Apple has announced that it will permanently shut down its My Photo Stream service effective July 26, 2023. The company has notified some customers via e-mail about the service’s impending discontinuation. Here’s what you need to know to avoid losing any precious pictures.
What is My Photo Stream?
My Photo Stream is an older Apple service, introduced in iOS 5.1, OS X Lion 10.7.5, tvOS 5.0, and also available in iCloud for Windows.
According to Apple, “My Photo Stream uploads your most recent photos (except Live Photos) so that you can view and import them to another device, if you like. Photos are stored in My Photo Stream for 30 days and then are deleted from iCloud.” Up to 1,000 photos may be on the service at any given time.
Am I currently using My Photo Stream?
To identify whether you’re currently using My Photo Stream, you’ll need to look for an album called “My Photo Stream” on each individual device you own. On your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, open the Photos app, tap on Albums, and look for an album called My Photo Stream.
If Photos > Albums > My Photo Stream doesn’t exist on a particular device, then that device isn’t using the legacy Apple service. But be sure to check your other devices as well, including any older devices, as this is a device-specific feature.
How can I ensure that my photos won’t get deleted?
The best way to ensure that all your photos are safely backed up is to enable iCloud Photos on every device you own. The iCloud Photos service synchronizes your pictures across all of your devices.
How to enable iCloud Photos on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
On an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, open Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud and ensure that Photos is set to “On.” If it isn’t set to On, simply tap Photos and then enable the “Sync this iPhone” (or iPad, or iPod touch) option.
How to enable iCloud Photos on a Mac with macOS Ventura or Sonoma
On a Mac with macOS Ventura (or macOS Sonoma beta), go to Apple menu > System Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud and ensure that Photos is set to “On.” If it isn’t set to On, simply click Photos and then enable the “Sync this Mac” option.
How to enable iCloud Photos on a Mac with macOS Monterey or earlier
On a Mac with macOS Monterey or earlier, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and ensure that Photos is checked. If it isn’t checked, simply click to enable the checkbox next to Photos.
How can I learn more?
For more details about the sunsetting of the My Photo Stream service, see Apple’s support page, Information about the My Photo Stream shutdown.
Apple’s support site also has more information about how to set up and use iCloud Photos, including how to enable it for an Apple TV or a Windows PC.
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