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4 Ways to Recover Photos from iCloud

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Gabriel Hammond

August 18, 2016 (Updated: April 23, 2020)• Filed to: iPhone Data Recovery

4 min read

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2019-10-30: We have revised this guide to help you recover photos from iCloud in the best possible way.

We lose valuable photos on iPhone for various reasons. The reasons for data loss could be an accidental deletion, a virus attack, device getting broken, jailbreak failure, or iOS 13/12/11 upgrade. That's why we need to create backups. Apple provides iCloud service for us to make a backup. That's really convenient for us to back up the photos. If you unfortunately lose some photos and have created frequent backups to your iCloud account, then you have 4 perfect methods to recover photos from iCloud in a few simple steps.

1. Recover Photos from icloud through Recent Deleted Folder

If you have recently deleted photos from your iCloud account, you still have an opportunity to get them back by login to

  • Select Photos in your account and choose Albums at the top of the menu bar.
  • You will notice that you have the feature "Recently Deleted."
  • Click the option to see the images deleted recently. From the available pictures, you can mark the files that you need to get back and hit the "Recover" button.


    This option is only suitable for recently deleted photos (for up to 30 days).

2. Restore Photos from iCloud/iTunes Backup to iPhone

2.1 Restore Photos from iCloud Backup

If have enabled iCloud photo library option under Settings > {Your Name} > iCloud > Photos before, you can try this method to restore the photos from iCloud photo library to your iPhone.

  • Go to "Settings" > "iCloud" > "Reset" > "Erase All Content and Settings" to reset your iPhone as a new one.
  • After that, turn on your device and follow the instructions to you reach the Apps & Data screen.
  • Click Restore from iCloud Backup and select the iCloud backup according to the backup time and the data size.Generally, you can definitely restore photos from iCloud Photo Stream through this way as long as you have backed up your photos with iCloud.


  • You can't selectively restore the specific photos.
  • All the data and settings will be overwritten. Thus it's better to back up your iPhone in advance before restoring from iCloud backup. And do remember not to disconnect the Wifi connection during the restoring process.

restore icloud backup

2.2 Restore Photos from an iTunes Backup

If you haven't turned on iCloud Photo Library and never backed up your iPhone using iCloud before, it is impossible to retrieve the photos since there is no record of them. But you may be able to restore an iTunes backup that contains the photos to the iPhone and retrieve them that way. Here's how to restore an iTunes backup to an iPhone.

  • Step 1: Open iTunes on your PC and Mac and ensure that you are running the latest version of iTunes. If not, you may want to update it before continuing.
  • Step 2: Connect the iPhone to the computer using USB cables.
  • Step 3: When it appears in iTunes, click on it to select it and then click on "Restore Backup."
    • Step 4: Find the latest backup (one that hopefully contains your photos) and click "Restore." Your photos will be restored back to the iPhone as soon as the process is complete.


  • Make sure that you have synced iPhone to your PC or Mac before you deleting photos from iPhone, or it will fail.
  • It will overwrite existing data on iPhone.
  • You can't preview what kind of files and documents saved in iTunes backup, so you can't verify whether the lost photos can be restored or not from the backup file.

restore iPhone from an iTunes Backup

3. Download Photos from iCloud Photos Library to PC/Mac

3.1 Download Photos from iCloud Photos Library to PC

If you have enabled iCloud photo library on your iPhone and used iCloud for Windows before, then you may have backed up the photos to your PC. If you already have iCloud for Windows, the process of retrieving your photos is very easy, you just need to follow these simple steps.

  • Step 1: If iCloud for Windows is not installed on your computer, install it before proceeding.
  • Step 2: Once iCloud for Windows is installed on your computer, click on the Windows icon and then select the iCloud Photos program to launch it.
  • Step 3: Now click "Download Photos and Videos." If it is the first time you are doing this, you may see a message telling you to wait until they are available. If you see this message it means that you didn't backup photos to your PC. Wait 1 hour while the iCloud photos and videos are downloaded.
  • Step 4: Once all the photos available on your iCloud account are populated, check the boxes next to the photos you want to download and then click "Download."
  • Step 5: When the download process is complete, you should see the photos in your PCs designated downloads folder.

Download Photos from  iCloud Photos Library to PC

3.2 Download Photos from iCloud Photos Library to Mac

It is also possible to retrieve iCloud photos from your iCloud backup to your Mac. Here's how to do it;

  • Step 1: On your Mac, click "Photos" and then click on "Photos" again in the main menu. From the drop down menu that appears, click on "Preferences."
  • Step 2: Click "iCloud" and then sign in to your iCloud account, if you are not already signed in. Make sure you are logged into the same iCloud account as iCloud Photo Library.
  • Step 3: Ensure "Originals to this Mac" is enabled and then close the "Preferences" when the update is complete.
  • Step 4: Now, click on "Photos" in the sub-menu under the main menu and select the photos you want to retrieve.
  • Step 5: With the photos selected, click "File > Export > Export Unmodified Original. Navigate to any folder and click "Export" to move the photos to the Mac's internal storage.

Cons of the above two methods (3.1 and 3.2)

  • The precondition of this method is that you have enabled iCloud photo library on your iPhone before, or it will fail.

Originals to this Mac

If you were unable to get back all the pictures, it is the time that you choose data recovery programs for iPhone. Then please don't forget iMyFone D-Back. It supports iOS 13/12/11 and etc., also. You can just download the free trial version to have a try. It will not let you down.

4. Retrieve Photos from iCloud without Reset (iOS 13 Supported)

If you don't want to erase all your current data on iPhone during recovery process, iMyFone D-Back iPhone Data Recovery will help you get all the photos in your iCloud backup easily without resetting your device as a new one. Besides photos, you can also easily recover deleted contacts, text messages, videos, voice memos and more from iCloud backup, iTunes backup or your iPhone using D-Back. It got a lot of positive reviews from industry experts such as

1,000,000+ Downloads

Key Features:

  • Recover lost iPhone photos without backup or from iTunes/iCloud backups.
  • Support 22+ types of data from iOS device. You can recover deleted photos from iPhoneretrieve deleted messages on iPhone and so on.
  • Support recovery for almost all iOS devices, including recovering data from iPhone 11, iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPad, and iPod touch.
  • Recover lost/missing/deleted photos from iPhone with broken screen, black screen and white screen.
  • iMyFone D-Back is fully compatible with the latest iPhone iOS version iOS 12/13.

Try It FreeTry It Free

Steps to recover photos from iCloud using iMyFone D-Back

Step 1: Click start at the "Recover from iCloud" tab, and then sign in iCloud.
Download the trial version of the software package. You have to launch it after installing the executable file. Once done, from the primary window of the program, choose "Recover from iCloud" option.

choose Recover from iCloud Backup option

sign in icloud

Step 2: Select photos and click "Scan" on the lower right corner. Then the scan will be in process.

select photos

scanning processing

Step 3: Preview and recover data from iCloud.

preview and recover

iMyFone D-Back iPhone data recovery will prompt you to choose a path or a folder on your computer where you wish to save the recoverable images. You can create a new folder or navigate to an existing one and wait for the program to complete the saving process. Once done, you can browse the folder to look at the deleted images or all the selective photographs extracted from your iCloud backup file.


If you were unable to get back all the pictures, it is the time that you choose data recovery programs for iPhone. Then please don't forget iMyFone D-Back. It supports iOS 13/12/11 and etc., also. You can just download the free trial version to have a try. It will not let you down.

Try It FreeTry It Free

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