Interesting Instagram observation with iCloud Photo Library


macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2012
If your iPhone has iCloud Photo Library turned on and set to "optimised", then Instagram doesn't recognise any photos in your photo library.

Presumably, this is because the photos are no longer on your phone, but on iCloud.

So, this means that you have to go find the photo and click "edit" so that the full resolution version downloads, and then return to Instagram, after which the photo will be visible to select.

Not a biggie, but nonetheless interesting.


macrumors member
Nov 25, 2011
Thank you. I was wondering how this would work for any app that allows you to upload photos; such as Intagram, Facebook, Snapseed.

I take photos when I cycle and then upload them. I assume the photos will reside on my phone until I get to a wifi spot and they upload. They should be available until that time for loading into apps, shouldn't they?

I have 22,000 photos to upload and a speed of 1.5megs, I won't be able to test for a couple of months. Hahaha!


macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2014
I plugged mys sisters ipad in to my mac to update it in iTunes.

Photo popped up and asked me to import her photos. I said yes for the hell of it, the photos taken on the iPad were imported, the photos he got from the cloud didn't import.

So I think photos you take are only deleted when your device needs space, the originals stay on your device until the space is needed.

Apple should really have an FAQ on this....Photostream was cryptic, at first photo seemed to improve on all this, Im back to thinking I have know idea what my devices are doing.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 1, 2012
Noticed another thing.

Despite having taken photos with my iPhone, and then editing them with the native photo editor, (some of) the said photos are not available for selection in Instagram.

I have no idea why. Is it because the edited photo(s) are being uploaded to iCloud Photo Library? If so, then they should still be available in my phone's library for selection, since they were taken with my phone and don't re-download after I view them on my phone (which suggests that they are still on my phone).

I'm struggling to recreate this pattern.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2002
Vancouver, BC
I've also noticed that Instagram appears to be pulling in the old iPhoto albums instead of using the new album structure from Photos; altogether a very frustrating user experience for what should "just work".

My guess is Instagram is behind in implementing proper access to Photos.


macrumors newbie
Oct 9, 2016
sorry to pick up this old thread, but i recently discovered that the photos I save through Instagram are not put into the "Instagram" album within the Photos app. It did before, and I just noticed that the last picture I have in the album is dated just a few days before I activated iCloud photo library. So I am wondering if this is also connected? Anyone of you see the same issue?


macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2018
So what do you do after your click "edit"
[doublepost=1542065915][/doublepost]So what do you do after your click "edit"?