I have a iPhone 4 and set up iCloud on my device, including the Photo Stream service. Everything seems to be set up fine and I have the option to select Photo Stream in Photos.app.

However, the message I get when tapping Photo Stream is that all new photos will be transferred into the Photo Stream.

How do I get the current photos in my phone to show up in my Photo Stream?

  • 1
    I know how to do this by first syncing the photos to a Mac and uploading from iPhoto, but not solely on the iPhone. Would you be open to that solution?
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 20:51

5 Answers 5


Given that this question is a few months old, you may have already found an answer, but I figured I'd provide one in case anyone else comes to this post looking for an answer to the same question.

While I don't know of a way to add photos from the Camera Roll to the "main" photo stream retroactively, you can add pictures to shared photo streams. Those will sync up with iCloud and any iCloud-connected devices, just like the "main" photo stream.

To add pictures to a shared photo stream:

  1. Create a shared photo stream. On your iPhone, open the Photos app, go to the Shared tab (bottom center of the screen), and tap on "New Shared Stream". Give the new stream a name.
  2. Go to your Camera Roll, tap on Select (top right of the screen), and select (tap) each picture that you want to add to the new shared stream.
  3. Once all of the pictures you want to add to the stream are selected, tap the share button (bottom left of the screen), choose iCloud on the menu that pops up, and choose the newly created shared photo stream.

Photos on your phone from before iCloud was activated can't be easily moved to the main photo stream. (Apple desires that you activate iCloud when you get the iPhone. They assume that's what everyone will do.)

There are solutions however.

  1. You can use a shared photo stream.
  2. You can sync your phone to a Mac and use iPhoto to sync them through photo streams.

well, the easiest way is to simply e-mail the photos to yourself. once in your inbox simply save them to your camera roll and thus your photo stream. yes you'll have duplicates in your camera roll but that is easily remedied by deleting the "original" version of the photo.


An even easier way is to just screen shot the picture then refresh your camera roll app.

  • Except that the screen shot will be much lower res then the original picture, lose all metadata, and other such issues.
    – JMY1000
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 23:56

This is quite old question, but I have just found it and I would like to share my fresh experience. I use Mac with OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 and iPhone 6 with iOS 10.3.1.

In your Photos app on iPhone

  1. Go to Album / Camera Roll, Select photo, then share to Cloud Photo Sharing. Use existing or temporary Shared Album as destination.

In Photos app on Mac

  1. Go to Shared / Shared Album
  2. Right click on the photo and then select Import
  3. Photo will appear in Albums / All photos immediately, in Albums / My Photo Stream in a while and also on all your iCloud enabled devices.

I hope it helps somebody.

PS. Apple engineers, please bring some easier solution for this. Thanks

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