iCloud Photos Feature on Apple Devices

iCloud Photos automatically uploads and syncs all your images between all your Apple devices. It’s a great backup solution, but it might be eating up your Mac’s storage. Here’s how to disable iCloud Photos on Mac.

On Mac, the iCloud Photos feature works by using the Photos app. If you enabled the iCloud Photos option when you first set up your Mac, it means that the Photos app stores a low-resolution version of all the photos in your iCloud account. It downloads new photos and videos in the background, even if you’re not actively using the Photos app.

RELATED: What Is Apple's iCloud and What Does It Back Up?

Given how it works, it’s not uncommon for the photo library on your Mac to expand to 20GB or higher. And that’s just space taken up by photos that you don’t even use. You can reclaim the space by disabling the iCloud Photos feature on your Mac.

To do this, first, open the Photos app on your Mac. You can do this from the Dock or by using Spotlight Search.

Then, click the “Photos” button from the top menu bar and choose the “Preferences” option.

Go to the “iCloud” tab and uncheck the “iCloud Photos” option.

Disable iCloud Photos on Mac

Your Mac will now stop uploading and downloading new photos from the iCloud service. It will continue working on your iPhone and iPad.

Even after you disable the iCloud Photos service, you might notice that photos that were downloaded on your Mac are still there.

In the Photos app, go to the “Library” tab and select the photos that you want to delete. Then, right-click and choose the “Delete Photos” button. Alternatively, you can use the Delete key on your keyboard.

Delete Photos From Library in Photos App

Next, go to the “Recently Deleted” section from the sidebar and click the “Delete All” button.

From the pop-up, click the “Delete” button to confirm.

Now, your Mac will delete all the media from the local storage.

Older iCloud backups might be eating up storage space on your iCloud account. Here’s how to delete old iCloud backups on your iPhone or iPad.

RELATED: How to Disable and Delete iCloud Backup on iPhone and iPad

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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