There's been a few posts on this topic, but none answered my questions (at least the several I took a look at).

I'm trying to figure out how to store photos from my iPhone 5 to iCloud (via Wi-fi). From what I've read so far, it seems that one has to use Photo Stream. But if I'm on a trip for more than 30 days, does that mean they will all be deleted by the time I get back? I don't care for sharing the pictures-- in fact, I don't want my pictures to be shared -- I just simply want to take pictures and

  1. store it in iCloud, and
  2. also have it save to my computer, which is constantly on while I'm on my trip, so that Time Machine can serve as another redundant back up

Then when I get back, I would sort through all the pictures when I get back. So, what I'm unsure of is whether or not the photo's will be saved in both iCloud and my Mac. Apple's website hasn't really provided much help with this. I just see multiple instances stating Photo Stream holds the photos for 30 days (or 1000 pictures). It sounds to me as though one MUST share their photos.

2 Answers 2


Prior to a recent change, Apple's solution for this would be to ensure that iPhoto was running and you have configured iCloud to automatically import all photos into your library.

iCloud import

Now that there is no limit to the number of photos, you just need to remain under the current upload limits to avoid having photos that are only on your device and not backed up to Photo Stream:

  • 25,000 photos per month
  • 10,000 photos per day
  • 1,000 photos per hour

Other than temporary pauses, you should be able to store as many photos in the cloud as your have bandwidth and time to upload.

  • Post-vote prudence: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/12092295#12092295 Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 7:51
  • Apple has relaxed the upload limitations but they still don't store more than 30 days worth of photos in iCloud. I just deleted the photo stream on my iPad (several hundred pics), then re-enabled it. Only 89 pics now, the earliest of which is exactly 30 days old. You can upload as much as you want, but nothing older than 30 days is stored by Apple. (This does not apply to Shared photo streams.)
    – jsd
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 19:23

There are four places your pictures can be

  1. locally on your iPhone
  2. in your Photo Stream (which is not shared)
  3. in any shared stream
  4. On your computer

So if you have set up your iPhone to push all pictures into Photo Stream and also have iPhoto/Aperture on the Mac configured to copy all pictures from Photo Stream into your library on your computer, you will basically use Photo Stream to copy any taken picture to your computer.

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