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How to Upload Photos to the iCloud Photo Library

Did you know that photos you take with iPhones running iOS 11 or later can use up to 50% less space than the usual JPEG file? That’s all thanks to the High-Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format used by such Apple phones.

Despite that, you’ll still likely run out of storage space unless you manage your media files. You can delete some of the older ones, or you can upload photos and videos to iCloud. It’s even better if you do both so that you can increase iPhone storage or space in your iPad or Mac.

This guide will go through all the steps you need to take to move your photos to Apple iCloud, so be sure to read on.

Create an Apple ID Account

Apple ID is an authentication technology used by all Apple devices. It provides you access to native and third-party apps and services via your Apple devices. In fact, you won’t be able to activate iCloud storage or download apps from the Apple App Store without an Apple ID.

More than that, your Apple ID is the account you use to sync all Apple devices you own. For example, let’s say you own a Mac, an iPad, and an iPhone, and you want to enable photo sharing across them. In this case, you only need to sign in with the same Apple ID on all three to make them work together.

To create an Apple ID, follow the steps below.

On Your iPhone or iPad

Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad and select Sign in to your device. Then, choose the option that says, “Don’t have an ID or forgot it?”. Then, on the next window, tap the Create Apple ID field.

Next, provide your complete name, date of birth, and preferred email address. Note that the email address you choose will become part of your Apple ID’s log-in credentials.

From there, follow the rest of the instructions to complete the Apple ID creation.

On Your Mac

Open System Preferences on your Mac and then select the Sign-in option. Look for the option that says “Create Apple ID” on the lower-left portion of the window. Tap that, hit next, and follow the rest of the on-screen directions.

Using the Apple App Store

You can also create an Apple ID account using the built-in Apple App Store on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. To start, open the App Store and hit the Sign-in option. Then, tap the Create New Apple ID field and provide the information required.

Sign in to Your Device’s Apple ID to Enable iCloud

Once you have an Apple ID, you can then use it to log in to your Apple device.

To log in to your Apple ID on your iPhone or iPad, go back to the Settings menu. Tap the Sign in to your device option and enter your new Apple ID credentials. A successful log-in automatically activates your iCloud account.

If it’s a Mac you’d like to log in to, you need to launch System Preferences on the computer. Once open, hit the Sign-in option and provide your Apple ID username and password. This log-in method also automates the activation of your iCloud account.

Make Sure You Have Enough iCloud Storage

Keep in mind that you only get 5 gigabytes (GB) of iCloud storage for free, which is likely not enough for all your photos. However, you can increase that to 50 GB for only $0.99 a month, 200 GB for $2.99, or 2 terabytes (TB) for $9.99.

So, before you upload photos to your iCloud library, check how much space the photos consume. This way, you can make sure your current iCloud storage space can accommodate them all. If not, then you might want to get more iCloud storage for your current and future photo storage needs.

You can find out the total storage space consumed by your photos with the following steps.

On Your iPhone or iPad

Open your device’s Settings menu, scroll down the list a bit, and select the General option. Next, tap iPhone Storage or iPad Storage and allow the status bar to populate. The bar would then reveal how many megabytes (MB) or GB your current photos are using.

On Your Mac

If you’re using a Mac, click the Apple menu icon and choose the About This Mac option. On the new window that appears, select the Storage tab, and wait for the status bar to finish its calculation.

After that, hover the cursor over the colored tabs until you see Photos and Others. The balloon should contain the info about how much space these files are consuming.

This is also a good time to trim your photos’ storage usage by deleting unwanted or duplicate files. If you only have a few images you want to get rid of, you can delete them manually. However, if you’ve got tons, you may want to use third-party apps to get more options for photo management.

Enable the Photos App in iCloud

After ensuring you have enough iCloud storage space, you can now upload your photos to the cloud.

To do this on an iPhone or iPad, open the Settings menu, tap your Apple ID, and select iCloud. Finally, toggle the switch for the Photos field to the On position. Doing so would automate the upload and storage of photos and videos to your iCloud photo library.

On a Mac, open the System Preferences and click the Apple ID button. On the left preferences pane, select the iCloud option and put a checkmark on the box for Photos. Once you do that, all your photos and videos will start uploading to your iCloud account.

Upload Photos to iCloud to Free up Space in Your Apple Devices

As soon as you upload photos to your iCloud account, they will move from your device to the cloud. As a result, your iPhone, iPad, or Mac will have more storage space available. However, all your photos and videos will still be available for access, so long as you stay signed in to your Apple ID.

So, as early as now, create an Apple ID and enable iCloud on your devices to move and access your files via the cloud.

Interested in honing your tech skills with even more nifty tricks like this? Then feel free to browse our other informative tech guides!


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