I am not using the iCloud Sync feature right now. I manually imported all the pictures on the Photos app on MacOS and made some changes (deleted some, updated some etc.).

I would prefer to not use iCloud syncing as I would rather not pay for storage and the service to sync more than 5 GB of free data.

Is there a way that I can sync the same changes to the Photos app on my iPhone?

  • 1
    Sync automatically or sync manually? Also is there a specific reason why you don't use iCloud?
    – Brick
    Sep 12, 2016 at 2:56
  • I have 25 GB of photos and around 20GB of other documents already stored on Dropbox and I'm already paying for it. I recently bought iPhone, so I am new to this. I am fine with the option to sync manually, if there's not automatic sync option available. Sep 12, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


Yes - if you opt in to iCloud Photo Library on your Mac - the changes you make to any photo in the Photos library (the main system one - not any extra libraries you create past the first one) sync up to iCloud.

Then on iOS - opt in to the same iCloud Photo Library and those changes will merge up and sync.

Worst case, you'll have some duplicates, so be sure to make a backup of both the iOS device and the Mac library - before you turn this on in case everything gets duplicated.

I have been using this on two to three Mac and 3 to 5 iOS devices without any snags or errors or issues for about 4 years and am quite happy with having my main Photos library stored in the cloud and syncing up / down to all my devices.

  • Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately, I can't use iCloud Photo Library, as I have more than 5GB of photos which is free storage provided by default. I don't want to pay for iCloud, in addition to other services. Apr 6, 2018 at 15:19
  • For me - paying the fee to back up 200 GB of data is well worth it, but I understand some people don't want that convenience to back up all their photos or have a way they already paid for. @JatinGanhotra This is the "canonical" way, though - use the service to sync all photos.
    – bmike
    Apr 6, 2018 at 15:51

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