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How to restore photos from iCloud (iPhone & iPad supported)

Effortlessly recover precious memories! Learn how to restore photos from iCloud backup with simple steps. Safeguard your cherished moments in no time!

Jasmin Woods Updated on Dec 7, 2023 3:22 PM

Quick summary: iCloud securely stores your uploaded and synced photos and videos. If you accidentally delete a photo or video from iCloud, fear not. You can easily recover photos from iCloud by accessing iCloud Photo Library, restoring from iCloud backups, or using the powerful software iPhone Data Recovery to effortlessly restore iCloud photos by a full scanning.

How to Retrieve Photos from iCloud

Recover iCloud photos from the Recently Deleted folder, iCloud Drive, or using a recent backup or 3rd-party tools.

The iCloud backup service and iCloud Photos Library are the ideal repositories for those who tend to rely on Apple to save their shooting photos and videos as well as online images, so just in case something goes wrong you would take the chances of restoring all lost photos to your iPhone from an iCloud backup or iCloud online database.

In this post, we'll show you several ways for seamless iCloud photo recovery, whether you've deleted iCloud pictures accidentally, or they're missing from your iCloud Photo Library. Now, explore easy solutions on how to restore photos from iCloud with step-by-step guides.

Table of contents:

Option 1: Recover Photos from iCloud Recently Deleted Folder

Apple's iCloud Photo Library is one of the convenient ways of storing pictures online and keeping in sync across all your devices. If you've enabled Photos feature in iCloud setting, all photos are automatically uploaded to iCloud server associated with the same iCloud account. Every time you delete photos on iPhone, they'll move to Recently Deleted album for 30 days before permanent deletion. If you change your mind, visit icloud.com to restore deleted photos and videos.

Learn how to retrieve photos from iCloud Recently Deleted folder within 30 days of deletion:

  • Sign into icloud.com with the same account you used on your iPhone.
  • Select Photos > Library > Recently Deleted to view the photos you deleted.
  • Select photos you want to get back, then click Recover on the bottom.

This will move the deleted images back to Photos app in the iPhone immediately. You're able to access the restored iCloud pictures from any of your devices with iCloud Photos enabled.

How to Retrieve Photos from iCloud

Find and restore recently deleted photos from iCloud to their original location.

Option 2: Restore iCloud Photos Using iOS Recovery Tool

If the Recently Deleted folder in iCloud doesn't include photos or videos you seek, you can try using an iPhone backup extractor program by which you could get lost photos from iCloud. And this is where iOS Data Recovery proves invaluable. Instead of a full restore, it allows you to scan your iCloud for the deleted and missing photos. After scanning, you can preview and selectively recover individual photos or the entire folders of iCloud photos, saving them to your computer.

In addition, the program is capable of scanning your iPhone in a maximum extent to recover deleted and lost photos from the device memory in a fast manner, as well as retrieving photos from an iTunes backup with selectivity if you have made beforehand.

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Without performing a reset, here's how to recover photos from iCloud to iPhone easily:

Step 1: Sign in to iCloud account

Install and launch the software, choose Recover from iCloud mode from the built-in modes on the left list, then enter Apple ID and passcode in the box to sign up to your iCloud account.

Step 2: Choose Photos option in iCloud to start scanning

After successfully logging in, the software will list the files synced in your iCloud. Tick the checkbox next to Photos and click Start to begin a full scan. You may also select iCloud Backup option to extract data from a previous iCloud backup for photo recovery.

Step 3: View recoverable photos in iCloud

The software will load all scanning results, including the deleted photos and existing ones. Before the iCloud photo restoration, you're able to preview the photos and videos, or use the top Filter to search what you want.

restore photos from iCloud without resetting

Step 4: Recover photos from iCloud and save on computer

Now, pick whichever photo(s) you decide to restore and click Recover button to move on. When a dialog window opens, set an output path to save the retrieved iCloud photos on computer. Check Automatically convert HEIC files to JPEG format for more compatibilities if you need.

Again, click the Recover button and wait for the photos to be restored, and you'll soon get back the photos in iCloud.

That's it! Once the process has finished, you can transfer the extracted photos back to iPhone using iTunes sync feature or a 3rd-party alternative - iPhone Data Transfer. It is a management tool for transferring data and files across iOS devices, iTunes and computer in one shot.

Option 3: Restore Photos from iCloud Backup to iPhone

If iCloud Photo Library isn't enabled, but you've previously backed up your iPhone with iCloud, you have the option to restore permanently deleted photos from an iCloud backup. Note that this process will erase the iPhone and wipe out all data and settings. Afterward, you can set up and restore your iPhone from the latest iCloud backup to recover photos, videos, and everything else.

Check whether you can restore from a recent iCloud backup for photo recovery by Settings > Your name > iCloud > iCloud Backup. All useful iCloud backups will list on the screen.

Be sure there's an available backup and a stable Wi-Fi or cellular network. The following is about how to recover pictures from iCloud to your iPhone using an earlier backup:

  • Resetting the iPhone by going to Setting > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Once iPhone reboots, set it up as a new one.
  • When reaching App & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • Log into iCloud account with your Apple ID and password as needed.
  • Choose the most relevant backup from a list of archives made in advance.

Eventually the disappeared photos are saved back to iPhone camera roll. This option also works when you upgrade to a new device and want to transfer all old photos to the new iPhone.

Option 4: Retrieve Photos from iCloud Drive

If your photos were uploaded to iCloud Drive before being lost or permanently deleted, simply visit iCloud.com and download them to store on your computer effortlessly. This is probably one of the easiest ways for restoring iCloud photos over the internet.

  • Sign into icloud.com with your Apple ID and the password.
  • Click iCloud Drive.
  • Select the pictures you want to recover and click Download icon at the top.

Option 5: Get Photos from iCloud Photo Library to Computer

Here's the steps you may take to get photos from iCloud and download to your iPhone, iPad or computer. It's also helpful when you want to transfer photos from iPhone to PC or Mac.

On iPhone, iPad

  • Access Settings app on an iDevice.
  • Tap Your name and head to iCloud > Photos.
  • Toggle on Sync this iPhone (or iCloud Photos on older iOS versions).
  • Choose Download and Keep Originals to get iCloud photos restored to your iPhone or iPad in full-resolution.

On Windows

  • Download iCloud for Windows if you haven't the app on your computer.
  • Open iCloud for Windows.
  • Click Options next to Photos to check your photo settings.
  • Select iCloud Photo Library.
  • Check Download new photos and videos to my PC.
  • Click Done, then click Apply.

On Mac

  • Open Photos app on your Mac.
  • In the top menu bar, go to Photos > Preference > iCloud. Sign into with Apple ID if needed.
  • Check Download Originals to this Mac if it's not already enabled.
  • Close preferences once the update completes.
  • Click on Photos in the sub-menu.
  • Hold Command to select several photos, or hit Command + A to select them all.
  • Go back to top menu bar, select File > Export.
  • Select either Export Items or Export Unmodified Original For Items per your preference.
  • Select a location for your photos.

This way you can successfully get photos from iCloud and restore the permanently deleted pictures and videos in minutes!

FAQs about iCloud Photo Recovery

Where do deleted iCloud photos go?

When photos are deleted from iCloud, they typically move to the Recently Deleted album, where they remain for another 30 days before being permanently removed.

If iCloud Photos syncing is enabled, deleting a photo on your iPhone or iPad will remove it from iCloud as well. Conversely, if you recover deleted photos on your iPhone with iCloud Photos enabled, the restored photos will get back to iCloud as well.

Can I recover permanently deleted photos from my iCloud?

It's possible to restore deleted iCloud photos if there are available backups created before you've deleted them permanently. To make it, you'll need to reset your iPhone and erase all of your data and settings first. When your iPhone restarts, the setup process allows you to select an iCloud backup to restore photos and everything else you need. If this isn't helping, try using a backup extractor tool, like iPhone Data Recovery software, to restore only photos from iCloud or iTunes.

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