Apple's 'My Photo Stream' Service Shuts Down on Wednesday, Here's What You Need to Do

Apple last month announced that its "My Photo Stream" service is set to shut down on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, which means customers who are still using that feature need to transition to using iCloud Photos before that date. Keep reading to learn what it means for you and whether you need to take action.

icloud photos

What is My Photo Stream?

Originally launched in 2011, My Photo Stream is a free service that when enabled temporarily uploads images (up to 1,000 at any given time) to iCloud, making them accessible across your Apple devices and available for importing to your library on any device. Photos remain in My Photo Stream for 30 days and are then automatically deleted from ‌iCloud‌.

My Photo Stream was later replaced by iCloud Photo Library (now ‌iCloud Photos‌) and Apple is now shutting down the My Photo Stream service on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

macos mojave photos my photo stream
To prepare for the shutdown, Apple stopped photo uploads to My Photo Stream on June 26, 2023, so any images uploaded to the service before that date will remain in ‌iCloud‌ for the usual 30 days until the shutdown point.

What Do I Need to Do?

If you already use ‌iCloud Photos‌, you don't need to do anything – your photos are already uploaded and stored in ‌iCloud‌. However, if you're not sure, you can check that ‌iCloud Photos‌ is enabled on all of your devices.

On iPhone and iPad

  1. Open the Settings app and tap your Apple ID at the top of the menu.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Make sure that it says "On" next to Photos.

settings

On Mac

  1. Click the Apple symbol () in your Mac's menu bar and choose System Settings.
  2. Click your ‌Apple ID‌ name at the top of the sidebar.
  3. Click iCloud.
  4. Make sure that it says "On" next to Photos.

settings

What to Do If You Don't Use iCloud Photos

‌Photos‌ in My Photo Stream are already stored on at least one of your devices in their original format, so as long as you have the device, you won't actually lose any photos when the service shuts down.

However, what you will lose is the ability to access these images on any device. If any photos you want aren't already in your library on a particular iPhone or iPad, one option is to turn on ‌iCloud Photos‌ using the steps above.

Note that ‌iCloud Photos‌ requires a paid ‌iCloud‌ subscription to go beyond the free 5GB ‌iCloud‌ storage limit, and it‌ is only available on iPhones and iPads running iOS 8.3 or later and Macs running OS X Yosemite or later.

Alternatively, you can save photos in My Photo Stream to your library on a particular device, as long as you do it before July 26. The following steps show you how.

Saving 'My Photo Stream' Photos to Your Photo Library

  1. Open the ‌Photos‌ app and tap Albums.
  2. Tap My Photo Stream, then tap Select.
  3. Tap the photos that you want to save, then tap the Share button (the square with an arrow pointing out).
  4. Choose Save Image.

If you own a Mac, you don't have to do anything – My Photo Stream photos automatically import to your library.

Top Rated Comments

nissan.gtp Avatar
10 months ago
I really like the current/old system. Synching photos from my phone to my Mac automatically was great (when it worked, which it didn't always do). I don't want my photos in the cloud, so the new solution is useless to me. Back to physical synching for me I guess.
Negative progress.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TarkinDale Avatar
10 months ago
This does seem to be aimed at forcing subscription take up by killing the basic feature of syncing between devices.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kaycrystal626 Avatar
10 months ago
Apple is getting so stingy on free stuff. That free 5GB cloud space is a joke compared to Google's 20GB for years!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
10 months ago
I wasn't at all happy about this. I sent feedback to Apple and I wrote to Craig Federighi. Photo Stream was one of those seamless and useful Apple creations that just worked. It was a perfect backup for my photos when I was on the road. I already have the premium iCloud storage option, but if I activated iCloud Photos, that entire storage would be instantly gobbled up because I shoot a lot of 4k video. And right now, iCloud Photos has no options except on or off. I'd use it if I could specify that only photos are synced, not videos. Then it would be useable for me.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
10 months ago

This is one of my pet hates with all of these Tech Companies. They start up these services, want buy in, and then half of them end up closing down within 5 or less years.
I mean, this post explains that it was around for 12 years.

--

It's not exactly the same as My Photo Stream but you can just turn on automatic wifi syncing with your iPhone on your Mac/PC and enable photo syncing. Your phone has to be on the same network and the auto sync isn't instant (manual is) but otherwise it's pretty similar.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
10 months ago
I think this post would have less potential for spreading incorrect information if the main Photos app icon wasn't emblazoned across the top.

I can see this post possibly leading to some people thinking Apple are shutting down Photos the app, or iCloud Photo Library.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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