I have a Macbook Air and an iPhone 6 and iCloud Photo Sharing is turned on. Both are giving me messages that there's no more room for photos. I have around 3,000 photos. I thought my photos were stored in iCloud and not on my devices. How can I remove photos from my Mac and my phone without deleting them from my iCloud? And how do I access my iCloud photos?

1 Answer 1


Kay -

All of your photos, if you have iCloud Photo Library turned on, are automatically uploaded to iCloud.

All photos you upload to iCloud are available to be accessed online from the iCloud website. Simply sign in and select Photos. They are also automatically on your devices.

Now for removing them from your Mac:

  1. Open Photos and press command + , to open the preference pane.
  2. Select iCloud at the top and press Optimize Mac Storage This button only appears if iCloud Photo Library is checked above. Photos screenshot

BONUS: Removing photos from the iPhone

  1. Open Settings -> Photos & Camera
  2. Select Optimize iPhone Storage under the iCloud Photo Library switch. This button only appears if iCloud Photo Library is enabled.

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