When viewing the Camera Roll in a friends iphone I am able to see many pictures. However when viewing the same folder in Windows Explorer I can only see a small number by comparison. My friend uses iCloud also and syncs to it and the pictures appear to be all there. The issue is that she wishes to copy the pictures from the phone to local PC storage to clear space on the iPhone memory.

1 Answer 1


If on the iPhone you choose to optimize storage of your iCloud Photo Library, then only some of your photos are stored in full resolution on your iPhone. That explains why you can only see a subset of the files from the Windows Explorer.

The rest of the photos are stored in high-resolution in your iCloud account only. You can access them at www.icloud.com from your Windows computer.

  • Thank you for explaining that to me. Do you think it possible to mass download them onto the PC for local storage on a NAS as she wishes to do?
    – G Dance
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 14:38
  • Yes, you could download them all from iCloud.com. Just select the whole lot and press download. Another, probably easier way, would be to install iCloud for Windows on the PC - copy over all the photos to the local drive - and then uninstall it again.
    – jksoegaard
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 7:52

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