Learn how to download photos from your iPad or iPhone to your Mac

I’ve been using iCloud on the PC for a while now to sync photos from my iPad to my PC and it works well. On my new Mac, however, I had a problem, you see the feature is built in so you don’t have to install it – but you do have to find it! Here’s how:

1. Assuming you already have an iPad or iPhone and you have been taking photos with it, then you want to get them to your Mac. Start on your iPad and make sure it is set to sync. Do this in Settings – scroll to find Photos & Camera and make sure that My Photo Stream is turned on. This means that when you are on a wifi connection your photo stream will be synced with iCloud.

The photo stream has some limits. One is that iCloud itself only stores images for 30 days so after that they disappear. However provided you are connected via wifi on a regular basis these will be synced frequently so that won’t be a big issue.

On a device like the iPad and iPhone the photo stream will only contain those most recent 1,000 images – older ones are removed. This is because you have less space on your iPad and iPhone than on a Mac or PC. Remember too that the photo stream contains images from the iPad/iPhone and from your Mac or PC so this 1,000 image limitation is for images from all devices in total, so it’s not as big as it might seem.

On the PC that is less of a problem because you have a special Photo stream folder that you put images into to sync them, so you know how many you are putting there. It is more of an issue on the Mac because the process is more automated so you have to be mindful of what is happening. On your Mac or PC all the images from your Photo stream are stored – because there is more storage available on them.

2. To set up the Mac. You need to click iPhoto to launch it and then click Web: Photo Stream and turn this on.

3. Now, if you are connected via wifi you can wait as your photo stream downloads automatically for you otherwise this will happen automatically next time you are connected.

Once images are downloaded to iPhoto they will be added to the Photos folder so even if you turn off Photo Stream at some time the images that are already downloaded will have be stored there permanently.

Helen Bradley