Why My Photos Didn't Restore from iCloud? [Answered]

Why my photos didn’t restore from iCloud and how can I get lost photos back? This post will explain to you carefully and guide you to easily get rid of the problem. Keep reading!


By Ellie / Updated on June 14, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit


I got a new phone but before I erased all my data on it, I backed it up on iCloud. So, when I went to restore my phone with the iCloud backup. Everything went back on my phone except my photos. So why my photos didn’t restore from iCloud how can I get my photos back?

- Question from Apple Community

Why my photos didn’t restore from iCloud?

iCloud is a powerful cloud storage device that allows us to upload our photos, videos, Messages, Contacts... The data can be accessed on different iOS devices easily if you log into the same Apple account. There’s no doubt that it provides super convenience for the Apple user.

iCloud Logo

However, some users claim they encounter a problem that their photos didn’t restore from iCloud Backup when they change to a new device and choose “Restore from iCloud Backup”. For this reason, there are 5 possible reasons that can give an explanation to the case:

• iCloud Photo Library turned on
With iCloud Photo Library turned on, then the photos on your old device won’t be backed up on your iCloud Backup. As your photos and videos have already synced to iCloud. Therefore, the photos could not be restored from iCloud.

• Different iCloud account
If you own more than one Apple account, it’s not weird to confuse the iCloud account. Therefore, make sure your iCloud account on your new iPhone or iPad is the same as the old one. If it’s not, your photos won’t be synced to your new iPhone.

• iCloud feature of Photos is disabled

If you disable the Photos feature in iCloud, your photos will not be uploaded to iCloud and thus cannot be restored from iCloud. You can check whether it is enabled by going to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud. If it’s not, then the issue “photos didn’t restore from iCloud” will occur.

• Go over iCloud storage limitations
Another reason is that your iCloud storage reaches limitations. We know that iCloud only provides 5GB of free space for each user, thus the photos and other data won’t be transferred if you go over iCloud storage limitations. More space needs to be purchased.

How can I retrieve photos from iCloud?

After knowing the reason causing “photos didn't restore from iCloud backup”, let’s learn more about how to retrieve photos from iCloud.

Solution 1. Check iCloud Photo Library

As we mentioned, if the iCloud Photo Library is checked, then the photos won’t be saved in iCloud Backup. Therefore, navigate to Settings >  Your name > iCloud > Photos on your old device. After that, your photos will be backed up in iCloud Backup.

iCloud Photo Library

On your new device, choose “Restore from iCloud Backup” and the photos will be back then.

Restore from iCloud Backup

Solution 2. Restore from iTunes backup

If the photos didn’t be retrieved with the first solution, you can try to backup your iPhone to iCloud and then restore the backup from iCloud with iTunes. (It needs to be mentioned that all your data on your iPhone will be back up to iCloud with iTunes) Follow the steps to work it out.

Step 1. Prepare a USB cable and connect your old iPhone to your computer and launch the iTunes app. Select your device in the app, click on Summary, and hit Back Up Now

Backup with iTunes

Step 2. Once the backup is created, connect your new iPhone to your computer and open iTunes. Click on your device, click on Summary, and choose Restore Backup...

Restore Backup

Step 3. Choose your old iPhone backup to be restored on your new iPhone and you will be good to go. 

☞ Note: If you restore backup to your new iPhone, the existing data on your new iPhone will be erased.

Solution 3. Download iCloud photos

With the 2 solutions mentioned above, you may come through the problem. However, if the issue remains, logging into iCloud to view the photos and then download them is also a try.

Download on PC:

Step 1. Sign into iCloud.com and click on Photos.

icloud site

Step 2. Go to Library and you can see the photos in your iCloud. Select the photos you want and then click on the download icon. Choose a path and then you can download it to your PC. Finally, transfer the photos to your iPhone.

Download iCloud

Download on your iPhone:

Step 1. Go to Safari and enter iCloud.com.cn

Step 2. Click on Photos and then you’ll see your photos in iCloud.

Step 3. Select the photos you want and then click on the circle with three points icon. Select “Download” and confirm. Now the photos will come back to your new iPhone.

Download Photos from iCloud

Safely back up and restore iPhone photos [No Internet Requirement]

You may feel annoyed for “photos didn't restore from iCloud backup” and get tired to try the solutions one by one. If you are, how about trying a free & professional backup software--- FoneTool. With it, you can safely back up your photos and other important data on your iPhone to a PC with a few clicks and restore it when you need it. You can enjoy:

•Free of data loss. Unlike iTunes, the backup and recovery in FoneTool won’t have an effect on your existing data.

•Unlimited storage space. Compared to iCloud, FoneTool frees you from worrying about storage.

•Faster data backup. You can backup your data at a faster rate with FoneTool. And you can get selective or full backup within few minutes.

•Choose ahead of time. iCloud backups all your data without the choice, but you can select what you want to backup with FoneTool.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Download FoneTool. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable and tap “Trust” on your iPhone.

Step 2. Click Phone Backup > Locate Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Backup All

Step 3. Click an icon to enter Selection. After selecting the wanted files, click on OK to return.

Select Files

Step 4. Click on Start Backup in the lower-right corner and the files would be transferred from iPhone to computer within seconds.

Click Backup

When you restore your phone, you just connect your iPhone to computer, select the task in Backup Manager and click Restore.

Restore to Device

Final words

Why my photos didn’t restore from iCloud? In this post, we have illustrated the issue may be caused by the wrong setting of the Photo Library or Photo feature, a different iCloud account... Generally, by checking the Photo setting, backing up to iCloud and restoring with iTunes, downloading from the iCloud browser can get around the issue.

However, if you don’t want to be bothered by this kind of issue again, use FoneTool to doubly insure your data. In addition to backing up your iPhone, FoneTool also allows you to transfer data or erase your iPhone with a few clicks.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.