How to Transfer iCloud Photos to External Hard Drive with Ease


Are you looking for the best ways on how to save iCloud photos to an external hard drive? One of the main reasons you would want to learn how to transfer iCloud photos to an external hard drive is that cloud storage services, such as iCloud, are not unlimited. Eventually, your allocated space will run out and stop backing up or syncing your data anymore. Therefore, you must move files like pictures onto an external hard disk to ensure they don't get lost when your device runs out of capacity.

If your device or iCloud storage is not enough, you'll want to find the most efficient way to move photos and maximize that storage. With the four easy solutions discussed in this article, transferring pictures from iCloud to an external hard disk will quickly free up room on your iCloud account, enabling more data on your device while allowing additional photo opportunities with expanded cloud capacity. Learn how this smooth process can expand the potential of your memory resources.


Part 1. The Overview of iCloud Photos

iCloud, a remarkable service for Apple iOS users, is the ultimate tool for managing and backing up your iPhone data, especially photos. With iCloud Photo Library, all the pictures you take are stored in your cloud account so that no matter which device you use to view them, they'll be updated with any changes made. In addition, this library also provides an excellent platform for sharing memories between idevices without worrying about loss or damage.

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Part 2. How to Transfer iCloud Photos to External Hard Drive

Do you need help backing up your iCloud pictures and videos onto an external hard disk? In this article, we'll guide you through the easy steps of transferring your iCloud pictures to a hard disk on both Windows PC and Mac. Additionally, for those who have encountered storage problems with their iPhone devices, the professional software discussed in this article will help you easily back up iCloud photos to an external hard drive.

Method 1. How to Transfer iCloud Photos to External Hard Drive via Coolmuster iCloud Backup Recovery

Using Coolmuster iCloud Backup Recovery has become an increasingly popular way to transfer photos from iCloud Photos to external hard drives since it works quickly, safely, and efficiently. Coolmuster iCloud Backup Recovery is a powerful tool that provides access to your iCloud photos, contacts, and accounts with ease. Furthermore, since it follows a read-only mode that strictly prohibits data leakage throughout its transfer procedure, none of your info will be exposed. It is the perfect companion for your iCloud photos and allows you to quickly transfer all of them onto an external hard disk in no time.

This iCloud Backup Recovery program allows you to store your iCloud backup files on your computer in accessible formats. You can view and access these files without difficulty. The supported file formats include VCF, CSV, JPG, JPEG, HTML, HEIC, PNG, BMP, GIF, and many more.

Key Features:

  • Quickly download a backup file from iCloud to your computer or external hard disk.
  • Export all kinds of data like photos, contacts, messages, and more to your computer.
  • Preview the details before restoring them onto the external hard disk.
  • Selectively transfer only the information you need without losing the quality of your photos with ease.
  • Ensure safety & confidentiality with its read-only mode.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to transfer iCloud photos to external hard drive via Coolmuster iCloud Backup Recovery:

01Download and install the latest version of Coolmuster iCloud Backup Recovery on your computer. Connect the external hard disk to your computer.

02Launch the application and enter your Apple ID information on the sign-in page to connect with iCloud. Enter the verification code into the interface to continue with two-factor authentication on your iOS device. When finished, select Verify to progress.

tap verify to go on

03Check the photos as the file types you wish to transfer and hit the Next button. After a few moments of scanning, all available iCloud backup files will be shown on the screen. Select all the photos that need to be transferred and choose the location of your external hard disk as the recovery path, and hit the Recover to Computer button.

tap recover to computer to save your files

Learn More:

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Method 2. How to Move Photos from an iCloud Account to External Hard Drive via iCloud for Windows App

If this sounds too difficult to manage, don't fret, we've got the solution for you. Apple released iCloud for Windows, which allows users to transfer their photos from iCloud to an external hard drive through a Windows computer. Follow the below simple steps to learn how to download iCloud photos to an external hard drive:

Step 1. Begin the procedure by downloading and installing iCloud for Windows application on your Windows Computer, log in using your Apple credentials to gain access to your iCloud account, then connect the hard drive.

Step 2. Check the box beside Photos and select Options for further configuration.

Step 3. Make sure to check the box next to iCloud photo library and Download new photos and videos to my PC when a pop-up appears.

Step 4. To change your photos' destination, click Change… next to Download new photos and videos from my PC. Afterward, select the external hard disk as the preferred path for downloads. Once you have finished, hit Done and choose Apply to save all changes.

move photos from an icloud account to external hard drive via icloud for windows application

Step 5. Launch File Explorer and select the iCloud Photos option on the left side of your page. From there, choose the Downloads folder to browse for photos you wish to download to your external hard drive.

icloud photos on pc

Step 6. The iCloud photos will be quickly transferred to your external hard drive, though the process could take a few minutes.

Now you have successfully moved photos from iCloud to an external hard disk.

Note: With Apple iCloud, you can't download more than 1000 images at once; thus, if the photos you seek to acquire are above this number, then repeating the procedure is necessary.


Method 3. How to Move iCloud Photos to External Hard Drive via Mac Photos

Mac Photos is an immersive and dynamic macOS program allowing you to view, edit, and export photos. With Cloud backup enabled on your device, transferring iCloud images from a Mac to an external hard disk can be completed in just a few straightforward steps. Keeping this in mind ensures that all necessary preparations have been made before the transfer process begins. Here are the steps on how to transfer icloud photos to external hard drive:

Step 1. To start, connect an external hard disk to a Mac computer. Then, create a folder on the hard drive for storing iCloud photos.

Step 2. Launch the Photos app on the Mac computer and select the images you wish to save onto the hard drive.

Step 3. Select the Export option beneath the File menu to transfer all the chosen photos. You can choose the Unmodified Original or Export Edited options. The default option is to export Edited, while Unmodified Original is recommended. Finally, set your newly created folder on the external hard disk as the destination for all photos and data.

Further Reading: How to Move Pictures to SD Card on Android without Trouble [4 Ways]

Method 4. How to Move Pictures from iCloud to External Hard Drive Through iCloud Website

With iCloud's website readily available on any web browser, you can access your Apple data anytime with a few clicks. You can also quickly download photos from the iCloud website onto an external hard disk without installing extra tools, making the process more straightforward. Whether you run macOS or Windows, this method is recommended for fast and effortless photo downloading. Here are the steps on how to transfer icloud photos to external hard drive:

Step 1. To start, navigate to iCloud's official website using your Mac or PC web browser. Once on site, log in using your iCloud Account credentials for further access.

Step 2. Sign in and select the Photos tab from the interface. To optimize selection time, utilize either Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) key to select multiple images at once quickly.

the photos tap on the icloud website

Step 3. Once you've chosen all the photos that need to be transferred, click the Download icon to continue.

Step 4. Copy your photos from the Downloads folder on the computer and paste them to the external hard disk.

Note: All downloads will be in ZIP format to ensure your photos are efficiently stored. If you have a Mac and would like to transfer the images through a local program installed on your device, this is the ideal solution.



Transferring photos from iCloud to an external hard disk is a straightforward process. You only need to follow the above-discussed methods, and you will be done transferring photos from iCloud to an external hard drive. However, the most efficient and reliable method is to use the Coolmuster iCloud Backup Recovery program, as it ensures safety, security, and efficiency. This robust tool lets you quickly transfer photos onto the external hard disk. So what are you waiting for? Download the program today and get started.

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