How to transfer Google Photos to iCloud Photos


Google Photos was launched back in 2015, with lucrative marketing around one feature — free unlimited storage for “High” quality photos. However, the company has recently announced that the feature is being discontinued due to growing demand. It appealed to not only Android users but also iOS users for more than five years now.

Starting on 1st July 2021, new photo and video uploads will count toward the free 15 GB storage included with every Google account. In their blog post, Google also mentioned that 28 billion photos and videos are uploaded every week, with over 4 trillion photos in total.

Having said that, photos and videos that users have already uploaded on Google Photos in the last few years won’t count toward the free storage. Hence, your existing content will remain stored.

Still, if you are an iOS user with years of personal media stored on Google Photos, maybe it’s a good time for you to consider switching to iCloud. Currently, Google’s storage upgrade paths run $1.99/mo for 100 GB, $2.99/mo for 200 GB, $9.99/mo for 2 TB, and beyond.

In comparison, iCloud storage upgrades start at $0.99/mo for 50 GB, $2.99/mo for 200 GB, and $9.99/mo for 2 TB. Although the prices are basically the same, you get the comfort of Apple’s seamless ecosystem. Additionally, you can get the Apple One monthly bundle for 50 GB of iCloud storage and access to other premium Apple services, including TV+, Arcade, Music, etc.

If you are deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem, check out this guide to transfer photos and videos from Google Photos to iCloud with ease.

Exporting photos and videos from Google Photos

The first step to transferring Google Photos to iCloud is to download all the photos and videos saved to your Google Photos library. Here’s how to do it in one go.

  1. First, go to from a new tab in your current browser.
  2. Click the “Deselect all” option, then scroll down and tick the box next to Google Photos.
  3. Now scroll down to the end and click Next step. You should now be able to select the export frequency, file type, size, and download method.
  4. After you select your preferred export options, click the Create export button below.
    Soon, you will see the “Export progress” message. Note that it might take somewhere between hours to days to export all your photos and videos.
  5. You will receive an email from Google once the download is ready. Open the link in the email to download the zip file.

If you don’t want to transfer all your photos and videos from Google Photos, simply head over to and choose the ones you wish to export.

All you have to do is click the circular icon on the top-left corner of the photos and videos to select them, then click the three-dot kebab menu icon above and choose Download.

Importing Google Photos to iCloud Photos

Now that you have your photos and videos exported from Google Photos, here’s how you can import them to iCloud:

From the web

  1. First, visit and sign in with your Apple ID account.
  2. Select Photos from the iCloud page, then click the upload (cloud with an up-arrow) icon in the menu bar.
  3. Assuming you already have unzipped the exported file, manually select the photos and videos you would like to upload to iCloud Photos.

From a Mac

Importing Google Photos to iCloud is straightforward in case you have a Mac computer.

  1. Start with launching the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Now open the Finder app and go to the Downloads folder or wherever you have stored the exported file.
  3. Double-click the .zip file to uncompress it. After that, you can now drag and drop the photos and videos to the Photos app to upload them.
  4. Next, go to the Preferences menu from the Photos app and select iCloud.
  5. Make sure that the box next to iCloud Photos is checked so that the uploaded photos and videos sync with your iPhone and iPad devices.

This is how you transfer your personal media from Google Photos to iCloud Photos. By default, Apple offers 5 GB of free iCloud storage, but you need to pay for more iCloud storage if the transferred media exceeds the storage limit.


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