Why You Should Disable iCloud Photo Library (& What to Use Instead)

One of the new features in iOS called iCloud Photo Library is definitely not helping. This feature, while in theory, allows you to backup all of your photos and videos on any of your iOS or MacOS devices to the cloud, takes up precious iCloud storage and adds up really quickly. Most people I know have run out of storage just from iCloud backups (another issue I have with iOS, but I digress) so adding this is almost a sure-fire way to guarantee you run out of iCloud storage.

There is a better way though. I touched on this in a video a long time ago about backing up your photos and videos but think we need to revisit the concept. You should turn off iCloud Photo Library and instead use another free service like, say, Google Photos which automatically backs up all of your photos and videos in an unlimited quantity for free.

So here’s how we do that.


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Isaiah Martinez says:

Why are you freezing when you talk

saza23 says:

I paid $1 a month for iCloud storage yet my photo library is still full because I have more than 15,000 photos on my iPhone. Now it keeps nagging me to upgrade to 200 GB storage lol.

Egemen Bora Uysal says:

Keep tips coming

Tran Nguyen says:

You’re right I never used iCloud for backup photos and music. Don’t forget to turn off the iCloud Drive too.

Abdulaziz Inuwa says:

damn bro! really great video. Appreciate this.

Phantom Stuff says:

If u delete them on the photo Library Library do they stay on there

Tim9905 says:

Yes, this is the way i am using exactly same as you.
I always turn off that useless iCloud Photo Library, and love using google photos app and
sync between windows pc.
I only use for backup for my iPhone.

mallikarjun.s Sidanna says:

This one really helped meeeee

HunterHQ says:

Wait if you turn it off does all of your photos and videos delete??

Jose M says:

I disabled the my ICloud photos from my iPhone but some of the photos still show up ?

Dylan says:

First off, this isn’t even remotely new, iCloud library has existed for over 2 years so I’m already questioning your knowledge of apple products. Secondly, if you’re integrated into the Apple ecosystem and have more than just an iPhone the $1 / mth makes much more sense, especially with apple’s new compression file format for photos and videos. It’s much easier to be able to use third party apps to edit the photos and have the edits be instantly available on other devices rather than having the Google app convert the photos to JPEG then have you download them individually onto your phone / computer to edit them then reupload them to the app.

It kills the fluidity of the ecosystem, takes a step back and also gives Google access to all your photos and you could accidentally make your entire library public at the flip of a switch. To that you may say well hey didn’t a bunch of people get their icloud photos hacked, yes they did but what they failed to make clear in the news of that was that it was done through phishing emails, fake emails sent to people asking for their password which they put in because they’re dumb. Anyways you get my drift, if you have an iPhone you can afford the $1 a month to fuel the system and your life will be made much easier with your photos easily available to you all the time and all the time uploading rather than you having to download a photo to use it and then remember to check if the app is backing up your photos.

v1d300 says:

9.4TB!? What are you storing with Google?

Mihai Pascu says:

Thanks, you just saved me 1$ per month which my life depended on, I will go with google photos even though it doesn’t keep my original photos and resize all my 4K video to 1080p and the overall integration with my ecosystem is much worse.

Joe King says:

This information is extremely useful. Thanks!

Brennan Ball says:

It’s not that big of a deal because it’s cheap for more storage. Also I love iCloud Photo Library because I can access them anywhere and on every device and it helps since it is part of the ecosystem. Way easier since it is built in so it’s easy to access. I don’t have to use a 3rd
Party system like google photos where it’s harder to use and I have to download an app

Uma Haq says:

Thanks so much help. If you delete photos on I cloud , does it delete on google photos too?

Alex Lesyk says:

Very nice tip and trick but there is a problem for those of us who are iPhone users. When sending a text and wanting to attach a photo, Google Photos is not an option. Thanks for the insightful video and keep up the great work.

Damion Roberson says:

****Misleading, I will say you did a great job with the production of this video and overall quality of what we are seeing but your giving dangerous incorrect information. Please educate yourself with the benefits of both services before jumping out there with a video like this. Most people only care about photos so that’s why iCloud Photo Library was created. It doesn’t have a MP cap and you can upload not only the photos in your mobile device but all the high res photos from a SLR that your computer is holding. Your opinion is a great idea for people who aren’t lazy and have educated themselves on backing up their data but for most people who don’t understand how this all works your telling them to remove a service that keeps their data safe. Google photos is a great free service but it still cost money and your data isn’t secure. You’re also not telling people the bad things about the google photos application on iOS. If someone wants to upload all their photos to the app and delete them off their device, they cannot re-download that picture to their iOS device camera roll. Google photos removed this feature which defeats the purple of the application. Please remove this video or make a video strictly promoting google photos for iOS devices.

Traveler Techie says:

I leave the iCloud Photo library enabled, but I enabled OneDrive to backup all my iPhone photos there. I pay for a 365 subscription anyways, and that includes a 1 TB storage.

It saves both photos and videos in their original quality, and they are immediately on my computer for use.

ThatAsianKid says:

It deleted all my fucking photos and videos and now I don’t know how to get them back. Can someone please help me get them back

Anony Mouse says:

I got to the part where he said “people run out of storage”. Then thought, if you have an empty 2 TB local hard drive and photo edit once a year then you’ll never need to buy icloud storage, so gave up watching the video.

Frederico Ventura says:

(((Google photos no money at all))) good advice man you just forgot to say that the moment you put your photos there they become google property and has a advertisement company they will sell you.
In my opinion it’s better business to pay my cloud service that being ripped in my personal information and worse my photos.

Crackie says:

Finally I found how to close that annoying popup and free out some cloud storage! Thanks brotha♥

XxHaleyRoblox says:

Omg this totally worked thank you so so much!

mysterio __ says:

My device doesn’t have an iCloud storage, so does that means my device is a fake ? But the s pen is working fine.

Samuel Greenway says:

If you turn off iCloud storage library, the pictures will then be in your backup file. With iCloud on, photos are not in the backup file.

Anusha Prajapati says:


Emile van Zeeland says:

Also use Flickr side to Google photos. At Flickr you (still) get 1 tb of free storages in full resolution. No iCloud for me either.

cool kid1 says:

lol, just buy google pixel 2 xD

Jose Castro says:

Great video, maybe you forgot to mention that google photos should be open so you can upload it “automatically” and that it’s too slow. I have the same issue with YouTube red, Spotify. I switched to iCloud storage and Apple Music for convenience because only these services will sync in the background.

Chemy Torres says:

It’s nice to have options, nice tutorial.

americanv8ss says:

Why would you give your photos to google? lol

Austin McNair says:

The problem with Google Photos is that it’s not actually free: you are paying for it with your private data. They use it for marketing, research, face recognition, “3rd party services,” and essentially are making a huge profit off of your data which you agree to in their terms of service. Additionally, Apple’s default photo format is PNG which has higher quality in colors than JPEG (a lossy format, meaning you lose quality for editing). This is why a 4mb photo in PNG turns into a 1.5mb JPEG in Google’s “high quality” format, perhaps even less once they compress it.
Apple is HEAVILY committed to protecting privacy. So much so that the FBI complains about it. One might ask, “why should I be concerned about privacy?” Watch the documentary about Snowden and the NSA. If you still don’t care, more power to ya.

Scott Wallace says:

What you call a downside, for many, including me, is a great feature. I get that it will eat up storage. But just as you chose to have an unlimited data cellular plan (me too, gotta have it), I choose to have enough storage to allow for my photo library to be automatically and seamlessly managed. I make a change on my iPhone, then it shows up with those changes on my iPad and MacBook Pro. No uploading/downloading/nuking duplicates, etc. So again, just as you could save $10/20/30 bucks a month with a more limited cell data plan, anyone could save $10 a month and explore third party options for cheaper storage. But just as you see value in unlimited data, I see value in paying $9.99/mo. for 1TB of storage and seamless management of what has become the most important feature in a smartphone: the camera and resulting photos. My two cents.

dragngt says:

Personally, I think it’s worth paying a small amount of money for your privacy than giving it up to save a buck or two per month. Our personal information is going to be a commodity in the future if not now. We just saw how much data Facebook has on everyone.

Honestly, back up the phone every 3 months and delete photos of your dinner and the 4-15 selfies you shot before getting the right one and you’ll almost never run out of space.

Kel DoLL says:

GREAT video..i had to delete dropbox off my pc becuz of this very reason..
Love Google photos

Bella Swan says:

Should I just turn it off and only reactivate it when I know that I’m going to go buy a new phone soon so that way I can keep my photos?

Thatcher Family Travels says:

GREAT video. Someone please answer, what can I do about my videos. Thats what takes up all the space.

Daniel R. says:

I have a 256GB iPhone X and a 512GB 12.9 iPad Pro 2.. I never use iCloud for photo backups. I hate iCloud. This was helpful, but is there anything that can back up my videos? It’s the videos that take up A LOT of my storage!

Phillip Hoppa says:

This guy needs to do his research. READ GOOGLES TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Google can do what they please with your photos, I would trust Apples privacy and security over anyone else.

Michael Mesolella says:

I tried Google free compressed photos but it was using storage space even though the photos were less than 16 MP. So I gave up and switched back to iOS and pay Apple.

Getdrew69 says:

Very awesome information, i have been baffled by this “CLOUD” crap. I am going to do exactly what you have explained. Much appreciated!

Brian Rebs says:

I saw somethin familiar in your photos then i turned around and there was in my table the same wework coffe mug LOL

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