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How to set up and use iCloud Photo Library in MAC?

iCloud Photo Library automatically keeps every photo and video you take in iCloud, so you can access your library from any device anytime you want. Your photos and videos are organized into Years, Months, Days, and All Photos. That way you can quickly find them, family member, or friend you’re looking for. You can wirelessly sync your MAC’s photos to all your iOS devices and PCs. It lets you back up your images on all your devices and access them — online or offline — on all devices. To set up and use iCloud Photo Library in MAC, follow these easy steps.

How to create an iCloud account on MAC?

To get started with iCloud Photo Library, you will have to first create an iCloud account. To create iCloud account on your MAC, follow these easy steps:

  1. Choose the Apple menu in the top left corner.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. If you’re running macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, click Apple ID then iCloud. But, if you’re running macOS 10.14 or earlier, you’ll just need to click to iCloud.
  4. Select the tick box for Mail.
  5. Choose your iCloud email address.
  6. Tap ‘OK’
  7. Click on ‘Create’ when you’re happy with the email account you’ve selected.
create an iCloud account on MAC

How to sign in to your iCloud Account on MAC?

To sign into your iCloud account on your MAC, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password. 
  4. If prompted, enter the six-digit verification code sent to your trusted device or phone number and complete sign in.
sign in to your iCloud Account on MAC

How to set up iCloud Photo Library on your MAC?

If you want access to all of your images and videos on all of your iCloud-enabled devices, you’ll need to activate the iCloud Photo Library on each device. Here are the steps to set up and use iCloud Photo Library on your MAC:

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select the Photos menu in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Go to Preferences.
  4. Click on the iCloud tab.
  5. Check “iCloud Photos.” This will begin uploading any and all images you have stored in the Photos app to iCloud.

How to turn on iCloud Photo Library on a Mac?

  1. Make sure your Mac is connected to a Wi-Fi network
  2. Launch the Photos application and click on Photos in the top left corner
  3. Click on Preferences.
  4. Select the iCloud tab
  5. Click on the checkbox next to iCloud Photo Library.
  6. Select either Download Originals to this Mac.

Once the process has begun it may take several hours for all of your photos and videos to upload and for the process to complete.

turn on iCloud Photo Library on a Mac
turn on iCloud Photo Library on a Mac

How to optimize your photo and video storage on MAC?

If you regularly shoot lots of 4K videos or high-quality images you may run out of storage space on your device. But, with Optimize Storage option, you can store full-resolution photos and videos of only your most recently shot and accessed images. And all older images and videos are available to download via iCloud.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click Photos in the App menu in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Select Preferences from the drop-down menu. Source: iMore.
  4. Click the iCloud tab.
  5. Tap on Optimize Mac Storage
optimize your photo and video storage on MAC
optimize your photo and video storage on MAC

How to upload photos to iCloud Photo Library from MAC?

Once the initial process with iCloud Photo Library is complete, it’s easy to upload more content from a Mac. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping photos and videos into the Photos application.

  • Drag and drop photos from your Desktop or from Finder directly into the Photos application.
  • When iCloud Photo Library is turned on anything you add will shortly show up on and across all of your Apple devices.
  • You’ll see the new photos appear and also an upload status at the bottom of the application window as shown above.
upload photos to iCloud Photo Library from MAC

How to enable iCloud Photo Sharing on MAC?

When you enable iCloud Photo Sharing, you can create and share albums with other people that also have an iCloud account. Also, you can also be invited to share someone else’s album after you’ve enabled it.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select Photos from the app menu in the upper left corner.
  3. Click on Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select the iCloud tab.
  5. Tick the box for iCloud Photos.
  6. Tick the box for Shared Albums.
enable iCloud Photo Sharing on MAC

How to disable iCloud Photos on MAC?

You can easily disable this feature on MAC by following these simple steps:

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select Photos from the app menu in the upper left corner.
  3. Now, select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on the iCloud tab.
  5. In the lower-right corner, click Manage, select iCloud Photos, then select Disable.


iCloud Photo Library is a great feature built into Apple’s iOS and macOS operating systems. And, two of the biggest benefits to using this are having one synchronized photo and video library across all of your devices (and the web), and having the option to compress your library so it takes up less room on your devices. Once you’ve set up iCloud Photos to sync your images, you’ll be able to access your entire photo collection at any time, and from any iOS device or computer. So, you don’t have to think about using a separate photo transfer app to copy your photos between devices.


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