iCloud Photo Library - Unlimited Updates

Discussion in 'iOS 11' started by mdellepi, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. mdellepi macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2015
    Since iOS 11 it is now possible to update the iCloud Photo Library through mobile connection and not only through WiFi.
    Below the setting that turns this feature on, there is an “unlimited updates” option. While I understand what it does when it is set to ON (= do the same as if it was under WiFi connection), does somebody know what it does when it is set to off? What is updated through mobile, then? :confused:
  2. garethjs macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    I’ve tried to examine this a bit closer

    Take 1 pic and it uploads immediately. Take another and it’s uploaded too. Take a 3rd close enough to the first 2 and it throttles it. So you can now continue taking as many pics as you want but it won’t upload.

    So I took about 10 pics and a few hours later I noticed it was all uploaded. So i suspect it waits till it can do a batch upload instead of after every pic. I believe this saves data and battery.

    As to how many it will upload over cellular I’m not sure
  3. mdellepi thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2015
    Yes, I've now seen that, after taking some pictures, I see the message at the bottom of the photo library "Upload of 6 pictures on hold to reduce mobile data usage" (more or less, I have iOS set to Italian).

    I have 10GB of mobile data per month, so (now that the rest of the library is synchronised) I will give it a try and see how much data it will use...

    My main fear are 4K videos. I hope they are not uploaded without wifi...
  4. inkahauts macrumors regular


    Sep 7, 2014
    Honestly, why not just limit uploads to WiFi then?
  5. iAddicted90 macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2018
    Had the same question and could not find a qualified answer anywhere.

    Contacted Apple Support and they just called back:

    With Unlimited Updates turned off, iCloud Photo Library Sync will use a maximum of 150 MB per day.

    With Unlimited Updates turned on - of course - it will sync with no data limit whatsoever.

    Hope that helps - I registered just to solve this mystery ;)
  6. zorinlynx, Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018

    zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    I don't know how accurate that support answer was. There have been cases when I've taken about ten photos (FAR less than 150MB worth) and it would stop after 3-4 to conserve cellular data.

    The algorithm isn't consistent, in my experience, but it does the job of eventually throttling the uploads before too much data is used.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2018 ---
    Enabling iCloud photo updates over cellular was actually a great feature for me in iOS 11. Sometimes you are on vacation and aren't around WiFi for several days at a time. Being able to sync your photo library over cellular is great in this situation because you can back up the photos and videos you've taken so far. Given how phones can go missing while on a trip, this can potentially be a lifesaver.
  7. Cayden macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2014
    I think, even with unlimited uploads, 4K videos will only be added through WiFi. I recently was shooting a short film and wanted to see a few of the videos on my MacBook (tethered to my phone) and the videos weren’t showing up in my library and I remember my phone gave me a message to the effect of “4K is only uploaded over WiFi” despite the fact that I had unlimited uploads on

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6 November 19, 2017