My phone is iOS 8.3 and my computer is OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (iPhoto doesn't works anymore, instead there is another application called Photos)

I have 3.2G of photos are automatically saved in iCloud photo library, now I would like to download all those photos and release my iCloud space and no longer use iCloud.

I tried as following:

  1. on iPhone: iCloud-> Photos-> iCloud Photo Library : it says this iPhone was not able to download full-resolution photos and videos. If you continue, the low-resolution will be removed (but i dont want it happen)

  2. on Mac: System preference-> iCloud-> Photos-> iCloud photo library : it says this library exceed your available iCloud storage.

  3. on Mac: Photos-> Preference-> iCloud -> iCloud Photo library : it comes out a window says upgrade iCloud storage.

  4. on the webpage icloud.com : Photos: I could download the photo but its too miserable to manage iCloud in this way! coz I have to click the photos thousands of time to select it and then download it individually.

How can I do??

  • On your Mac (number 2. in the list) is this an empty library? If not could you try with an empty one?
    – Redarm
    May 22, 2015 at 14:21

2 Answers 2


You can simply drag single Photos from the Photos app into the desired folder or there is an Export option for albums in the File menu. Select album on the top bar (cmd+3) and mark the desired album and go to File -> Export (shift+cmd+E).


I don't understand 1 fully but possibilities could be storage, Data not allowed for Photos, Low-Power mode etc.

For 2 and 3, Turn on iCloud photo library in System Preferences and allow Optimise Storage. Then open Photos.app quickly and change the settings to Download originals to the Mac. This will circumvent the said banners about upgrade storage.

For 4. Use https://privacy.apple.com to Download photos or, Use ⇧shift to select a range or ⌘command+A for all.

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