Transfer photos from iCloud to iPhone


macrumors 603
Original poster
Jan 23, 2002
East Coast
My daughter had originally set up her iPod touch to use iCloud photos. What ended up happening is that all of her photos taken on the iPod were uploaded to iCloud. If she turned off the iCloud Photo option, the photos would be removed from her iPod. So she just left icloud Photo turned on.

Now, she has an iphone 6 that I restored from a backup of her iPod touch. She recently got a message saying she's running out of iCloud storage space, so I told her to turn of iCloud photos, which promptly removed most of the photos from her phone. Turning iCloud photo back on, put the photos back on her phone.

So here's what I would like to do for her.

1. Get all of her photos from her iCloud and put it on the iPhone.
2. Delete all of the photos from iCloud to give her more iCloud space.
3. Don't lose any photos from this opeation.

Apple's instructions on how to do this implies that if you delete photos from iCloud, they'll automatically get deleted from every device, regardless of whether you downloaded the photo to the device or not. This confuses me. Am I reading their page wrong?

Download iCloud photos and videos
With iCloud Photos, you can download a copy of your photos and videos on any device.

How to download content from the Photos app
On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 10.3 or later:
  1. Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos.
  2. Select Download and Keep Originals.
On your Mac with OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 or later*:
  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Choose Photos > Preferences > iCloud > Download Originals to this Mac.
Remember, when you delete a photo from iCloud Photo, it deletes from iCloud and is no longer available on any device — even if you turned on Download and Keep Originals or Download Originals to this Mac. Choosing to download your originals also impacts your device storage, so you might want to learn more about how to manage your storage. You can also learn how to AirDrop your content to another device.