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iCloud Photos to Google Photos: How to Transfer Directly

Ahead, tech companies forced by lawmakers to offer more data portability options in the United States and elsewhere, Apple has taken proactive steps and started offering new options on the Data & Privacy website, following it to see how to transfer photos. iCloud directly to Google Photos and other supported services coming in the future.


When the GDPR came into effect in the EU in May 2018, Apple introduced a data and privacy portal to allow users to view and download their data. This feature will then arrive for residents in the United States and Canada, the United States, Australia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland in October 201


Now, in an update to its data and privacy tools, Apple has rolled out a feature to transfer iCloud photos directly to Google Photos (Videos too) .Google Photos is the only service joining right now. But more will become available over time.

In particular, the move from iCloud Photos to Google Photos will be less attractive, as it will later end free unlimited storage in June 2021, but there are still a variety of use cases to come.

Other details to note: Transferring iCloud Photos to Google Photos with this new tool from Apple will not delete anything from iCloud, but simply duplicate it and transfer it directly to Google Photos. Some RAW files will not transfer. (But it looks like your Live Photos are still transferring fine).

How to transfer iCloud photos directly to Google Photos

Apple notes, you will need to make sure that:

  • You’re using iCloud Photos to store photos and videos with Apple.
  • Your Apple ID uses two-factor authentication.
  • You have a Google account to use Google Photos.
  • Your Google account has enough storage space for money transfers.

If you’re ready:

  1. Go to the Apple Data & Privacy login page (https://privacy.apple.com).
  2. Log in with the Apple ID where you want to transfer iCloud photos and videos.
  3. Under the third option below “Transfer a copy of your data” Click “Request a copy of your data”
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Google Photos as the transfer destination.
  5. Choose whether you want to transfer photos, videos, or both. Click Continue.
  6. Make sure you have enough storage on Google Photos.
  7. Sign in to your Google account where you want to transfer your iCloud photos / videos to.
  8. Allow Apple to add photos and videos to your Google Photos account.
  9. Finally, double check your details and press the button. “Confirm the transfer”

Apple says the process takes 3-7 days and you will receive a confirmation email when it’s finished. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

  How to transfer iCloud photos to Google Photos instructions 1
  How to transfer iCloud photos to Google Photos instructions 2

Follow the instructions to confirm you have enough space for Google Photos to transfer.

When you’re prompted to sign in, enter the Google Account email you want to send photos and videos to. (This is a bit confusing, as the graphics almost make it look like Apple is asking for your Apple ID login.)

The last two steps are allowing Apple to submit your content to Google Photos and a final verification:

For all the fine print for how this feature works, check out Apple’s support documentation, but here are some highlights.

  • The transfer includes copies of the photos and videos you have stored in iCloud Photos linked to your Apple ID. The formats include: .jpg, .png, .webp, .gif, some RAW files, .mpg,. mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v ,. 3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.
  • Only the most recent photo edits will be transferred, not the original version. Duplicates appear as only one image.
  • Whenever possible, the photos will be transferred along with their albums. Videos will be transferred separately without albums.
  • When transferred to Google, the album and video file names will begin with “Copy of”.
  • Some content, including shared albums, smart albums, photo stream content, live photos, some metadata, as well as photos and videos stored in another folder or location, will not be transferred at all.

How to transfer your Apple data to other services

For now, Google is the only participating partner for the iCloud photo transfer option directly from Apple, but Apple seems to be adding more options in the future. This may include direct transfers for different types of Apple data in addition to iCloud Photos.

However, you can manually download and move your data to the service of your choice. Follow our step-by-step guide on this:

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