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ozaz

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 27, 2011
1,612
570
Are there ways way to achieve offline backup of iCloud Photo Library including album structure without a Mac?

Here's why I'm asking.....

My parents use iPhone and iPads, and backup/sync their photos using iCloud Photos. They also have a very old Mac (2010 MacBook Pro) which got a lot of use when it was first purchased, but they almost entirely stopped using it when they started using iPads a few years ago. Therefore they haven't bothered upgrading to a newer Mac. However, one use that has persisted is to sync the iCloud photos libraries to the iPhoto library on the Mac to enable an offline backup via Time Machine.

In the last few months the (old & unsupported) version of iPhoto installed on this Mac stopped syncing with iCloud Photos, so it can no longer perform this role. Also modern web browsers are no longer supporting the version of Mac OS installed on the machine. So this machine can no longer perform any useful function for my parents (at least not without installing a different OS). Because they have so little use for the Mac, they're not keen on buying a new Mac. But ideally would like to have a way to continue keeping an offline backup of their iCloud Photo libraries.

I understand the iCloud Photo library can be synced to Windows machines via iCloud for Windows. This seems like a decent solution for achieving an offline iCloud Photo library backup at low cost (I have some spare Windows machines capable of running Windows 11). But from what I can tell, the iCloud Photo Library Album structure does not get synced to Windows. Hence the question at the top of this post.
 
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GregA

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2003
1,249
15
Sydney Australia
Did you get an answer?

I'd really like to backup my mothers Photos in the Cloud. Ideally her TimeMachine backup could sync the photos down to her Mac (temporarily) to ensure a complete photo backup... but unless that's changed it's not possible.
 

ozaz

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 27, 2011
1,612
570
Did you get an answer?

I'd really like to backup my mothers Photos in the Cloud. Ideally her TimeMachine backup could sync the photos down to her Mac (temporarily) to ensure a complete photo backup... but unless that's changed it's not possible.

If your mother has a Mac which is still supported by Apple, then I think the best way to get offline backups of the iCloud Photos library is to configure the iCloud settings on the Mac to download original photos to the Mac and then backup the Mac using Time Machine.

I didn't get any suggestions for achieving a similar offline backup of the iCloud Photos library without a Mac (with album structure preserved). But it occurred to me that a workaround is to setup one of the iOS devices (e.g. an iPad) to "Download and Keep Originals" within its iCloud Photo settings, and then backup that whole iPad via iTunes (which can be done on a Windows computer). As long as I have configured the iPad to "Download and Keep Originals", the iPad backup would essentially include a backup of the iCloud Photos library.

EDIT - Actually, the above might not be suitable (the bit I've struck through). According to the following webpage the iTunes backup of an iOS device doesn't include the full Photo Library, at least not by default. Need to investigate further. https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/itunes/itns3280/windows
 
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