How to Back Up Your Photos Before Apple Deletes Them Forever

July 3, 2023 3:09 pm in by
My Photo Stream

If you have photos spread across your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, be warned that some of them may appear to disappear in the coming weeks. This is because Apple is shutting down a portion of its photo storage service called “My Photo Stream”.

Recently, Apple sent out notifications to users that My Photo Stream will be gradually closing down. Initially, it was partially shut down on June 26, but the complete shutdown is happening on July 26, so you don’t have much time.

My Photo Stream is a service that allows users to store their most recent 1,000 photos in iCloud for free for 30 days. The purpose was to enable easy viewing and local downloading of photos taken on one Apple device from another, without using up iCloud storage.

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You can still share photos across your Apple devices using iCloud Photos even after My Photo Stream is gone. However, keep in mind that this will consume storage space, possibly requiring you to upgrade to a higher tier of iCloud for sufficient room to store all your photos especially if you’ve surpassed the free 5GB of storage attached to your account. Those higher tiers come at a price of around $1.49 a month for 50 GB of storage, $4.49 for 200GB and $14.99 for 2 TB of storage.

So yeah, you could say that this is a push to get more users to sign up for the paid iCloud storage services. Rather than just the removal of an old system.

@esportscenter Apple is getting rid of their free photo sync feature 👀 #tech #techtok #apple #iphone #icloud #esportscenter ♬ Aces – dkj

Alternatively, you can use another service like Amazon or Google Photos or even manually transfer images between devices. This involves using the appropriate cable to connect your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC and downloading them to your chosen device or storage system like an external hard drive. In theory, it should be as simple as dragging and dropping your files.

But for now, the easiest way to get those photos to a safe space is to use the My Photo Stream service while it’s still available.

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The official note on the Apple site states:

“My Photo Stream is scheduled to be shut down on 26 July 2023. 

As part of this transition, new photo uploads to My Photo Stream from your devices will stop one month before, on 26 June 2023. Any photos uploaded to the service before that date will remain in iCloud for 30 days from the date of upload and will be available to any of your devices where My Photo Stream is currently enabled. By 26 July 2023, there will be no photos remaining in My Photo Stream and the service will be shut down. 

The photos in My Photo Stream are already stored on at least one of your devices, so as long as you have the device with your originals, you won’t lose any photos as part of this process. If a photo you want isn’t already in your library on a particular iPhone, iPad or Mac, make sure that you save it to your library on that device. 

Moving forward, iCloud Photos is the best way to keep the photos and videos you take up to date across all your devices and safely stored in iCloud. If you already have iCloud Photos enabled on all of your devices, you don’t need to do anything else — your photos are already syncing to iCloud. To check, on your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > your name > iCloud. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Settings, click your name, then click iCloud. Make sure it says “On” next to Photos on each of your devices. “

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It’s important to note that when My Photo Stream shuts down, you won’t lose any photos as long as you still have access to the device it was taken on. However, you will lose the ability to access these images on any device unless you have iCloud Photos set up.

To ensure continued access to your images on all your devices after the shutdown, here’s how to save photos from My Photo Stream onto your Apple devices.

Simply go to your My Photo Stream Album in your Camera Roll and SAVE your pictures to your device or iCloud, you must do this before July 26.

Don’t panic though, if you go into the album and don’t see My Photo Stream Album, it’s likely that you have a more recent account and are set up for iCloud already.