How To Backup iCloud Photos To External Hard Drive

by Anna Sherry   Updated on 2023-11-16 / Update for  Cloud Merge

iCloud is very convenient to save your device storage. You can easily save your photos to iCloud. But if your iCloud storage is low then you want to make a copy of your important files, photos to the external hard drive. It might be confusing as there are so many ways. This article shows you how to backup iCloud photos to external hard drive in very simple steps. You can do this by following this guide.

Part 1: How To Download Photos From iCloud

Before we start introducing how to backup iCloud photos to external hard drive, it is also necessary to know several ways to download photos from iCloud. Here we will discuss the most effective and simplest methods. Then you will learn today’s topic. Have a look at the following guide.

How To Download Photos From iCloud to PC

  • Turn on your PC and log in to your iCloud account with Apple ID and Password.
  • Click Photos and open iCloud Photo Library.
  • Choose Photos you want and click on the Download button at the top right.

    download photos from icloud to pc
  • After that click, all of your selected photos will be downloaded into the download folder.

Here, there are many ways to download iCloud photos to PC or Mac, we are also recommending you the simplest way with the Tenorshare UltData tool. It is a third-party tool that helps you to save all of your iCloud Photos flexibly.

How To Download Photos From iCloud to iPhone

  • Open Settings of your iPhone and go to iCloud.
  • Open Photos and activate iCloud Photo Library.
  • Tap on Download and Keep Originals option to download all of the photos kept on iCloud and save them in the Photos.

    download photos from icloud to iphone

Part 2: How To Backup iCloud Photos To External Hard Drive

Import iCloud Photos To External Hard Drive

As we have introduce how to download photos from iCloud to our computer, it is very simple to import these photos to other external hard drives. Once you insert or connect the external hard drive like USB, open the folder where you save the downloaded photos, just drag or copy the files to the external hard drive folder.

Directly Download Photos to External Hard Drive

It is available for pc users to directly backup iCloud photos to USB and other drives by iCloud desktop application. First, insert your external hard drive, like USB, change the iCloud download file location to the folder of the external hard drive, then iCloud photos will directly back up to the external hard drive. To do this follow the steps:

  • Run successfully the iCloud application on your computer and log into your iCloud account.
  • Press the Options Button which is next to the Photos.

    icloud app photo option
  • Then check iCloud Photo Library option, locate at Download new photo and videos to my PC, and click on Change to move your default location to a new location.

    icloud app change photo download location
  • Change the path to the external drive that is connected to your PC and click on Done.
  • Now open iCloud Photos folder, click Download icon. Choose all the photos you backed up on iCloud or the pictures you saved in a specific year, then at last click Download.

    download icloud photos to external hard drive
  • Now all the photos will back up to the external hard drive.

Part 3: The Best Tool To Backup iPhone Photos To PC

You have used many types of methods to backup iCloud photos to your PC. But, Tenorshare iCareFone would be the best to manage your iPhone photos as it doesn’t need iCloud to backup at first and then download to your computer or external hard drive.

It also provides many other amazing features:

  • Manage your iPhone data to import and export easily.
  • Transfer data between iPhone and iTunes.
  • Backup and restore iPhone.

Then let’s start learning how to use iCareFone to One-click Export Photos to PC:

  • Download and launch iCareFone on you computer and connect your iPhone to it via a USB cable. Then select One-click Export Photos to PC option.

    icarefone interface
  • Then it will automatically scan and export all the photos from your iPhone.

    one click transfer photos
  • After it finishes, click on Open folder to view all the exported photos and you can then backup them to external hard drive you like.

    export successfully
  • If you want to selectively backup photos, choose the Manage option on the main interface.

    manage photos


iCloud is one of the most used platforms which is very secure and effective. There are various ways to backup photos to and from iCloud. Here we mentioned the simplest methods in detail about how to backup iCloud photos to external hard drive. Moreover, iCareFone is also reviewed in detail. The step-by-step guide will help you to get the solution to all your queries. It is an effective tool to manage and personalize the iPhone photos and makes backups easily.

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