What you need to know
- My Photo Stream is a feature that allows you to sync 30 days' worth of photos across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
- Apple will end support for My Photo Stream on July 26, 2023.
- You can replicate similar functionality by backing up your photos through OneDrive, which is available on several platforms.
Apple will end support for My Photo Stream on June 26, 2023. My Photo Stream is a free service that syncs photos and videos across your devices running iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Up to 1,000 images from the past 30 days currently sync through My Photo Stream, but that functionality is going away in a few weeks.
Our colleagues at iMore covered the cutoff and iCloud Photos, the Apple-based alternative many users will switch to. While iCloud Photos may be the most seamless way to sync photos and videos across your Apple hardware, it's not the only option. If you already have a Microsoft 365 account, you may prefer to back up your media through OneDrive.
Using OneDrive won't replicate the functionality of My Photo Stream exactly. One of the main benefits of My Photo Stream was that it was free. While you can get 5GB of OneDrive storage for free, you may have to pay for a subscription.
As companies shift toward subscription-based models for storage and services, you'll likely have to end up paying to store your files in the cloud one way or another. If Microsoft OneDrive is your cloud storage provider of choice, you're in luck.
OneDrive is available for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The version of OneDrive for iPhones and iPads has a built-in feature for backing up all of your photos. It's also possible to back up images through macOS, though the method is a bit different.
Back up iPhone photos to OneDrive
Backing up photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad to OneDrive is straightforward. Microsoft has a support document if you have more questions. Here's how to set it up.
Note that the following steps should work on an iPhone or iPad:
- Install the OneDrive app for iOS.
- Open OneDrive.
- Tap the Settings icon.
- Select Camera Upload.
- Enable Camera Upload to upload photos automatically.
- Select Include Videos if you'd also like your videos to be backed up.
The OneDrive app has handy settings for backing up content, such as Bedtime Backup. That feature uploads files faster but requires your device to be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi.
If you have an iPhone and/or iPad and a Windows PC, you're good to go and can stop here. But if you want to make sure all of the photos you have on your Mac make their way to OneDrive, follow the steps below.
Back up macOS photos to OneDrive
If you want to back up your macOS photos and videos to OneDrive, the easiest thing to do is back up your computer's folder that contains those files. As new images and videos are added to that folder, OneDrive will automatically sync them to the cloud. This is a different process than backing up photos through the OneDrive mobile app, but the result is the same.
A Microsoft support document breaks down the steps:
- Download and install OneDrive for macOS.
- Click the OneDrive icon to open the app's menu.
- Select the ellipses "..." to see more options.
- Select Preferences.
- Navigate to the Backup tab.
- Select Manage Back up.
- Select any folder you wish to back up.
While it's a shame that My Photo Stream is going away, both Apple and Microsoft have great options for backing up and saving photos across devices. If you already have a Microsoft 365 Personal account you have 1TB of OneDrive storage available, and backing up your photos is a great use of the cloud tech.
Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year
Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.