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Apple launched a tool to transfer iCloud photos to Google Photos – here’s how to use it

If it’s still in the cloud, does it matter who holds it?

Apple iphone 11 and iphone 11 pro
Image: Unsplash

If the 5GB of storage that Apple gives you on iCloud for free is too restrictive, you can now easily transfer all of your images and videos across to Google Photo’s more generous storage offering. A new tool from Apple makes it easy to do the switch, without you having to manually download and upload your content.

If you’re an Apple user located in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the U.K., or the European Union, you can now use the new tool to shift your iCloud camera roll onto Google Photos.

It’ll take three to seven days to complete any transfer, mainly because Apple wants to verify that you’re doing the requesting and not some rando from the internet. Some formats and data might not transfer, mainly Live Photos, Smart Albums, and some types of RAW files.

Here’s how to use Apple’s new photo transfer tool

Before we start, you’ll need to do some information gathering. Grab your login credentials to iCloud and Google Photos, and make sure your iCloud has two-factor authentication set up.

You’ll also want to make sure your Google Photos account has enough free space, and remember that any photos, videos, or edits that you do while the transfer is processing may not make it across.

Time to request the transfer

  1. Go to and sign in with your Apple ID Apple privacy webpage sign in

  2. Select Transfer a copy of your data Apple transfer data screen

  3. The next screen will show you how much space your iCloud camera roll takes up. The only option in Choose where you’d like to transfer your photos: is Google Photos, so select that and press Continue Apple transfer icloud to google photos

  4. Select what you’d like to transfer from Photos and Videos

  5. Hit Continue a couple more times, sign in to Google Photos in the pop-up, and agree to give iCloud permission to add to your Google Photos. Hit Confirm Transfer and you’re all done

  6. You’ll get one email confirming the transfer request, and another email in about a week once the transfer is finished

Now all you have to do is wait for the transfer to finish. It’s worth noting that Apple is sending copies of your photos and videos, not the originals, so you won’t lose anything you already have stored in iCloud.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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