone 6 turned on, and most pictures are in to free up space on my iPhone. I also have a Google Photos app downloaded on my phone for backup, and I chose "high resolution" (the free) option.

My concern is that because pictures on iPhone are lower resolution (because "optimize storage" feature on iCloud is turned on), then Google Photos will be pulling lower resolution pictures and storing them...

For example, I downloaded the same picture from and, both say 3264x2448, however iCloud's picture is 2.4 MB, and Google Photos' is 1.3 MB.

Should I turn off the iCloud backup so Google will pull higher resolution pics?
Thanks so much!


macrumors member
Apr 8, 2015
My guess is that Google engineers are smart enough to figure out a way to get your iPhone to download the full res from iCloud before it goes to Google servers.

I think the reduced image size you see is due to the compression Google uses when you use the free option. It´s not supposed to degrade the quality in a visible way, but should reduce file size. If you choose the full size storage option in Google Photos the size will probably be identical.
Last edited:


macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
Between the coasts
The answer to your question will depend on how Google does things. If it immediately uploads images after you take them, then it should be uploading the full resolution, since Optimize Storage is not done immediately - the full resolution image has to be uploaded to iCloud before it is replaced on your iPhone with an optimized version, and Optimization is generally not done immediately - only after an image has gone un-viewed (on the iPhone) for a while.

Since both Google and Apple are presenting you with images in the same resolution (3264x2448) you have most of your answer - 3264x2448 is full resolution. If the resolution is the same for both images, then the difference in file size has to do with file compression - otherwise known as JPG quality. Google is giving you lower-quality images.

If you care about the quality of your images, don't turn off iCloud Photo Library - iCloud Photo Library stores full-quality, full-resolution versions of your image.
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