How to Recover Photos from iCloud? Here’s the answer

iCloud Photos provides a secure storage solution for Apple devices for photos and videos. However, instances of accidental deletion or other issues might lead to the loss of photos because iCloud Photos is just a cloud gallery that syncs with your iPhone and other devices. If you want to back up your data without risking deletion, consider using iCloud Backup. There are three main reasons to use iCloud Photos on your iPhone:

  • iCloud makes your photos and videos accessible on other devices with the shared Apple ID.
  • iCloud is a good failsafe if something happens with your iPhone or another Apple device.
  • With the Optimize iPhone Storage, iCloud Photos can save some space on your iPhone by replacing full-resolution photos and videos with smaller preview versions.

However, by default, deleting photos and videos on your iPhone will automatically delete them from iCloud, too. Continue reading if you want to know how to recover photos from iCloud.

Where did all my iCloud Photos go?

When you enable iCloud Photos on your iPhone, your iPhone syncs photos and videos with iCloud Photos Library. However, various factors such as account deactivation, insufficient storage, or accidental deletion can lead to the loss of photos.

As we already said, if you delete photos and videos from your iPhone or Mac, you delete them from iCloud Photos, too.

The first thing you should always do is check the Recently Deleted folder. Also, check the Hidden Album and inspect iCloud settings on your iPhone. The best way to check the state of the Photo Library on iCloud is to navigate to iCloud in a browser. Access, sign in with your Apple ID, and select Photos.

Does iCloud store all photos forever?

iCloud will store your photos and videos as long as there is sufficient storage space, and the account is active. Once you delete photos and videos, you can find them in the Recently Deleted album where they remain for 30 days before permanent deletion.

Will iCloud delete my photos if I don’t pay?

If you stop paying for a paid iCloud plan or downgrade to a free plan, and you’re using more than the free storage limit of 5GB, iCloud Photos will stop uploading new photos and videos. Existing photos and videos will remain in iCloud but won’t be available for download until the user upgrades the storage plan or reduces the storage usage to fit within the available free storage limit.

How long are iCloud Photos kept?

iCloud Photos are kept indefinitely as long as the user has sufficient storage space, and their account remains in good standing. Deleted photos are kept for 30 days in the Recently Deleted album.

Recovering Your Photos from iCloud

Locate the Recently Deleted album and open it to view photos deleted within the last 30 days. Select the desired photos and choose Recover. That’s your best bet to recover Photos from iCloud.

If the required photos are not found in the Recently Deleted album, restoring the device from a previous iCloud backup is an alternative.
Here’s how to restore your photos from iCloud on your iPhone:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone and then Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and to recover photos from icloud
  5. After erasing, follow the setup prompts to Restore from iCloud Backup and choose the relevant backup.

If the above steps do not yield the desired results, contacting Apple Support for further assistance is a good idea.

Furthermore, if you’re struggling with iCloud space and considering a different cloud service for storing photos, it might be worthwhile to explore alternatives like Google Photos or Dropbox. These platforms also offer their own set of recovery features should you find yourself in a bind.

With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and post your questions or suggestions in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in April 2017. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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