[Solved] There was An Error Downloading Photos From iCloud Photos Library

When you try to download a picture from iCloud but get the prompt: “there was an error downloading this photo from your iCloud photo library”. This post will show you 6 solutions to fix this issue.


By Clara / Updated on July 8, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

Cannot Download Photo. There was an error downloading this photo from your iCloud Photo Library. Please try again later.

What does this mean? It happens all the time.

- Question from Apple Community

iCloud Library is useful for many iPhone users to quickly access their library from any iOS device or Windows PC at any time as it automatically saves all the photos and videos they take to iCloud.

However, when you try to view, edit, upload, download, or perform other operations on pictures saved in iCloud Library, you will receive a message saying "There was an error downloading this photo from your iCloud Photo Library. Please try again later".

can not download photo

Error Downloading Photo from iCloud Photo Library

In this guide, we will explain some reasons and provide corresponding methods to resolve this error.

Why does iPhone say there was an error downloading this photo?

There can be multiple reasons behind this error:

The main reason for this error downloading from iCloud Photo Library may be that you have set preferences like "Optimize iPhone Dtorage" to save storage space.
Your iPhone/iCloud storage space is full and there is not enough storage space to save the downloaded photos.
When the network connection is bad or the photos server is down, you cannot download photo from iCloud photo library.
Sometimes, the iOS errors or bugs can also cause photos won’t download from iCloud.
There may be a problem with your iPhone account, or your device is out of battery.

How to fix error downloading from iCloud photo library

Next, here are some ways to solve this problem, you can try one by one. Make sure you have checked the following steps before proceeding with the solution.

1. Check network, go to Settings > Cellular to check that the option to take photos using cellular data is turned on.
2. Check the software version, go to Settings > General > Software Update to see if it is the latest version, if not, click Download to install the latest iOS version.
3. Turn airplane mode on and off first to refresh the network, wipe down to open Control Center, switch on and off the airplane mode by tap the airplane icon.
4. Force close all running apps by double-tapping the home button and swipe up on all apps.

1. Ensure enough iPhone/iCloud storage space

When you encounter this error “cannot download photos from iCloud Library”, the first thing you should consider is that your iPhone or iCloud storage is full. If the limit is exceeded, your photos will not be uploaded to iCloud. You can go to Settings > tap General > click iPhone Storage > check if your iPhone storage is full.

Besides, go to Settings > tap [your name]> click iCloud and you'll see iCloud space usage.

Note: iCloud only provides 5GB of free space, if you don't have enough space to save your photos, you will need to purchase more space or free up space in iCloud.

2. Sign out and sign back into iCloud account

If there is no problem with the iPhone’s storage space, try logging out of your iCloud account for a while and then logging in again, which may fix the download error from iCloud photo library.

sign out of icloud

3. Turn off Low Power Mode

Sometimes, turning off or disabling ‘Low Power Mode’ is the utmost solution to this troublesome issue. This method allows you to operate your iPhone while the battery is low, making your iPhone last longer and limiting access to your iCloud library.

Here's how to turn off Low Power Mode:

Steps: Go to Settings, select Battery, toggle the Low Power Mode setting to turn it off (if it is enabled).

turn off low battery mode

4. Change iPhone photo settings

By default, your iPhone is set to download and keep the original images on your device. However, if that's not the case for you, you'll need to revert it to this setting to change it from Automatic to Keep Original to fix iCloud error downloading image .

Step 1. Go to the Settings > choose [your name] > click iCloud > tap Photos.

Step 2. Select Download and Keep Originals, then you can get the original photos.

turn on icloud photos

5. Reset network settings

If you have turned off and on airplane mode to fix the problem and it fails, you can reset the network settings and try again. This will restore the settings to their original state, and any changes that cause network connectivity issues will be discarded.

Go to Settings, tap General, click Reset, tap Reset Network Settings option. Now check if the issue is resolved.

reset network setting

6. Force restart your iPhone

This is a known troubleshooting step to determine if the problem is with the software or hardware. Restart your phone to check if it's just a temporary problem. Follow the steps below to restart your iPhone.

For iPhone 8 or later: Press the Volume Up button, tap the Volume Down buttons, press and hold the Power button until you see the Apple logo.

For iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press the Power button and Volume Down button for 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6 or earlier: Press the Power and Home buttons together until the Apple logo is visible.

hard reset iphone

Bonus: Try an alternative way to download photos from iCloud

If none of the above methods help you, you can choose to send photos to your iPhone using other methods. For example, you can use a reliable third app to download photos from iCloud to your iPhone or other devices.  Here, we suggest you to use FoneTool.

It is a professional iOS data management tool. You can transfer, backup, manage iCloud data, and so on. With the user-friendly interface, you can download, upload, and delete your iCloud data, including photos, notes, videos, contacts and so on.

FoneTool has many prominent advantages:

✌ Fast download and upload speed - You can save the iCloud photos to iPhone in a very fast speed.
✌ Various Functions - It can also help you manage data with various features such as HEIC convert, you can easily convert HEIC to JPG photos after transferring.
✌ Selective and preview transfer - If you don't want to send all photos, you can preview and select specific items to transfer.
✌ Sync iCloud account - You can sync one iCloud account to other iCloud Account with ease.
✌ Wide compatibility: It supports all iPhone modes from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 15, and is perfectly compatible with different iOS versions.

Now, click the button below to install FoneTool and follow the steps to download photos from iCloud to iPhone quickly.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer, run FoneTool > Look for My iCloud from its left pane > Launch in with your iCloud account > After confirmation > Select Manage iCloud.

there was an error downloading this photo from your icloud photo library

Step 2. Tap the Photos icon, if you want to save all your pictures, tap Select All > After that, tap Download.

there was an error downloading this photo from your icloud photo library

Step 3. Then set a destination to save the files, select your iPhone > Tap Download to begin.

there was an error downloading this photo from your icloud photo library

In addition, if you want to send your iCloud photos to other iOS devices, you can tap Phone Transfer on the left pane > Choose iPhone to iPhone Transfer option to download them.

there was an error downloading this photo from your icloud photo library


Hopefully, one of these tips will help you successfully resolve the "There was an error downloading this photo from your iCloud library" issue. And if you want to view and download the iCloud photo more easily, FoneTool can be your best choice with power transfer and backup function.

Clara · Editor
Clara is an editor of FoneTool, she helps people with issues related to the area of iPhone, including iPhone data backup & restore & transfer & erase and so on. Helping people solute to their problems makes her happy. She loves her family and enjoys going to the movies.