Why are Photos Taking up Space on Mac When I Have iCloud?

Move Photos to iCloud
Move Photos to iCloud

iCloud is a popular cloud storage service. It allows users to store and sync content such as photos, music, and documents. When you start using iCloud, you can access the content that is saved on iCloud on all your Apple devices as long as these devices share one iCloud account. iCloud includes features like Find My, which is used to locate your lost devices. iCloud definitely offers a convenient way for Apple users to manage content across their devices online.

But some users find that their photos still occupy much space on their Mac, although they already have iCloud. This situation may be caused by several reasons, such as the local caches and shared albums. If you have the same problem, this post here will list 5 reasons which can be referenced.

  • Set up iCloud Photos Wrong: Your iCloud Photos may not turn on or incorrectly set up. Therefore, the photos can’t be uploaded to iCloud but only kept on your Mac.
  • Optimize Storage is not Enabled: When you enable iCloud Photos on the Mac, you have to select the option to optimize storage. If not, your original, full-resolution photos will take up the space on your Mac.
  • Import Photos Recently: If you import new photos to your Mac recently, you may need to wait for some time for iCloud to upload these photos.
  • Keep Local Caches: After you access the photos, it may have local caches which take up a lot of your computer space.
  • Share Albums: When you share albums with others, the photos in the albums will be downloaded, which occupies the local storage.

You can check with the above 5 reasons to see if these cause your iCloud not to work well. Some new iCloud users may have the question “How Do I Move Photos from Mac to iCloud”. The next parts will show 4 ways to solve this question.

How to Move Photos from Mac to iCloud: 1 Rounded Way

This section will show you a rounded and free way for moving photos from Mac to any cloud drive by using MultCloud. MultCloud serves to manage 30+ brands of cloud drives. With MultCloud, you don’t need to open various web pages if you want to upload photos to different clouds. Also, you don’t need to wait a long time for the complete migration. Because the transfer speed is quite fast.

Upload Photos from Mac to iCloud via MultCloud

Step 1: Enter the MultCloud website and get a MultCloud account by clicking on “Sign up Free”.

Step 2: Click “Add Cloud” and the icon of iCloud Photos. Then, a pop-up window will show up for logging in to your iCloud Photos account. Here you may have to go through the two-factor authentication.

Add iCloud Photos
Add iCloud Photos

Step 3: Open iCloud Photos in the left sidebar and click “Upload File”.

Click Upload File
Click Upload File

Step 4: Select photos that you want to move from your Mac to iCloud and click the button “Open”. Then, the photos you selected will be saved in iCloud Photos.

  • Cloud Transfer: Easily transfer one cloud to another cloud.
  • Cloud Sync: Sync files between clouds automatically.
  • Cloud Backup: Backup one cloud to another cloud in a secure way.
  • Share: Share clouds and record the shared content.
  • Remote Upload: Transfer files from links, torrents, and magnet links to cloud drives.

How to Move Photos from Mac to iCloud: 3 Common Ways

There are 3 other ways to transfer photos from Mac to iCloud. But these ways can be only used on how to move all photos from mac to iCloud, not other clouds. Besides, when you follow the ways showed below, you have to wait for a period before all your photos are moved to iCloud, because the transfer speed of iCloud is not very quick.

Way 1: Upload Photos from Mac via iCloud.com

Step 1: Enter iCloud.com and log in to your iCloud account.

Step 2: Click “Photos” in the interface and tap the upload icon.

Tap the Upload Icon
Tap the Upload Icon

Step 3: Select photos on your computer and click “Open”. Then your photos are uploaded to iCloud.

Way 2: Save Photos from Mac to iCloud via Photos App

Step 1: Open Photos app on your desktop and click “Photos” and “Preference” in the upper-left corner.

Step 2: Choose iCloud and tick the box of iCloud Photos. Then, choose “Optimize Mac Storage”. And the photos on your Mac will be automatically moved to iCloud.

Tick the Box of iCloud Photos
Tick the Box of iCloud Photos

Way 3: Transfer Photos to iCloud via System Settings

Step 1: Open System Settings by clicking the Apple icon in the desktop’s top left corner.

Step 2: Tap your Apple ID and open iCloud in the right part of the interface.

Step 3: Turn on the button at the end of the line of Photos. Then you need to enter your password and click “OK”. The photos on your Mac will be transferred to iCloud.

Turn on Photos
Turn on Photos


If you finish reading this post, there is no doubt that you have learned more things about iCloud. You can learn 5 reasons on the question why your photos take up the Mac storage although you have iCloud. Also, you can learn 1 rounded solution on how to move photos from Mac to iCloud using MultCloud. 3 common methods are offered to you, too. They are moving through iCloud.com, System Settings, and the Photos app.

If you are interested in the first way, it is a good opportunity to start using MultCloud. It can not only be used to move photos from local position to iCloud but also be used on Cloud Transfer, Cloud Sync, Cloud Backup, and other useful functions. If you have a need to backup iCloud Photos to Google Photos automatically, MultCloud will be your best helper.

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