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Apple has announced that My Photo Stream is shutting down. I don't think I have ever used this feature, but I don't know if that is because this is some fundamental feature that is obfuscated. Maybe I use it every day. There are instructions for moving photos from My Photo Stream to iCloud:

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open Photos and tap Albums.
  2. Tap My Photo Stream > Select.
  3. Tap the photos that you want to save, then tap the Share button > Save Image.

All of the photos under My Photo Stream are the last 999 photos shown under recent. I guess this means that I can keep all the photos without doing anything. Is that correct?

On your Mac

  1. Open the Photos app, then open the My Photo Stream album.
  2. Select any photos you want to save that aren't currently in your photo library.
  3. Drag them from the My Photo Stream album to your Library.

These instructions fail on step 1 because I cannot find an album named "My Photo Stream." I very rarely open this app, so I don't know if I was supposed to enable this feature, or if all my photos are passing through it or what.

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My Photo Stream (MPS) is a method by which photos taken on one device can be copied to other devices with the same Apple ID.

If your Mac doesn't have a "My Photo Stream" album, then it isn't using MPS. You can confirm this by checking Photos.app > Settings

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There are similar controls on iOS and iPadOS in the Settings app, under Photos.

If you're not using MPS, then the only way to synchronise your photos between devices is to turn on iCloud Photos, which means that all your photos are stored on Apple's cloud servers, and your devices synchronise with that central source.

If your total iCloud storage (iCloud Drive, Mail, Photos, etc) exceeds 5Gb, then you'll have to pay for a subscription.

Otherwise, you'll need to manually copy your photos to other devices (e.g. using Image Capture.app on a Mac.)

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