macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2014
Hi all, I'm looking to make the jump onto iCloud for my primary photo storage to free up space on my devices. I currently have over 10,000+ photos & videos all in a windows folder structure. I’ve worked out how to upload the photos into iCloud using the same folder structure, but I can't find a way to download them all to my PC in the same folder structure easily.

it looks like iCloud photos don’t let you ‘select all’ and you have to manually click each photo to select before downloading. Is there a way I can regularly backup my iCloud photos onto my PC whilst keeping my folder structure intact? Or at the very least a simple way to get a 'dump' of all my photos and copy over to my PC. I just can't bring myself to trust iCloud 100%, I prefer a safety net of a local backup as well.

Any help/tips would be appreciated


macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2019
Cologne - Germany
You can keep your Windows folder structure when you upload it via iCloud for Windows but the Photos&Videos will be sorted like every other Data in Photos: chronologicaly (metadata)

I always create albums of my tripps or of themed photo series to keep things a bit organized
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Jan 10, 2012
the Alpha Quadrant
As another Windows user who has moved 170GB+ to iCloud from Google Photos... a word of warning - let iCloud Photos do what it wants. When it doesn't look like anything is happening, ignore, let it do what it needs to do. It took me over a week to get everything uploaded and finally back down to my iPhone, but now it works like a charm and I really like it.

I used Photos to import the photos into the photos database from an external drive, then uploaded to iCloud, then downloaded it ALL to my iPhone (512GB Xs MAX). My iPad has optimize photos on, uses 10GB only.

Took FOREVER. Reason why I let you know is because, every time I tried to fix it or get it going again, it would reset and stall the process. Don't trust the X out of X photos at bottom, it's doing stuff. Just let it go.

I use CCC and TM to back up my Mac's disk to drives at home/work. I haven't tried to copy/paste to an EX Fat drive and see what it looks like on Windows.
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