Type and press Enter.

Using iCloud for Your Photos: How to Turn Off iCloud Photo Library

iCloud for photos

iCloud Photos is an optional backup feature on Apple devices that securely stores your photos and videos online in the cloud. It’s helpful because it means that even if you were to lose your device, you won’t lose your photographs.

Keep reading to find out how to check if iCloud Photo Library is enabled on your device, plus how to turn it off – and what happens if you do.

How do I know if iCloud Photo Library is enabled?

Not sure if iCloud Photo Library is enabled on your device? Here’s how to check.

1. On your device, open Settings.

Open settings

2. Tap your name.

Select your iCloud name

3. Tap iCloud.

Tap on iCloud

4. Tap Photos.

Tap photos

5. Here you can see if the toggle for iCloud Photos is set to On or Off.

iCloud photo library toggle

What happens when you turn off iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone?

If you turn off the iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone, it will remove any images in the Photo Stream that weren’t taken on that device. This means that any photos or videos captured on your iPad or Mac will no longer show in the Camera Roll on your phone.

How to turn off iCloud Photo Library

Turning off the iCloud Photo Library is a simple process. However, before you turn it off, make sure you’ve backed up your device to ensure you don’t accidentally lose your images. Once that’s done, here’s how to turn off iCloud Photo Library on your device.

1. Within the Settings app, tap your name.

Tap on iCloud name

2. Tap iCloud.

Select iCloud

3. Tap Photos.

Select Photos

4. Toggle iCloud Photos to the Off position.

Turn off iCloud library

5. Tap Remove from iPhone to remove images taken on your other Apple devices from your iPhone’s Camera Roll.

How to turn off iCloud Photo Library without deleting photos on your iPhone

If you turn off the iCloud Photo Library, it will remove photos from your iPhone that weren’t taken on that device. If you want to turn off iCloud Photo Library but keep your Camera Roll as it is, here’s how to ensure current iCloud images aren’t removed during the process.

1. Within the Settings app, tap your name.

Tap on your iCloud name

2. Tap iCloud.

Select iCloud

3. Tap Photos.

Select Photos

4. Toggle iCloud Photos to the Off position.

Toggle off iCloud library

5. Tap Download Photos & Videos. This will download all images from the iCloud Photo Library onto your device before disabling the synchronization going forward.

Turn off iCloud Photo Library without deleting photos on your Mac

If you’re using a Mac, the process for turning off iCloud Photo Library is slightly different. Here’s how.

1. On your Mac, open Photos.

Click on System Preferences

2. Tap Preferences.

Click on iCloud

3. Tap the iCloud tab.

Select Options from Photos

4. Ensure iCloud Photo Library and Download Originals are selected. This will download and keep all images on your Mac.

Check iCloud Photo Library

5. Alternatively, if you have Optimize Mac Storage selected, simply select Download Originals instead and wait for the download to complete. You can then turn off iCloud Photo Library without losing any of your images.

How to disable iCloud Photo Library on only one device

If you’re looking to turn off iCloud Photos on just one of your devices, the process changes slightly depending on what device you’re using.

Here’s how to turn off iCloud Photos on your iPhone or iPad.

1. On your device, open Settings.

Open settings

2. Tap your name.

Select your iCloud name

3. Tap iCloud.

Tap on iCloud

4. Tap Photos.

Tap on Photos

5. Toggle iCloud Photos to the Off position.

Toggle off iCloud photos library

Here’s how to turn off iCloud Photos on your Mac.

1. On your Mac, open System Preferences.

Select System Preferences

2. Click iCloud.

Select iCloud

3. Next to Photos, click Options.

Select Options from Photos

4. Deselect iCloud Photos.

Uncheck iCloud Photo Library

What does iCloud Photo Library do for my iPhone Photo Library?

This optional feature from Apple lets you automatically backup and sync photos and videos from your iPhone Photo Library into one easy-to-access place – the cloud. This means you can access your Photo Library from any device, wherever you are, as long as you have iCloud photos enabled across all devices.

What’s more, edits are saved across devices, so you can begin retouching your latest selfie on your iPhone, then finish editing the same snap on your iPad.

What do I lose by turning off iCloud Photos?

If you have an iPhone and iPad with iCloud sharing enabled on both, all photos and videos will be shared across both devices. However, if you turn iCloud photos off on your phone, your iPhone’s Camera Roll will lose any images that weren’t created on that device (if you haven’t downloaded them already, that is). Images taken on your iPad, for example, will no longer show in your iPhone’s Camera Roll and vice versa.

If you sign out of iCloud accidentally, Apple holds your images in the cloud for 30 days, meaning you can simply reconnect to your iCloud Photo Library to restore your images if needed.

Turn your photos into a beautiful photo gift with Motif

Whether you want to surprise your best friend with a personalized card or make a memory book of your latest holiday, turn your favorite photographs into beautiful gifts with Motif. Our photobook app seamlessly works with Apple Photos in macOS and iOS, letting you create thoughtful gifts directly from your  Camera Roll. Download the app today and create something special with Motif.

Bring your photo memories to life with Motif.

Experience the joy of creating personalized photo projects with Motif. Our photo book app seamlessly works with Apple Photos in macOS and iOS, doing the heavy-lifting while leaving the creative freedom to you.