Photos on iPhone

With Photo Stream, you can take a series of pictures with your iPhone while on a day trip and view them on your iPad, Mac or Apple TV automatically over wi-fi, without needing to sync anything. The best part is that it works without iCloud Photo Library, so you don't have to use up your iCloud Storage to view your most recent photos on all your Apple devices.

My Photo Stream stores the last 30 days worth of pictures (up to 1000) but has some limits. You can upload 1,000 photos to My Photo Stream per hour, 10,000 per day, or 25,000 per month.

If you do have iCloud Photo Library enabled, My Photo Stream is not necessary. This guide is for people that don't store their pictures in iCloud but do want to view them on all of their devices.

What's the difference between iCloud Library and My Photo Stream?

Note: If iCloud Photo Library is turned on for any of your devices, the most recent photos will be uploaded to iCloud and appear in the All Photos section of the Photos App. If you have both iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream enabled, new photos from iPhone or iPad that don't have iCloud Photo Library enabled will not upload to it unless you have iCloud Photo Library enabled on the Photos App on your Mac, in which case all photos will upload to iCloud via your Mac.

How to enable My Photo Stream on your iPhone or iPad

If you don't store your photos in iCloud Photo Library, but still want to view them on all of your devices, follow the steps below on your iPhone and iPad.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Photos & Camera.
  3. Toggle the Upload to My Photo Stream switch on.

    Tap Settings,then tap Photos & Camera, then turn on My Photo Stream

You can disable My Photo Stream by following the same steps above. If you turn it off, you can choose to keep or remove all photos on your device.

How to enable My Photo Stream in iOS 11

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Photos.
  3. Tap the switch next to My Photo Stream.

    Launch Settings, tap Photos, tap the switch next to My Photo Stream

You can disable it by following the same steps.

How to access your My Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, all of your My Photo Stream photos will automatically upload to the All Photos section of the Photos app. If you don't have iCloud Photo Library enabled on one devices, like your iPhone, but you do on another device, like your iPad, photos won't upload to your secondary device unless you have iCloud Photo Library enabled on your Mac, in which case all of your photos will upload to iCloud Photo Library via your Mac.

If you are only using My Photo Stream on all of your devices, here's how to access them.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Albums in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap My Photo Stream.

    Tap Photos, then tap Albums, then tap My Photo Streams

Remember, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, all new pictures will appear in the All Photos section of the Photos app on all of your devices with the feature enabled. You won't see an album called "My Photo Streams."

How to delete photos from My Photo Stream on your iPhone and iPad

If you just took a picture on your iPhone that you definitely don't want to keep, you can delete it from My Photo Stream, which will also delete it from any other devices that only have My Photo Stream enabled. Remember, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled on your Mac and any other device, these pictures will be uploaded into iCloud and you'll have to delete them from the All Photos section of the Photos app if you want them erased entirely.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Albums in the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap My Photo Stream.

    Tap Photos, then tap Albums, then tap My Photo Streams

  4. Tap a photo you want to delete.
  5. Tap the Trash icon in the bottom right.
  6. Tap Delete [x] Photos to confirm that you want to delete the photos from My Photo Streams on all devices.

    Tap a photo, then tap Trash, then tap Delete photos

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to use My Photo Stream on your iPhone and iPad? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

Updated August 2017: Added steps and screens for the current iOS 11 beta.

iCloud Photo Library: The Ultimate Guide

Main