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

Alex Griffith Updated on Apr 18, 2023 10:36 AM

I got a new iPhone X, and set it up from the most recent backup of my older iPhone over Wi-Fi. After restoring, most of files and settings are transferred over, except the photos. I can't figure out why this happens? I'm sure all my photos are backed up within iCloud. How can I get them back if they're gone?

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 as well as online images, so just in case something goes wrong you would take the chances of recovering all lost photos to the iPhone from an iCloud backup or iCloud online database.

In this post, I'll show you several ways to retrieve deleted photos from iCloud.

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 already enabled this feature in iCloud setting, all photos are automatically uploaded to iCloud server associated with a same iCloud account. Every time you delete photos on iPhone, they will move to Recently Deleted album for 30 days. If you change your mind, you are able to visit icloud.com to retrieve the photo(s) using the following steps:

  • 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.

How to Retrieve Photos from iCloud

Option 2: Restore Photos Only from iCloud Using Backup Extractor Tool

If the Recently Deleted folder in iCloud doesn't include photos you seek, you can try to use an iPhone backup extractor program by which you could get lost photos from an iCloud backup. iOS Data Recovery is our favorite. It lets you scan and see if your iCloud backup has the missing photos you want, rather than going through a full restore first the Apple does. You then can choose to restore individual photos or the whole folder of photos and save onto computer.

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

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Retrieving photos from iPhone backup in iCloud without reset is pretty simple. Here's how to do.

Step 1: Sign in to iCloud account

Launch the software, choose the "Recover from iCloud Backup File" mode from the built-in modes on the left list, then enter Apple ID and passcode in the box to sign up to the iCloud account.

Step 2: Download an iCloud backup

After successfully logging in, the software will list all iCloud backups for your iPhone & iPad.

Check the backup date and select the one where the deleted photos are kept, then click the Download button on its right side. This will open a dialog box, where you need to choose "Camera Roll", "Photo Library" and "App Photos" to download and restore.

Then click on Next button to start downloading the photos. Make sure you have a stable Internet connection.

download photos from iCloud to iPhone

Step 3: View backed up photos in iCloud

When downloaded, the program will return you a list of data on the interface.

Before the restoration process, you're able to preview the downloaded photos from iCloud by click the "Camera Roll" (or Photo Library, App Photos) category under "Media" section.

restore photos from iCloud without resetting

Step 4: Recover photos from iCloud backup and save on computer

Now, check the photo(s) if you decide to restore and then press the Recover button to move on. When a dialog window opens, set a output path for saving the retrieved photos on computer.

Again, click the Recover button and wait for the photos to be restored, and you'll soon be able to get the photos from iPhone backup 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 - iTransfer. It is a management tool for transferring content among iOS, Android, iTunes and computer in one shot.

Option 3: Get Photos from iCloud to iPhone (Full Restore Process)

This option works fine when you upgrade to a new iPhone and you need to keep the photos on it from the older one. It's a complete restore of an iPhone—you have to erase and wipe out all data and settings in the original iPhone and put your phone back the way you left it in that backup archive. Therefore, it's not recommended most of time.

To recover photos that were included in the iCloud backup:

  • Resetting the iPhone by going to Setting > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Once iPhone reboots and reach App & Data screen, select Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • Log into iCloud account 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.

Option 4: Retrieve Photos from iCloud Drive

If you have ever your photos uploaded to iCloud Drive before missing, you can go to iCloud.com and get those photos downloaded and save on your computer.

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

Also check: Archive or make copies of the information you store in iCloud

Option 5: Download Photos from iCloud Photo Library to Computer

Here's the steps you need to take to pull photos out of Apple's iCloud.

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 not.
  • 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 an location for your photos.

This way you've gotten your photos out of iCloud!

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