Photo stream stopped working

Big Stevie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 20, 2012
986
313
UK
About 3 weeks ago my iPhone 7 stopped sending photos to my MacBook pro via photo stream, they are no longer appearing on my MacBook.

Are there any simple guides on here to check that my settings are correct please?

Thanks.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,322
631
On my iPhone 7+ my settings are:

iCloud
iCloud Photo Library off (my main library is lightroom so I don't need it)
My Photo Stream on
Upload Burst Photos on
iCloud photo sharing on

Photos & Camera
iCloud Photo Library off (as above)
My Photo Stream on
Upload Burst Photos on
iCloud photo sharing on

[Since these setting are the same as in iCloud, likely if you set it in one place it will change the other. However I didn't test].

The following shouldn't have any effect, but putting them here for completeness:

Summarize Photos on
Show holiday events off
Preserve Settings - Camera Mode on, photo filter off, live photo on
Grid off
Record video 4K at 30 fps
Record slo-mo 1080p at 120
Keep normal photo on
Keep HDR normal photo on

On my MacPro I have:
iCloud Drive: photos agent.app, imovie.app (and others not listed here)

Photos
iCloud Photo Library off
My photo stream on
iCloud photo sharing on

I have had problems with streaming before. Sometimes it takes a long time for it to happen. Other times I have to toggle everything off and then back on. I'm not worried about losing anything since all my photos are in lightroom. I move to photos the ones I want there. If you try toggling make sure you know where your photos are and that you have good backups in case something gets lost.

Do you see the photos in iCloud using your MacBook and Safari? That might point to whether the problem is an upload or download problem. However I just checked and some photos in my photo stream which were photo streamed from my iPhone to my Mac aren't in iCloud which is totally confusing ....
 
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Big Stevie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 20, 2012
986
313
UK
Thanks for the detailed reply.

My settings are the same as yours, but sadly it still doesn't work. Everything was fine until 3 weeks ago. I don't recall making any changes to the settings at the time.
 

infantrytrophy

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2013
230
61
You might try toggling Photostream off, then on, in your Mac. I had a similar problem - photos showed up in Photostream in the iPhone and iPad but not in the Mac.

To do this, go to Photos > preferences > iCloud, then de-select My Photostream. Close Photos, relaunch, then select My Photostream again in Photos > preferences.

Good luck!
 

Big Stevie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 20, 2012
986
313
UK
I've tried the above, but it's still not working.

I've noticed that my MacBook hard drive is almost full so I wonder if that is causing the loss of photo stream?
 

metsjetsfan

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2011
1,304
194
About 3 weeks ago my iPhone 7 stopped sending photos to my MacBook pro via photo stream, they are no longer appearing on my MacBook.

Are there any simple guides on here to check that my settings are correct please?

Thanks.
How did you fix this?

photostream just stopped working for me. full stop on all devices. other services such as contacts seem ok.
 

Big Stevie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 20, 2012
986
313
UK
How did you fix this?

photostream just stopped working for me. full stop on all devices. other services such as contacts seem ok.
I was never able to fix it. My MacBook is running very low on hard drive space and I'm not sure if that's the problem?

So I now have to email the photos from my iPhone and receive them on my MacBook to put them in iPhoto.
 

infantrytrophy

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2013
230
61
Considered in broad context (meaning does it work across IOS devices and macOS devices), Photostream does not work well. Photostream usually works well between my iPhone 6 and iPad Pro 9.7, running the latest version of IOS. Photostream does not work consistently between the iPhone and iMac, however. Photos taken with the iPhone appear quickly in the iPad but not in the iMac. Sometimes the photos will appear in the iMac several days later, sometimes not at all. Usually deselecting, then re-selecting My Photostream in System Preference-iCloud-Photos-Options will cause Photostream to send photos to the iMac for a while, until it stops working again. At best, this is an inelegant solution that does not work that well.

I do not use iCloud Photo Library - I have too many photos for my upgraded 50GB iCloud storage tier.

I have called Apple technical support (my iMac is still under Apple Care) several times, but no solutions have been forthcoming.

My conclusion is that Photostream is one of those iCloud service that simply does not work reliably, at least between the iPhone and Macs.
 
Last edited:

alexgowers

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2012
1,335
888
Sounds straight up like you ran out of iCloud storage to me. This can happen with ease on the 5gb free tier. Go to iCloud.com and download or delete all photos and see if it starts again. You can do it from the phone but it's easier to do on a web browser.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,684
2,275
Between the coasts
Photostream doesn't use the 5GB iCloud storage allocation - it's a separate, free bit of server space (images in Photostream are deleted from the server after 30 days, and there are limits on how many images can be uploaded to that space at a time).

I'd check to be sure that you're really signed into iCloud (tap on your Name/Apple ID in iOS > Settings > iCloud - does it ask for a password, or does it show you account info?).

You must switch out of the Camera app and be connected to wifi before the photos are uploaded to Photostream, so if you're away from wifi for an extended period (like on vacation), your photos won't leave the iPhone until you reconnect.

Read Apple's Photostream FAQ here: https://support.apple.com/HT201317
 

miamialley

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2008
2,849
330
Orange County, California
You might try toggling Photostream off, then on, in your Mac. I had a similar problem - photos showed up in Photostream in the iPhone and iPad but not in the Mac.

To do this, go to Photos > preferences > iCloud, then de-select My Photostream. Close Photos, relaunch, then select My Photostream again in Photos > preferences.

Good luck!
Sounds straight up like you ran out of iCloud storage to me. This can happen with ease on the 5gb free tier. Go to iCloud.com and download or delete all photos and see if it starts again. You can do it from the phone but it's easier to do on a web browser.
I've had a lot of issues with Photostream over the years. Just got back from vacation, some of the pics from the first day appear on my Mac, while none others do. I am using about 30GB of 50GB iCloud storage. Photostream is just really really bad. Going to figure out plan B and stop using/depending on Photostream.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,322
631
If you are traveling Photostream and iCloud Photos are very dependent upon the wifi speed in your hotel. Spent a lot of time with Apple support discussing the issue when I was overseas. Thought they were crazy, but low and behold once I got home connected to my home WiFi everything did populate. A 50 Mbps connection in a hotel works fine. A 2 Mbps doesn't work at all. In between results may vary.
 

RickB1952

macrumors newbie
May 10, 2018
1
0
I was never able to fix it. My MacBook is running very low on hard drive space and I'm not sure if that's the problem?

So I now have to email the photos from my iPhone and receive them on my MacBook to put them in iPhoto.
I’ll bet $100 dollars the continuous failure of photo stream is an attempt by Apple to force users over to Photo Library. This force you to buy more iCloud Storage. Any believers on this?
 

Cordorb

macrumors regular
May 8, 2010
211
50
At one time Apple posted the Limits on photostreaming ie the day -week -month cut off on the number of moved pictures.
If you did not have a large number of computer and idevices you may not have seen this on you devices.

5 Computers is still the limit and I have flooded photostream with many old pictures when I reactivated a old system.

I also have 6 different mac OS's on the same macmini linked to a SSD hub via thunderbolt.

The ONE Windows 7 PC using icloud needs icloud re-loaded every 3 months to get the downloading of pictures to continue.
 
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