You can now transfer your iCloud media over to Google Photos (mostly)


iCloud

Hell hath frozen over or is at least turning a little frosty. No, Apple hasn’t brought iMessage to Android, but it has relaxed its grip on the media and files stored in iCloud by iOS users by allowing the transfer of content over to Google Photos. There are a couple of limitations, but the vast majority of your media will be transferable to Google Photos.

You just need to head over to privacy.apple.com and sign in, after which you can click the “Transfer a copy of your data” and choose Google Photos, which is currently the only option available. We may see other cloud storage options such as OneDrive added in the future, but there’s no confirmation that this will be the case.

You should check that you have enough free storage available on Google Photos to store your iCloud media, if not you may have to sign up for a Google One plan. Something else to remember is that Google Photos limits albums to 20,000 photos, so any additional photos will still be transferred but will not be added to the album.

  • The transfer includes copies of photos and videos that you store in iCloud Photos, associated with your Apple ID. Formats include: .jpg, .png, .webp, .gif, some RAW files, .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.
  • Only the most recent edit of the photo is transferred and not the original version. Duplicates appear as just one photo. 
  • Whenever possible, photos are transferred with their albums. Videos are transferred separately, without their albums. 
  • Once transferred to Google, the filenames of albums and videos start with “Copy of.”
  • Some content—including shared albums, smart albums, photo stream content, live photos, some metadata, and photos and videos stored in other folders or locations—is not transferred at all.

Once you’ve begun the process it could take up to a week to be fully transferred, depending on how large your iCloud library is. For the moment, the option to transfer content from iCloud to Google Photos is only available to the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • US
  • Iceland
  • European Union
  • Liechtenstein
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Let us know how the transfer goes in the comments below.


He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).




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