I have a friend who owns a iPad and iPhone, and a Windows PC. We are using iCloud to sync pictures between the lot.

What we would like is for all images / pictures taken on the iPad and iPhone to push a copy up to the iCloud photos.

What we would also like is for the devices to not pull anything down.

The issue is, he has 10k pictures in his iCloud Photos and this is too many images on his handheld device.

Is this possible? I went into the settings app and then ICloud but could only see options for sync.


iCloud Photo Library only does a full sync. Your friend might want to consider switching to something like Google Photos where a full sync isn't forced.

  • How is not forced? support.google.com/photos/answer/… This shows sync only – MyDaftQuestions Jan 28 '17 at 9:55
  • Two options. Two options come to mind. One is to use a different app to push new photos to Google Photos (turn off sync) or (indirectly) to iCloud Photo Library, e.g. PhotoSync. The other option is within Google Photos to use the Free Up Space option in Manage Device Storage to periodically purge the local copies of the photos (placeholders will remain). You need to be careful how you do this if you are trying to use multiple sync mechanism simultaneously. – Bill Tanner Jan 29 '17 at 19:50
  • I've never done this in anger as I'm a happy iCloud Photo Library user with 13K+ photos and videos across a Ma, iPhone, and iPad. But I've messed around with Google Photos enough to see the possibilities. The second option depends on the Googgle Photos being smaller than the iCloud Photo Library optimized copies. I suspect it's true and the explicit Frre Up Space should make things more transparent than the black box magic of Photo Library. – Bill Tanner Jan 29 '17 at 19:57

You can use My Photo Stream for that purpose:

How many photos can My Photo Stream store?

You can choose to download all of your photos from My Photo Stream to your Mac and PC automatically.

With iCloud for Windows installed and My Photo Stream activated, images taken or saved on the devices will be downloaded to your PC and will remain there past the 1000 pictures / 30 days threshold.

icloud for windows options

If you don't add images to the "Upload" folder, there won't be pushed to your devices.

I think adding a backup routine from the Photo Stream folder might be a god idea.

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