Previous 1 2 3 Next 70 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2015 2:01 AM by StephCurry00 Branched to a new discussion.
SarahG11 Level 1 Level 1

I restored my iPhone settings and when I chose to back up from iCloud, not all of my pictures were there. How do I retrieve my pictures from iCloud to put back on my phone?

Reply by Mom2amj on Oct 14, 2012 4:13 PM Helpful
Question: I dropped and cracked my screen. I took my 4 to Best Buy where I had my insurance through. (HUGE MISTAKE)  they kept it for a week until the replacement came in. (refurbished) Originally, it appeared everything had backed up, then pictures started to go from single to triple to cyberspace..... Gone! I contacted Apple (the guy I spoke to was suppose to call me back in two hours... I think he went into hiding!) never heard from again. ICloud says it has back up from my old phone, current phone and iPad but how can I access what is on each of these devices? What exactly is iCloud storing? Can I go into the account and delete what I don't need saved? I lost close to 1700 pictures. February 1st to September 4th.  Did I back it up to my lap top? I thought I did.. once a month, updates,music etc.... But according to Best Buy and the Geek squad my pictures didn't back up. How is this possible?  Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
Reply by alvarodiaz18 on Oct 15, 2012 4:16 PM Helpful
Hello, this is my first time in the discussions page so I hope you can help me. I had an iPod 4g but I lost it. I wnat to know if there's something I can do to recover the photos I have in iCloud and download the to my computer. How can I do this? Thanks a lot
Reply by DeanPointon on Feb 7, 2013 1:17 PM Helpful
What no-one has actually said here is how do you access the photos that have been backed up to the cloud without having to go through a restore.  I should have over a year of photos on iCloud, yet on buying a new mac and setting it up, there is only 102 photos which is less than 2 months of photo taking on iPhoto after 2 days of syncing.  All i wish to do is download all of the photos and burn them to a DVD. Can anyone shed some light on this?

All replies

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10

    Welcome to Apple Communities


    iCloud backup only restores photos taken in your device. If you had photos of your computer, connect it to your computer and sync in iTunes

  • SarahG11 Level 1 Level 1

    That's the thing. It was photos taken from my device. All I did was restore my phone by going to settings, general, restore because it was acting up and when it came back, my pictures were gone. It didn't restore even one. And I know they were backed up to iCloud and there were less than 200 pics.

  • SarahG11 Level 1 Level 1

    I mean reset*

    I reset my phone and iCloud didn't restore my pics

  • AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9

    iCloud Backup and Restore Overview


  • SarahG11 Level 1 Level 1

    This says that my pictures should be there and doesn't tell me how to get th since they aren't

  • xvinnyax74 Level 1 Level 1

    I also am not getting my original photos back after doin a restore. Stinks because I paid for additional storage to be protected. My phone has not backed up one photo this time around. In the past it did back up the last time I had to restore but not this time..  Help?

  • ezyjules Level 1 Level 1

    I fixed this issue after a lot of time and pain (see below)


    Seems to have come up on various threads so it seems to be an issue and should be escalated by Apple. They were none the wiser at the genius bar apart from telling me the iCloud backup is probably corrupted and I should call Apple care (as if that is going to do anything)



    I experienced the same problem with the iCloud restore not working properly. I had my iPhone 4 replaced as the home button was defective. When attempting to restore an 9.5GB iCloud backup from the day before it just would not work properly. Firstly, half my apps did not restore, they would begin to download showing the progress indicator then just disappear, leaving my home screen naked. No big deal as apps can be downloaded again.


    However, what was a big deal for me was the 1,625 photos on my camera roll, including many of the first year of my kid's life. The camera roll would say downloading x of 1,625 photos, download a few of them, then simply stop downloading any new shots. When I would restart the phone it did not show any downloading message, it believed the restore was complete. I tried about ten different restore scenarios, listed below, all of which gave me varying results (some resulting in all my apps restoring) but all of which would only give me some of my photos back.


    What was a comfort was that I once got about 700 of the shots back. So the photos were still in the cloud rather than gone and this indicated that it was the restore process or the iCloud backup on my phone that was the problem. These are the things I tried in sequence as I despairingly tried to get my photos back...


    Things I tried that DID NOT work


    1) Erase all settings and attempt to restore again from scratch (four times)

    2) Tried the restore from a different WiFi network (once)

    3) Tried the restore from one WiFi network then switched to another once the restore 'hung' (once)

    4) Tried the restore from an Apple store WiFi network (once)

    5) Tried the restore from a previous iCloud backup (twice)

    6) Had Apple replace the iPhone 4 (once)


    With all of these I got a varying amount of my photos and apps back before it stopped restoring. I was also making the mistake (I learnt afterwards) of opening and moving between apps during the download to check progress.


    Thing I tried that DID work


    1) Did not plug the phone into my MacBook, I used the wall charger only to prevent any iTunes sync activity

    2) Erase all settings and data, restore from the iCloud backup and input passwords in all the pop up windows once it reboots.

    2) Open photos app gallery to see photos downloading and show the progress message "downloading xx of x,xxx"

    3) Left it on this photo screen and did not touch the phone at all for the entire restore. I did not close the photo galley/camera roll app once, open any other apps.


    Finally this time round it work and all my photos and apps restored in full. I am going to go back to syncing with iTunes as I don't trust iCloud for restores. It seems that iCloud does not handle photo restores that well, especially if the gallery is large. In short: Wall charger only, restore from iCloud, open Photos app, don't touch. Really hope this works for you too if you've had the same issue.

  • RDTruncellito Level 1 Level 1



    Thanks for posting your solution! I suspected that something controlled and isolated like what you did would work, and it's good to hear that it can.


    I'm trying to follow your advice explicitly now, but I have some questions:

    1. When you say open to the "photo app gallery," do you mean the screen that displays "Camera Roll" and "Photostream" with the "downloading xx of x,xxx" message? Or do you mean in "Camera Roll" itself?
    2. You say that you didn't touch the phone at all for the entire restore. Do you mean that you only didn't leave the open gallery app? Or do you mean that you literally did not even touch the phone, even to check the progress of the photos restore?
    3. Did you receive (but maybe not answer) any phone call or text message during the photos restore and, if so, did it affect the outcome?


    Thanks in advance for your response.

  • ezyjules Level 1 Level 1

    Sorry, should have been clearer and more factual in explaining the 'solution' that worked for me.


    1. When you say open to the "photo app gallery," do you mean the screen that displays "Camera Roll" and "Photostream" with the "downloading xx of x,xxx" message? Or do you mean in "Camera Roll" itself?


    I meant the Photos app and then stay in the Camera Roll view. Aim being to see the photos download and the downloading text update


    1. You say that you didn't touch the phone at all for the entire restore. Do you mean that you only didn't leave the open gallery app? Or do you mean that you literally did not even touch the phone, even to check the progress of the photos restore?


    I meant I did not leave the Photos app or Camera Roll view. I did touch the phone to scroll down as it was downloading the photos. Don't think interacting with this screen should complicate things. What I did not do was leave the app.


    1. Did you receive (but maybe not answer) any phone call or text message during the photos restore and, if so, did it affect the outcome?


    I did not as I did the restore in the dead of the night. No calls and no texts. Would suggest you maybe take the SIM out if this is likely.


    Appreciate none of the above is scientific. It is what worked for me and helped me get all my photos back. I think it must be something to do with having the iPhone focus on repopulating the camera roll without distracting resources.


    Let me know if it works.

  • britt-brat Level 1 Level 1

    I tried this and it was the ONLY thing that worked!!! Thanks a lot!!!

  • RDTruncellito Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for the reply! I tried this method and, while it didn't work perfectly, I did ultimately manage to retrieve my photos and videos.


    I followed the instructions, including the detailed updates, and restored (without taking out the SIM card) at night. Things were progressing well when I went to bed, but when I woke up in the morning and checked the phone I noticed that the previously counted and then still increasing ~1200 of 2100 photos that I'd had on the phone were mysteriously reduced to only 4. I thought that for whatever reason the connection had dropped and the transfer had failed during the night, and so I was prepared to erase the phone and then start over again. Thankfully before doing so I checked the storage allocation bar for the phone in iTunes and there I saw that, while the phone itself was showing that I had only 4 images saved, the phone actually had about 9 GB of photos on it. As I wasn't sure how to retrieve them from the phone, even though they were there, I searched for a solution online. What I found among the search results was a recommendation of downloading and using the program iExplorer, which I did and which was able to show me at least a listing of the image files that I had been missing and a set of previews of some of them. Following the recommendation's instruction, I deleted two list-type files from the phone through iExplorer, in the hope that when I later restarted the phone the photo Gallery would be forced to rebuild the index of all the images on the phone and thus show me all my images. While reportedly this technique had worked for some people, for me it definitely did not; after being restarted post the files' deletion, neither the phone nor the storage allocation bar showed me that there were more than 4 photos in memory. Fortunately, however, I had done a back-up of the phone on my computer before deleting the files. While at that moment I had planned on simply restoring from that backup and then trying through iTunes to transfer the hidden 2100 photos to my computer (an action that iTunes seemingly at the time would allow but that I later learned would also most likely not have worked for me), I ended up restoring from a "new" backup that, I'm sure, hadn't been there previously. This "new" back-up was dated the same day as the iCloud back-up from which I had tried to restore the phone the previous night. Curious, I chose to use this back-up, instead of the back-up dated earlier that morning, which I thought would have everything including the hidden photos (but which later I found out did not). It seems that sometime in the restore from iCloud the photos that I had been hoping to recover finished downloading and then were saved in an asynchronized part of the phone, where they couldn't be successfully retrieved at the phone level because of the mismatch in date. After I restored from the "correct date," which really didn't exist before the back-up to my computer that morning, the phone successfully showed me all the photos and videos that I had been missing (but could not successfully show me apps or other backed-up data). I then was able to recover simply through iPhoto all the photos and videos to my computer. Hoping that everything could be synchronized in one final attempt at restoring from iCloud, I then erased the phone and started one last attempt at restoring from iCloud by again following all the instructions above. Unfortunately, the transfer this time failed to port over any of the photos at all, but caring less about their being on the phone now that I'd safely recovered them to my hard drive I prioritized having my apps and other backed-up data on the phone, chose not to try restoring from iCloud anymore, and left the phone as it had restored then. So, while this method didn't entirely successfully restore my photos and videos, it still ulitmately helped me recover them. Hopefully this information will help anyone else facing similar issues in recovering photos and videos from iCloud - an action that, with how much Apple vaunts the ability to do so, should definitely be refined soon.


    In the meantime, I've just noticed that after updating my OS (including iPhoto and Aperture) to the newest version this week some of the photos that are actually within the joint Library folder on my hard drive aren't showing up anymore in my visible Library in iPhoto - and that my Aperture won't even open anymore without crashing. I'm wondering if these errors may be related to the difficulty with my phone, but I'm generally looking for a solution now to this issue (in case anyone reading may know of one).

  • RDTruncellito Level 1 Level 1

    O, one last note: I did receive, during the transfer that eventually allowed me to recover my photos and videos, one or two text messages, a short string of iMessage messages, and one phone call none of which derailed the transfer since I stayed always within the Gallery on the phone and kept seeing the number of photos restored there increasing ever afterward.

  • cherrydave Level 1 Level 1

    I just turned the phone off and back on and they restarted downloading. Try that first.

  • b3ll4x Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you so much! I had a mild panic attack when I realized my 1,900 photos didn't restore from iCloud after I reset my iphone.  Luckily your method worked perfectly - thanks!

Previous 1 2 3 Next