How to Turn off iCloud Photos without Deleting Everything

Want to turn off iCloud Photos but worried about losing photos and videos? This guide will show you how to turn off iCloud Photos without deleting everything.


By Lena / Updated on May 31, 2024

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How Do I Turn off iCloud without Losing Photos

My iCloud storage is full and I don't need photo & video synchronization. So I want to turn off iCloud Photos and store everything just on my device.
But when I'm trying to turn off iCloud Photos it says all media will be deleted from my iPhone as well. How can I turn off iCloud without losing photos?

- Question from Apply Community

iCloud provides an easy way to help us backup and sync data across all devices. However, the free storage space is limited and now you find that your iCloud is full of photos and videos. In addition, iCloud may not be as secure as it seems. Recently, many users complained about corrupted videos and images from strangers appearing in photo library. It's a good idea to turn off iCloud and back up photos elsewhere.

iCloud Photos

You want to turn off iCloud Photos on iPhone to get rid of the message telling you iCloud Storage is Full, but you definitely do not want to lose your photos. After all, these photos are your precious memories. Don't worry too much, you will know how to turn off iCloud photos without deleting everything in this article.

You can try to delete duplicate photos on iCloud to free up space.
If you accidentally delete some photos, you can go to to restore deleted photos in the last 30 days from Recently Deleted album.

What Happens to Photos If you Turn off iCloud?

When you understand how iCloud Photos works, you'll know how to turn off iCloud Photos without deleting photos.

As long as your devices use the same iCloud account and iCloud Photos is enabled, iCloud Photos will save all photos and videos uploaded from all your devices. When you turn off iCloud Photos on iPhone or iPad, it will only remove photos from the device, the original photos are still in iCloud. There are two options for you to choose from if you want to turn off iCloud photos without losing pictures:

● Choose to remove iCloud photos from device and you can go to to check your photos.
● Choose to download iCloud Photos so that you can check them on your device offline.

When you turn off iCloud Photos on a single device, you can also check your photos on other devices as usual. For example, you can turn off iCloud Photos on iPad only to remove photos from iPad but keep on iPhone.

How to Turn off iCloud Photos without Deleting Everything

  • If you do not have much space left on your iPhone/iPad, you can backup your photos and then turn off iCloud Photos without having to worry about losing anything.
  • If you have enough local space to download iCloud photos on iPhone/iPad, you can skip down to Step 2 to see how to turn off iCloud Photos without deleting photos.

Step 1. Backup Your Photos

Before turning off iCloud Photos, it is recommended to backup your photos and videos first. In this way, you won't have to worry about losing important pictures due to incorrect operation.

You can go to to download them to computer or let transfer tool help you export photos from iPhone/iPad to computer. In addition, you can also choose to upload photos from iPhone to Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive or other cloud storage services.

Download Photos from

1. Open a browser and go to on your computer.

2. Login with your Apple ID and passcode to enter your iCloud account.

3. Choose Photos option and then you will see all photos & videos in iCloud.

Check iCloud Photos

4. Download photos to your computer.

Transfer Photos from iPhone/iPad to Computer

If you have a poor network connection, you can choose to transfer photos from iPhone/iPad to computer via USB cable. One easy-to-use iOS data transfer tool called FoneTool can do you a favor. The tool will display all your iPhone photo albums so that you can easily find the photos you want to transfer.

1. Download, install and launch FoneTool.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

2. Connect your iPhone to your computer and Trust FoneTool.

3. On the home interface, choose iPhone to PC option.

Transfer to Computer

4. Choose Photos and select the pictures you want to transfer.

Choose Photos

5. Select a path from Transfer Settings to save your photos and click Start Transfer to transfer full resolution photos from iPhone to computer.


Now that your photos are safely stored on your computer, you can turn off iCloud Photos without losing pictures.

Step 2. Turn off iCloud Photos

Go to Settings app app > Tap [your name] > Tap iCloud > Tap Photos > Turn off iCloud Photos. Then you will receive a prompt along with two options:

  • Remove Photos from iPad/iPhone - Quickly delete all iCloud photos & videos from your device.
  • Download Photos & Videos - Save all iCloud photos & videos on your device. Please make sure you have enough local space, otherwise, the download will fail due to insufficient storage.

Romove from iPhone

If you are running out of space on your iOS device, you can enable Optimize iPhone Storage option to reduce the amount of space the photos take up. In this way, then your iPhone will only store thumbnails on your device while the original photos & videos are saved on iCloud.

Final Words

That’s all about how to turn off iCloud Photos without deleting everything. Turning off iCloud Photos will not affect photos sorted in iCloud, but we recommend backing up your photos before turning it off to prevent any accidents.

When iCloud Photos is turned off, your photos won't be backed up to iCloud anymore. Do not forget to backup your photos to PC, external hard drive, USB flash drive or other cloud storage services.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.