I have thousands of photos on my iMac and want to save them to iCloud.

How can I save my photos to iCloud, and how can I find them again?

3 Answers 3


If you have OS X Yosemite (10.10), you can use iCloud Drive to store your photos, as you're only limited to the amount of storage space you have available under your iCloud account. Apple details how you can store documents onto your iCloud Drive here


As this question has been reactivated, I will give an answer based on macOS Sierra and iCloud Photo Library.

If you photos are not already in the Photos app, import them into the Photos app.

Then in your iCloud settings (System Preferences > iCloud), ensure the check box next to "Photos" is selected, then press "Options" for Photos and ensure the check box for "iCloud Photo Library" is selected as shown: iCloud Photo sharing options

The images will then upload to iCloud, one thing to be aware of as you mention thousands of images - the free tier of iCloud is 5GB, so you may need to purchase extra storage.


You can save them to Photo Stream. Import the photos into iPhoto and they will be uploaded to Photo Stream (providing Automatic Upload is enabled).

You can then find the photos in the Photo Stream section of iPhoto or in ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub/

  • Only 1000 photos will load into Photostream, and the oldest will 'fall off' as you add new. Photostram is not a backup plan.
    – cmason
    Apr 29, 2014 at 18:51
  • @cmason The 1000 photo limit was removed from Photo Stream a while ago and the OP did not specify that their intent was backup.
    – grg
    Apr 29, 2014 at 18:53
  • sorry the 1000 photo limit was not removed. What changed is how many photos per hour and per day that was raised. iOS devices will only hold a rolling 1000 images. So if loading to iCloud for viewing on iOS, then only 1000 will be available. support.apple.com/kb/HT4486
    – cmason
    Apr 29, 2014 at 21:02
  • @cmason Indeed, on iOS. OP is on an iMac and Photo Stream can store more than 1000 photos (I have more than 1000 photos in my Photo Stream) providing they are less than 30 days old.
    – grg
    Apr 30, 2014 at 6:17

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