Does anybody have experience with this? Any best practice suggestsions? In my own research, I've learned the following:

  • Desktop Uploader for Mac

    • Seems oblivious to iCloud Photo Library.
    • It offers to upload my "iPhoto Library", but this is no the same as the "Photos" library. The best I can apparently do is to point it to the "Masters" directory of the Photos (not iPhoto) library.
  • iOS App

    • Seems more "aware" of the iCloud Photo Library, even offering to sync deletes on Google Photos BACK to the iCloud Photo library.
    • Biggest issues here is the Google Photos iOS App seems to forget the connection between the Google version of the photo and the iCloud version, displaying a "merged" version of the libraries. This has the appearance of MANY duplicates, where iCloud versions are identified by a small cloud icon.
    • The upload process is incredibly slow from iOS. I suspect this is due to the fact that it must first download the photo/video from iCloud prior to uploading to Google Photos.

Numerous Google searches have not turned up any solutions. Has anybody successfully integrated these two services? If so, can you please share your solution or best practices?

2 Answers 2


I have an iCloud library of about 25000 photos and videos, running on multiple iOS devices in "optimized" mode. Each device had to go through the complete backup process of uploading every image and video. Google Photos' iOS app will upload images first, then videos.

Which creates some problems on the iOS devices: With the "optimized" setting iOS only keeps the most recent or recently viewed assets in full resolution. Since google photos requests 100% of the full-size assets the iOS device, in my scenario, inevitably runs low on space for as long as google's upload process takes. Very. Annoying.

But fortunately I don't get any duplicates in google photos. I wish google would figure out a way to intelligently avoid having to upload what's already there, as this process, with a library of +150GB takes weeks.


I get duplicates for my RW2 files which seem "renamed" on the iOS devices. Other than that, normal JPG files don't seem duplicated. However, each time I make an edit to a file in Apple Photos, it re-uploades to Google Photos.

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