How to access your iCloud photos on the web

iCloud is built into OS X Yosemite and it is just part of the system. So is the new Photos app for managing your photo collection. Did you know that all your photos are on the web? Here’s how to access them.

There are several reasons why you might want to access photos through a web browser and one is that your Mac might be broken. Although Macs are reliable, the disk drive might fail on rare occasions, leaving you without a computer.

You might be at work and only have access to a work Mac or, perish the thought, a Windows PC! Without installing any software at all, you can access your photo library, view photographs, make favourites, email them to friends and relatives, and so on.

iCloud is not just a service for your Mac and it is a website too. You can access your Photos library through the website.

In order to do this you must first enable iCloud Photos. Go to System Preferences and click the iCloud icon. in the list of iCloud apps, make sure that Photos is ticked. There is an Options button and clicking it has tick boxes for iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing. Tick them all.

The only problem you are likely to encounter with this is that there isn’t enough online storage space. With just 5GB free, you will probably need to purchase more storage space from Apple.

Providing you have the storage space, either because your photo collection is small or you have paid for more gigabytes, you can fire up Safari and go to You can use any computer to log in to and it does not need to be yours or even a Mac. It could be Windows or Linux.

iCloud Photos

After logging in, click the Photos app and there are two tabs at the top - Moments and Albums. Select Moments and you can browse your photos, scrolling the web page to step back in time.

iCloud Photos

There is a small control in the top left corner and dragging the slider changes the size of the thumbnail images. Click a thumbnail to view a large version of the photo.

Click the heart icon in the toolbar at the top to mark an image as a favourite, click the cloud icon to download a photo, click the email icon to send the image as an email attachment (using the iCloud email service in the browser), and click the trash icon to delete a photo.

iCloud Photos

Video clips are stored online too and you can click a click to play it.

Even if you stop syncing photos to iCloud, the photos remain online and are accessible.

Accessing your photos online through a web browser is worth remembering. You never know when it might come in useful.





Nice article. Here's a simple solution.

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