Fixed! iCloud Says “Your Photo and Video Library Is Being Prepared”

The iCloud for Windows helps you get iPhone photos on computer. However, you are greeted with the pop-up window saying “Your photo and video library is being prepared”. This guide can help you get rid of it and get iPhone photos on computer.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Your photo and video library is being prepared

I have had issue, where my photos are never downloaded into my iCloud Photo Library. I have reinstalled iCloud for Windows, but my tray icon Download pictures will always pop up a message “Your photo and video library is being prepared”. Anyone have any tips?

- Question from Apple Community

If you are using a Windows PC, Apple provides you with a convenient tool - iCloud for Windows to get access to any photos taken from your iOS devices. However, it feels clumsy, out of date, and, worst of all, unintuitive. And therein comes the issue.

Here in this guide, I will help you eliminate the error pop-up window you may be faced with when you intend to save iCloud photos to PC for second backup or manage, which says “Your photo and video library is being prepared”.

your photo and video library is being prepared

6 Fixes to eliminate “Your photo and video library is being prepared

There are kinds of issues that can make you unable to download from iCloud on computer. Just try the solutions below one after another until your trouble gets shot.

Fix 1. Check Apple System Status

The first thing you may need to do when you get troubles with Apple service is to check the Apple System Status. In this page, you can locate iCloud services and check whether they are working properly.

apple system status

If the signals next to iCloud services are green, they are operating normally. Then, skip to the fixes below. If it is not green, you may need to click the link to see if Apple comes up with useful suggestions or solutions.

Fix 2. Check iCloud Photos settings

iCloud Photos has a bunch of settings that makes it complicated and confusing to deal with at times. Therefore, chances are that photos haven’t downloaded from icloud backup because of wrong settings.

To see if you've correctly configured iCloud Photos to download your photos, go to the Photos Options window.

Step 1. Click the iCloud icon on the system tray > Click Open iCloud Settings.

Step 2. In the iCloud Settings windows, click Options... next to Photos.


Step 3. Make sure that both iCloud Photo Library and Download new photos and videos to my PC are enabled.


Fix 3. Disable antivirus or firewall software

Your iCloud may be prevented from accessing some services and lead to the pop-up window in iCloud “Your photo and video library is being prepared” if you use antivirus or firewall software.

You can switch off iCloud for Windows, disable antivirus software, and turn re-open iCloud for Windows to have a try.

Fix 4. Check for iCloud for Windows updates

Haven’t updated iCloud for a long time? Then you really should. If you haven’t set up automatic updates, then follow the steps to check for iCloud for Windows updates.

In the search box next to the Start menu, input Apple Software Update and click Enter > Locate and click it > Wait while the updater searches for available updates.

search for apple software update

If there’s an update for iCloud for Windows, select it and click install.

Fix 5. Sign out & in iCloud account

Signing out iCloud account and in again s another viable method to eliminate the error window “Your photo and video library is being prepared”.

Step 1. On the iCloud settings, click Sign out in the bottom-left corner > On the confirmation pop-up box, click Delete from PC.

Step 2. After signing out of iCloud account, restart your PC and sign back into iCloud for Windows to try again.

sign in

Fix 6. Restart iCloud service

If photos haven’t downloaded from iCloud backup still, you can force iCloud to shut-down, which is pretty useful to completely refresh iCloud services.  

Step 1. Right-click the taskbar, and then select Task Manager.

Step 2. Under the Processes tab, select and end the processes iCloud, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Photo Steam, and iCloud Services.

force quit icloud service

Finally, open iCloud for Windows again. Hopefully, you won’t be greeted in the window when download the photos and videos again.

Bouns: Best iCloud alternative to manage iPhone photos

With iCloud for Windows, your iPhone and computer can sync any changes made to photos seamlessly. However, the unexpected bugs or errors will let you down again and again. Are you looking for an iCloud alternative for iPhone to help you manage iPhone photos?

The professional iOS data transfer and backup software - FoneTool is highly recommended. You can download the tool to your computer by clicking the icon below and enjoy its fabulous services.

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

How to transfer photos from iPhone to computer

The iPhone to PC function lets you browse and choose the photos and other types of files you’d like to transfer from iPhone to computer. Follow the three simple steps to make it.

Step 1. Connect iPhone to computer with USB > Launch FoneTool and click Phone Transfer > Mouse over to iPhone to PC and click Start Transfer.

transfer to computer

Step 2. Click the + icon > Check Photos icon to preview and choose the photos you want to transfer to computer > Click OK to confirm.

choose photos

Step 3. Finally, choose a destination from Transfer Settings to save the photos > Click Start Transfer to start.


You can also rely on the transfer functions of FoneTool to transfer data from one Apple ID to another and transfer more data with less restrictions.

Selectively backup iPhone photos

Different from iCloud, FoneTool allows you to backup iPhone photos to computer selectively. Besides, FoneTool provides you with incremental backup solution, making every backup individual. Here are the steps.

Step 1. Connect iPhone to computer > Launch FoneTool and click Phone Backup > Locate Selective Backup and click Get Started.

selective backup

Step 2. Click the Photos icon to preview and select the needed photos and click OK to return.

selective pictures

Step 3. Click Start Backup and your photos would be backed up to computer in seconds.

click on backup

When the backup is finished, you can go to the Backup History page to browse the backup at any time you want.


Is the window “Your photo and video library is being prepared” eliminated after trying the solutions above? You should know that iCloud for Windows is not the only option you can get iPhone files on computer. Just try FoneTool to get iPhone photos on your computer with no effort. Any thoughts? Do contact us and share with us.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.