Prior to versions iOS 8, when you transfer photos to iCloud from your iOS device, you were limited to just uploading, viewing, downloading and deleting these photos from your iOS device. Now, thanks to the iCloud Photo Library (beta) feature that is available with the Photos app for iOS 8.1, you can do a lot more with your photos in the cloud. For instance you can automatically upload your photos and videos to iCloud, not just from your iOS device, but also from your PC. In this iOS guide, we take a look at how you can directly transfer photos to iCloud from a Windows PC. The same process works even for your videos.
2 Ways to Transfer Photos to iCloud
The first thing you need to do on your iOS 8.1 device is turn on the iCloud Photo Library feature. To do that:
1. Make sure you are signed in to iCloud on your iPhone. Go to Settings->iCloud and sign in with your Apple ID if you haven’t already done so.
2. Then tap on Photos.
3. In the next screen, tap on iCloud Photo Library (Beta) to automatically upload and store your entire photo and video library in the cloud.
4. Now head over to your iCloud account on the web and sign in with your Apple ID.
5. On the Home screen click on the Photos app.
6. In the iCloud Photos page you will see your Moments and Albums tabs with all your photos and videos showcased. At the top of the screen, you will also notice an option called Upload. Click Upload.
7. In the File Upload dialog box, navigate to the folder on your PC where you have your images for upload, select them all and click Open.
Alternately, you can simply drag photos from your PC onto the iCloud Photo app on your web browser to upload them. When your photos are uploading you will notice a minimalistic progress bar at the bottom of the screen and you can stop an upload any time you want to.
That’s it! Once all the images are upload to iCloud, they will be synced to all your iOS devices that are linked to the same account.
At present, iCloud Photo Library automatically stores photos and videos in JPEG, RAW, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and MP4 formats. The MP4 videos however are not supported on Firefox at the moment, so you will have to use a different browser such as Safari 8 and up or Google Chrome 28 or up to make it work.
iCloud Photo Library is a very handy feature that also manages the size of your Photo library automatically. What it does is maintain the original high quality photos in iCloud, while keeping a device optimized version across your devices. If you have enough storage space on your device, then it will show you all your recent photos at full resolution. Just go to Settings-> iCloud-> Photos or Settings-> Photos & Camera-> iCloud Photo Library and tap Optimize iPhone storage to enable the feature.