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3 Quick and Smart Ways to Transfer Photos From iCloud To Google Photos

Jun 22, 2020 • Filed to: Data Transfer Solutions • Proven solutions

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I have a Mac that I use as my primary computer and I have an iPhone for personal use. I use iCloud to keep my photos synced between the Mac and my iPhone. Any photo that is in Photos on macOS is available to me on Photos on iOS, synced using iCloud. It works without a hassle. But, I also own an Android phone for business, and often I want to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos.

There are two major smartphone operating systems in the world today, iOS by Apple and Android by Google. Apple’s ecosystem relies on iCloud, its cloud storage solution to enable syncing between Apple computers and Apple mobile devices. Google’s ecosystem relies on Google Drive to enable syncing between Android devices and macOS and Microsoft Windows. For those of us who own a Mac and an iPhone, things are relatively easy when we want to keep data in sync between our computer and iPhone since both enjoy deep iCloud integration. What happens when we also own an Android device for business purposes, or when we just prefer Android more than iPhone, or when a family member has an Android device and we want to transfer our photos from our Mac to Android?

How Often Do We Need To Transfer Photos From iCloud To Google Photos?

How comfortable are you with technology? Would you consider yourself a beginner or would you consider yourself a pro user who knows their way around technology? Do you want to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos frequently and regularly or do you want to transfer a few photos here and there on occasion, no big deal? The answer to these questions will narrow down the options.

Two Free Ways to Transfer Photos From iCloud To Google Photos

There is a built-in and free way to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos, and it works very well if you are not in a hurry and if you are looking to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos infrequently and are not looking to transfer your entire library of photos en masse but instead a few photos at a time, that you can select and transfer.

Google Photos is available as a website that you can use in any web browser and as an app that you can download to your iPhone.

Using Web Browser

If you do not have an iPhone or if you just want to transfer a few photos from iCloud to Google Photos on your Android, you can use your Mac and a web browser to do so.

Step 1: Create a new folder on your Mac desktop. You can do so by pressing and holding the [control] key on your Mac and clicking the trackpad to open the contextual menu and selecting New Folder, or if you have two-finger tap enabled for your trackpad, you can use that to open the contextual menu and create a new folder.

Step 2: Open Photos on your Mac and select the photos you want to transfer from iCloud to Google Photos. You may also select all photos by pressing and holding the [command] and [A] keys together, although this is ill-advised if you have a large photo library.

Step 3: Drag the photos from Photos app to the new folder created on the desktop to copy the photos from Photos to the folder

Step 4: Open your browser of choice on your Mac and head over to https://photos.google.com or sign in to your Gmail account as you normally do

Step 5: If you signed into Google Photos, skip this step. If you signed in to your Gmail, at the top-right, besides your account display photo, click the grid to display Google apps and click Photos.

Drag-and-drop in Google Photos in web browser

Step 6: If you want to create a new album with the photos, now is the time to create a new album using the Create button at the top. Once done, open the folder with the photos, select all photos and simply drag and drop them into the Google Photos web interface. You have now successfully transferred photos from your iCloud to Google Photos.

Using Google Photos App On iPhone

The method above that uses a web browser to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos has one problem that surfaces when you want to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos regularly. Say, you have an iPhone that you use to take photos, and manage the same between your iPhone and your Mac using Photos and iCloud. You would like to have the photos you take with your iPhone also available on Google Photos so you can see them on your Android device as well. You need to have a way to upload photos from iCloud to Google Photos on the fly, in the background, when you take photos on your iPhone. For that, you have the Google Photos app on your iPhone.

Google Photos app on your iPhone will keep all photos you click on your iPhone or store in your Photos app on the iPhone synced with Google Photos. The best part is, at the time of configuring the app, you can select which Google account you want to sign in to, and this allows for further flexibility in keeping photos synced between iCloud and Google Photos.

Step 1: Get the Google Photos app from the App Store on iPhone

Google Photos on iOS

Step 2: Allow Google access to your photo library

Step 3: You will be asked to sign in to a Google Account. Sign in to your preferred Google account, the one you want to transfer iCloud photos to.

Google Account Sign In

Step 4: Google will ask you to confirm if you want to back up photos to the Google Account you signed in to. Tap “Back Up As {your username}” and you will be taken into the Google Photos interface.

Google Photos Interface

Here, you will see all your photos as you do in the Photos app on your iPhone. Google Photos will automatically upload existing photos in your library to your Google Drive storage, and any new photos you click will be automatically synced to iCloud (via Photos on your iPhone) and to Google Photos (via the Google Photos app on the iPhone.

Having an iPhone makes it seamless to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos, but, in case you use only a Mac and want to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos, there is an excellent third-party solution you can use.

Conclusion

There are three ways to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos. The first one uses the web browser and is best for a few photos since a large library will likely create issues in uploading. The second way is to use Google Photos app on your iPhone if you use an iPhone and that will take care of your current photos as well as future photos seamlessly. Photos are available for you in Google Photos instantly, and you can choose to upload them to your Google Drive using Google Photos, or not. This solution, by far, is the most elegant and thoughtful of the lot if you want the fastest solution to transfer photos from iCloud to Google Photos while saving internet data.

Alice MJ

staff Editor

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