MacWizardry - Apple Consultant, Support & Help , Perth

My Photo Stream

Apple to close of My Photo Stream - now what??

Apple recently announced they will be closing off My Photo Stream from 23rd July 2023, and advising people if they still want to their photos saved to the cloud then will need to change over to iCloud Photo Library. You can read about it here.

One good feature of My Photo Stream is that rather than having all your photos in the cloud, you could have just the last 1000 there. Plus it was free. 

Unlike when you go to iCloud Photo Library if you use more then the free 5GB they give you - you had to go to a monthly plan - so obviously this would now be a more expensive option. Pricing would start from $1.49 per month for 50GB ($4.49pm for 200GB and $14.99pm for 2TB). And then all your photos are the same on both your computer and your devices. Delete from one, and it deletes from all the others.

So what does this all mean, and what should I do?

If you have less than 50GB of photos, and you’re fine with having all your photos in iCloud for both your device and your computer then the $1.49 per month might not be a bad option. If however, you have more than 50GB, or don’t want all your photos in the cloud then you can choose to not go to this feature.

All it means is that you just need to manually plug in your device to your computer once in a blue moon and import any new photos. Fairly easy to set up and check.

I have listed below how you can check which setting you’re using and how you can go about importing images to your computer.

How to check settings on your computer

To check which setting you are using on your computer, the easiest way is as follows.

Open the Photos Application. (If not in the Dock, it will be in the Applications folder).

Then go to the Photos menu in the top left corner and choose “Settings”

Then click on to iCloud.

After Apple turn off “My Photo Stream”, this option may not show - or you can untick it.

If you don’t want all your photos in the cloud, then ensure iCloud Photos does not have a tick beside it.

You can have “Shared Albums” turned on if you want.

How to check settings on your iPhone and/or iPad.

To check which setting you are using on your iPhone or iPad, the easiest way is as follows.

Tap on Settings. Then tap on your name at the top. Then tap on to iCloud, and lastly tap on “Photos”.

Again, from here you can then make sure that “Sync this iPhone” is turned off if you don’t want all your photos to be stored in the cloud.

Once Apple remove the service then “My Photo Stream” will disappear from this window most likely. So that option won’t show after an update.

Again, it’s ok to use “Shared Albums” if you want that feature.

How to get photos on to your computer

If you don’t want to have all your photos stored in the cloud (and therefore not costing anything extra), then once Apple turn off “My Photo Stream” you’ll manually need to import your photos by plugging in your device.

Once you plug your iPhone or iPad into your computer, you should see it show on the left hand side of the Photos Application under “Devices”. Once you click on this, you’ll have an option on the top right to “Import All New Photos”. Click there and it will import everything new from last time it was plugged in.

(It can take a while to do this part, if there are a lot of photos).

Each time you want to re-import more, you just then plug the iPhone or iPad in again.

You can see more about it here on the Apple page under “Import to your Mac”



How to delete photos from an iPhone or iPad in large groups.

A quick way if you want to remove a lot of photos from your iPhone is to use a program called Image Capture. You may be familiar with this Application if you use it for scanning. But it also help remove large groups of photos from your iPhone in one go.

If Image Capture isn’t in your Dock, you can go to Macintosh HD then Applications and open it from there.

Once open, plug in your phone and you should see it on the left hand side - then click on it on the left hand side.

(If asked to “Trust this device”, then it’s fine to do that on both the iPhone/iPad and your computer so the two can “talk to each other”).

Once it’s loaded all the photos, you should see these on the right hand side.

You can then go through and select photos you want to remove all in one go.

To randomly choose photos, you can use the “Command” key on the keyboard and click on photos in any order. 

If you want to select a whole “group” you can click on the first photo at the top of the list, scroll down to the bottom point but hold down “Shift” on the keyboard before selecting the last photo. This will select everything between the first and last photo you have chosen.

After you have chosen some or a lot of photos, they’ll be highlighted in blue, and you can then click the “Delete” (trashcan) icon in the top right of the menu bar.

It will ask you to confirm you want to delete x number of items. Choose “Delete” and they will then be removed from the phone.

NOTE : This cannot be undone, so ensure you have everything you want backed up to Photos Application, or you’re sure you definitely want to delete them all.

This is quick way you go through and remove large groups of photos from your phone, rather than individually having to select or drag over a few at a time on the iPhone or iPad. And can be done very quickly.

But as mentioned, once they are deleted, they are gone for good off the iPhone or iPad. So you need to ensure they’re all saved before you start.

Where to from here…..

Obviously this is just a fairly new announcement from Apple. Information and different ways to do this may change once WWDC comes out or after 23rd July when Apple turn off this feature. So we may see some other ways to do this. If anything new comes along, or a better way to do this, I will update this page and information.

But hopefully this helps people going forward or don’t want all their photos in the cloud.

One last note. If you want to see how large your photo library is you can find out by going to Macintosh HD - Users - your name - Pictures.

In the Pictures folder will be a file called “Photos Library”. This is your whole library with all the photos on it.

Click on it once to highlight and then hit Command-i (letter i) on the keyboard. 

After a while it will give you the size of this file. In some cases it may be 100-200GB’s in size or larger.

This will give you an idea if you did decide to keep it in the cloud, how much storage you would have to buy from Apple. Also bearing in mind, it has to upload all these photos as well, so uses internet or data as well - and if on a limited plan, this can slow down internet speeds or cost you more in data charges.

I hope this information helps.

MacWizardry - Apple Consultant, Support & Help , Perth

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