For a while I've been taking photos on my iPhone and then editing them using iPhoto on my iPad. I select the photos from the Photo Stream since they are conveniently available on the iPad. It occurred to me recently that perhaps this is not a good idea.

What are the pros and cons of doing this? Could I lose the edited images since the pictures are from the Photo Stream? Should I be transferring the photos from the iPhone to the iPad before editing them?

Some guidance would be appreciated.

  • I'm not following your thought process. If you edit the picture on your iPad, then save it, the new photo will be added to Photostream. Either way, iCloud should backup your camera roll, and it shouldn't be lost. So, you are concerned about what happens after that photo that is edited is pushed out of Photostream (goes over the 1000 threshold)? What do you do the image after it is edited? Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 16:42
  • I usually upload the edited pictures to FaceBook and I don't normally save the edited pictures to the Camera Roll. So yes, you're understanding me right when I'm talking about losing the edited images. I was wondering what happens to images I've edited when they disappear from the Photo Stream. When the original image expires, does the edited image in Photo Stream remain, or is it gone as well? I'm just a bit confused on what my workflow should be. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 21:41
  • Maybe my answer will help. It is a bit wordy, but perhaps it will help clarify your situation. Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


Edited photos in iPhoto on iOS is an interesting situation - one that there is not much documentation on, and one that seems like a one-way street. Photos can enter, but cannot "escape". You can edit photos, but you can't deleted Edited photos from the iPhoto app.

It is safe to edit your photos that are currently stored in Photostream without fear of losing them for good.* When you edit a photo, it is stored in the "Edited" album of iPhoto. Even when that photo is deleted from Camera Roll (if it was ever there), and Photostream (I have tested this to verify accuracy), it will not be deleted from the Edited album in iPhoto.

There is no need to transfer these photos to your iPad before editing them.

*The only thing that I would be a little concerned about is if the iPad dies (prompting a restore), or the app gets deleted. It is very likely that if the app is deleted from a working iOS device, that the edited versions of all edited photos would be lost. Keep in mind that iOS iPhoto edits are non-destructive, so it likely comes down to a file that is saved somewhere within iPhoto that remembers these changes - how that works when the "Edited" photo is deleted I don't. Perhaps those photos are then saved in the app.

If the iPad is wiped, and then restored, iCloud should remember those edits, and with the restore, it should (this theory hasn't been personally proved) restore those edited copies.

However, both of these problems probably exist even if you transfer the photos to your iPad.

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