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Apple & Google make iCloud and Photos transfer easier with new tool

Apple and Google have partnered to introduce a new tool that allows users to transfer their Google Photos collections directly to iCloud Photos, making it easier to switch photo libraries.

google photos logo 2022 and blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

In a move that’s sure to make switching photo libraries way less painful, Apple and Google have joined forces to introduce a new tool that lets you transfer your Google Photos collections directly to iCloud Photos.

This new feature is part of the Data Transfer Project, an open-source initiative focused on making it easier to move your data between different online platforms.

Starting today, you can request to transfer your photos and videos from Google Photos to iCloud Photos. The process will roll out over the next week and will be available in over 240 countries and regions worldwide.

Note that this service won’t be available for child accounts or Managed Apple ID accounts, and you can’t import photo and video data to iCloud while Advanced Data Protection is enabled.

To start the transfer, go to the Google Takeout page and follow the instructions to export your Google Photos collection.

When selecting a destination, choose “Apple – iCloud Photos” and sign in with your Apple ID. Tap “Allow” to grant Google permission to add your photos and videos to iCloud.

Here’s the good news: your photos and videos will stay in Google Photos during the transfer process, and you won’t need to download them first.

If you’re going the other way around, iCloud it Google Photos, Google and Apple have step-by-step instructions on their respective support page.

Google Takeout data selection page screen.
Image: KnowTechie

The transfer happens directly from Google to iCloud. The bad news is that it might take several hours to a few days, depending on the size of your photo and video library, reports 9to5Mac.

It’s worth noting that while this new tool makes transferring your photo library much easier, it’s not a perfect solution.

Some users on the Google Photos subreddit are recommending that you use a computer to make the task easier, selecting all your photos in Google Photos and iCloud on your browser.

Others are suggesting that you download all your photos from Google Takeout and then upload them to iCloud Photos on the web.

While these workarounds might be helpful for some, the official transfer tool from Apple and Google is definitely the most convenient option.

If you’ve been thinking of switching from Google Photos to iCloud Photos, now is the perfect time to make the jump.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about the transfer process or if you’ve already started transferring your photo library. We’d love to hear about your experience!

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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