I wonder if photos (stored in iCloud Photo Library) are stored locally until local space runs out. From what I have read there is no persistant storage, only caching. Kind of like on the iPhone with the most recent photos available offline (depending on the amount of local storage available).

Some background: I would like to have photos on my Apple TV and take the unit with me when I visit friends and parents. There hook it up to the TV and enjoy the photos together with everyone. This would also affect my buying decision which version to get (32 or 64 GB). Having to download the photos (and videos!) on the spot would be quite the show-stopper.

I would be very grateful if any of the owners in here could check and verify if iCloud Library photos are stored locally on the Apple TV.

Thank you so much for any help in this matter and help me find the right model for me.

1 Answer 1


Nothing built into the system or available via the app store lets you have safe long-term purely local storage without a cloud backup.

Apps that pass the approval process have a few kinds of data, but for any significant data, they can be broken into two groups: data that's marked as "cached", and data that's marked as "backed by iCloud".

Both kinds of data can be deleted by the OS without any warning.

Data that's marked as "cached" is deleted when that happens. Data that's marked as "backed by iCloud" will be re-loaded from iCloud (possibly from a local caching server on your network if you have one) the next time you need it -- but also takes up part of your iCloud storage quota (even if you have a local caching server).

If you want to load content for offline usage, and you're not expecting to be able to play it back again a week later after doing other stuff on the device, then the "cache" type data is probably fine work for you.

Otherwise, you need to either store the data on a server somewhere (possibly as simple as a thumb drive plugged into an off-the-shelf router), or you need to sideload an app that breaks Apple's appstore rules.

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