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Is it possible to download photos from photo stream

853 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2013 12:38 PM by DFWRIGHT RSS
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Diane Ward Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 5, 2012 12:03 AM

I can find information about photo stream, how to turn it on, but what I need to know is how to get photos off the stream and onto any device?  Is this possible?  If not what's the use, the photos will be gone after certain  number of days. 


I dont want to just see the stream as it doesn't last, I thought the whole idea was to be able to get them from one device to another. 


Specifically if I load photos to my lap top can I download them to my ipad.  Not view the stream, download them.





  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    Set PhotoStream up in iPhoto or Aperture on your Mac, and the photos will automatically be downloaded.


    Copied from:


    iCloud pushes all your Photo Stream photos to your devices and computers, and manages them efficiently, so you don’t run out of storage space.

    Your iOS devices keep a rolling collection of your last 1000 photos in the Photo Stream album. From there, you can browse your recent photos or move the ones you like into another album to keep them on your device forever.

    Since your Mac has more storage than your iOS devices, your photos automatically download and your Mac keeps every photo from your Photo Stream by default.

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    As I mentioned, by default PhotoStream automatically downloads (imports) photos into your iPhoto (or Aperture) Library. You don't need to do anything to "get photos off PhotoStream".


    Once the photos are on your computer (in your iPhoto or Aperture Library), you can sync them to your iPad in exactly the same way as you sync any other media - via iTunes. Connect device, click device name in left column, click the Photos tab, choose what to sync, click Sync.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,060 points)

    Do the following:


    1 - on your iPad click on the photo in the Photo Stream you want to copy to your iPad.

    2 - tap at the top of the screen to get the tool bar that has the square with the arrow in it (upper right hand corner next to the Trash can icon.

    3 - click on that icon with the arrow.

    4 - in the drop down menu that appeasr click on the Save to Saved Photos option (at the very bottom of the list in my iPad 1 window running iOS 5).

    I've not figured out how to selct more than one photo at a time and do the above or even if it's possible.



  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    this is exactly what I was looking for


    Really? How does that help you "to be able to get them from one device to another" as you asked in your original post? All that does is save individual photos one-by-one from PhotoStream to the Photo Library on the device. It does nothing to enable you to get them from one device to another.


    Also, you specifically asked "if I load photos to my lap top can I download them to my ipad" - which is what I answerered above, and involves using iTunes, even if you think "it didn't make sense".

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    No knickers in a twist here - just curious how tediously performing a 4-step manual process to save photos one-by-one (up to the 1000 maximum every 30 days) from PhotoStream to the iPad Photo Library is more convenient than simply syncing any number of photos in one action from iTunes (and enabling a backup of them at the same time)?


    As shown in Apple's publicity, PhotoStream is primarily a conduit for transferring photos taken on an iPhone or iPad to other devices you own for viewing and to your computer for backup/editing/organising purposes. The master photo library is on your Mac, from where you can sync any number of photos in one action.


    Whats the point of the stream if you have to go to iTunes?


    The point is to have 1000 of your latest photos automatically 'synced' between all of your devices, automatically for viewing purposes. Plus, it automatically transfers them to the iCloud server ready to be downloaded automatically to your computer. Imagine you're on holiday without your computer, you spend the day taking photos, connect to WiFi in the evening and your photos are safely uploaded to iCloud. So, even if you lose your iPhone or iPad, your photos aren't lost.


    The fact that you can't put the pictures into any event or create a new one or add to an album besides camera roll is a bit disappointing.


    That's why you manage your photos on your computer in iPhoto or Aperture and then sync organised albums to the Photos app on your iPad via iTunes. The photos you've taken on an iPhone or iPad will automatically appear in iPhoto or Aperture (via PhotoStream over WiFi) ready for you to edit, organise and sync for permanent viewing.


    It sounds like you're trying to use PhotoStream for photo organisation and syncing from your computer - which it isn't really designed for (hence the multi-step, convoluted, non-obvious, tedious method of saving photos from PhotoStream permanently).

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,060 points)

    That's what iPhoto for the Mac is for.  Set it's preferences to import the Photo Stream pictures into the library and they are saved automatically.




    Then you can redistribute them as needed. Does iPhoto of iOS have a preference pane with anything like that?

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2012 12:17 AM (in response to Old Toad)

    That's what iPhoto for the Mac is for.  Set it's preferences to import the Photo Stream pictures into the library and they are saved automatically. [...] Then you can redistribute them as needed.


    I know... that's what I've been trying to explain to Diane above.

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    This is where we differ on the use of the stream.


    Well, I'm just trying to explain to you is the actual purpose of the stream, whereas you're attempting to coerce it into doing something its not designed to do.


    they are spotty on how to transfer from the stream


    Because transferring a permanent copy from the stream to an iOS device is not its intended purpose. Transferring a permanent copy from the stream to your Mac is as simple as checking a box, as that is its purpose.


    What I do want to be able to do is transfer from one thing to another without having to be corded.


    For 30 days and up to 1000 photos, that's what PhotoStream does, but it is not a general purpose, permanent wireless syncing method for iOS devices. If you want to easily sync photos to and from the permanent iOS Photo Library rather than the temporary stream, you need to use iTunes (which is the hub for all your media). iTunes Supports WiFi syncing. See:


    That's just the facts of the matter, and unless Apple fundamentally changes the features of PhotoStream there's no way to do exactly what you want.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,060 points)

    Opps.  Responded to the wrong user.

  • DFWRIGHT Calculating status...

    Hi Juliam i have an issue that njaybe you can help me with. I had no idea that its only for 30 days and 1000 photos on my old phone iphone 4 i had all of the photos on there and not on the camera roll...becasue i simply neded more space on the camera roll and now they are dissapearing of of my photo stream I knw if says 30 days but U have pix that wre very imprtant to me on there for more than 30 days on my photo stream and now they are dissapearing slowly. However when I got eth iphone 5 NONE of the photos di dnot transfer over but they are still on my old device but leaving slowl. What I also want to know is when new photos come over to all of the devices is it opushing off the olod ones to make rom for the new ones since it can only hold 1000 seems as though thatit woudl not save the new ones and just keep the old ones you know. HELP. I really need a way around this but seems as though i dont have a choice. Also i have snow leaopard so i cannot sync i cloud to my computer I just got that. I had no idea that I had to upgrade my system, to be ale to use new so dusgusted right now.

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