How to transfer photos from Google Photos to iCloud

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Aina Prat Blasi
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Have you recently switched from a Pixel or Android phone to an iPhone? Are you wondering how to transfer your photos from Google Photos to iCloud? It's not rocket science to do this, but the process could take a long time. In this post, we will tell you how to transfer pictures to iCloud from Google Photos and if you should do it.


In case you are happy with Google Photos and the only reason to transfer to iCloud is that you are switching to iPhone, then my friend, there is no need to transfer them. You can also use Google Photos on iPhone the same way you did on Android. All your photos will be available on iPhone and new ones will be added to Google Photos as well.



However, if you have other reasons to switch to iCloud, you can do it on iPhone and PC, both of which are shown below. Before moving on to the steps, let's understand a little about iCloud Photos and Google Photos.

What is iCloud Photos and Google Photos

Google Photos is available for both Android and iPhone. It is a gallery app that also allows you to backup photos and videos to the cloud. iCloud is a service from Apple, similar to Google Drive, that stores your data in the cloud. Part of this service also allows you to backup your images. iCloud does this through the Photos app on your iPhone.


Both the Google Photos app and the Photos app for iPhone let you view the images available on your phone. You can enable the backup option if you want. This way, the photos will be uploaded to the cloud and synced with the other connected devices. It is an optional feature for both of us.



Now let's see how to transfer online photos from Google Photos to iCloud. Let's start with the computer first.

Transfer photos from Google Photos to iCloud on Windows

For this, you will need to download your data from Google Photos and then upload it back to iCloud. Here are the steps in detail for each part.


Download photos from Google Photos

Step 1: open photos.google.com on your browser and sign in with your Google account linked to Google Photos.

Step 2: hover your mouse over the first photo you want to select and click the check mark icon to select it. It will turn blue. Repeat this step for all the photos you want to select.

Suggestion: To select multiple photos, first select a photo, then press the Shift key and select the last photo. All intermediate images will be selected.


3 pass: Once selected, click on the three-dot icon at the top and select Download from the menu.

Suggestion: use the Shift + D command to start the download process.

Step 4: will begin downloading a ZIP file containing all the selected photos. Now you need to unzip it to your preferred location. For this, right-click on the file and select Unzip from the menu. Alternatively, you can use the online tool to extract it or try a method to automatically extract ZIP files after downloading it.


Upload photos to iCloud Photos

Step 1: open icloud.com on your PC web browser and go to Photos.

Step 2: do click the cloud icon at the top to start uploading new images.

Step 3: a window will open. Navigate to the unzipped folder containing the images you downloaded from Google Photos. Select the photos you want to add to iCloud. Then wait for them to load.


That's all you need to do to transfer your photos. Read the Things to Keep in Mind section at the end of the post for some important points.

Transfer photos from Google Photos to iCloud on iPhone

Here you will need to download the Google Photos app if you don't have it on your iPhone. Then, you will need to download the photos from the app. But you don't have to recharge them manually as iPhone will do it automatically.

1 pass: Open the Google Photos app on your iPhone. If the app asks you to turn on backup, don't give it access. Otherwise, the photos available on your iPhone will be synced with Google Photos.

Step 2: go to the Google Photos Albums section and there you will find all your photos. Long touch the photo to select it. Then without lifting your finger, drag it over the other photos you want to select.

Step 3: tap the share icon at the top and select Save images. The images will be downloaded to the Camera Roll.


Step 4: open the Photos app pre-installed on your iPhone. You will find images downloaded from Google Photos. Now to make them available on all your synced devices, you'll need to turn on iCloud Photo Library.

For this, open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to Photos. Then turn on the switch for iCloud photos. In case it is already on, leave it intact.

You will have two options: optimize iPhone storage and download and keep the originals. Use the former if you want to keep the lower resolution images on your iPhone while keeping the originals on iCloud. You should use it if your iPhone is running out of storage space. Go with the second option if you have enough space on your iPhone.

Final report: when you enable iCloud Photos, all your existing photos in the Camera Roll and those downloaded from Google Photos will be synced to iCloud.

Transfer photos from Google Photos to iCloud on Android

It is not possible to do this directly on Android. You can, however, use the same steps mentioned for Windows to do this on Android. That is, open the iCloud website on the browser of your Android phone. Then upload the photos to it.


Things to keep in mind

When you do this, you should take care of these things.

Be patient

If you have a lot of images in Google Photos, the whole process may take a while, depending on your internet speed. So keep calm and be patient.

Enough storage space

Before you start transferring your data from Google Photos to iCloud, check the available iCloud storage space. There should be enough storage space to load all data from Google Photos. To check your storage, go to the Settings app on your iPhone and tap your name at the top. Then, tap on iCloud.

Your storage quota will be shown. You can use the tips to free up iCloud storage space.

Do it in batches

To be on the safe side, you shouldn't have to transfer all your data at once. Do this in batches of 100-200 images.

Google Photos are provided

After transferring the photos to iCloud library, the images will still remain in Google Photos since we have not deleted them. After you have successfully added them to iCloud, you can go ahead and delete them from Google Photos. We suggest deleting only a few photos at first. Then check if it can be accessed via iCloud Photo Library. Eliminate others only after evaluating things.

You can also let them stay in Google Photos and uninstall the Google Photos app from your iPhone or turn off its backup feature. For this, go to the settings of the Google Photos app and tap on Backup & Sync. Turn off the switch for Backup and Sync.

Further Reading:

  • How to use iCloud on Android
  • How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC
  • How to upload photos to iCloud and sync your photos
  • How to transfer photos from iPhone to MAC
  • How to Upload Photos to iCloud from a PC

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