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Windows "How To's"

How to Access your iCloud account with Windows
By Leigh Beaty
Posted: 2023-06-16T17:47:23Z

In the Tech Help Clinics, our computer club instructors often get the question "How do I get the pictures from my iPhone onto my Windows PC to work on?"

Now I don't have an iPhone but rather an Android Samsung Galaxy phone and that process is real simple. So I reached out to our Apple instructors to help me find an answer. Here are two solutions that may help you.

First, you need to understand that Apple can and will your photos in your iCloud account. You remember iCloud don't you? When you set up a new Apple device, Apple asks for your iCloud member information and if you don't have an account, they "assist" you in setting one up. This means that when working with not only photos on your iPhone, but also documents and other files on your Mac, iPad, etc. you can set up iCloud to "backup" your files to your iCloud account. It's just Apple's version of "cloud storage", similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, and many other options that are out there. The only thing you have to remember is your Apple ID and password in order to access your account.

For this "tip" I'm going to be referring to the iCloud Photos portion of your iCloud storage.

Set Up and Use iCloud Photos

If you're not familiar with how to do this, Apple Support has provided a great resource to guide you through the process.

Set up and use iCloud Photos

This article explains:

So, if you now have your photos in your iCloud account you can proceed to download those you want to work with to your Windows device.

Option 1: Download your photos and videos from

  1. Go to and sign in with your Apple ID and password. (If you have forgotten, there are prompts to retrieve your ID as well as to change your password.)
  2. Once in your account, select Photos. That will bring up your iCloud Photos library.
  3. Select the photos and videos that you want to download. 
  4. Click and hold the download button  in the upper-right corner of the window. If you want to download your content as it was originally captured or imported, choose Unmodified Original. For JPEG or H.264 format — including edits, and even if it was orginally in HEIF or HEVC format — choose Most Compatible.
  5. Click download

On my Windows PC setup, the download ends up in my Downloads folder in a sub-folder called iCloud You can then open each image and put it in a folder for your later use.

Option 2: Transfer pictures from iCloud using the iCloud for Windows Program

While there is an application called iCloud that is available in the Microsoft Store, the current version appears to be very "buggy" and does not work with all Windows devices. To save you the frustration, for now I recommend you go directly to your iCloud account and use the steps outlined above.

See... it's not difficult. And what's more you can download not only photos but as you play around you'll find you can download other files you have stored in your iCloud account.