by Anthony 

April 7, 2021

Using Apple’s Bulk Transfer Feature

Apple has introduced a bulk transfer feature that makes transferring pictures and videos from iCloud to Google Photos simple.

Log in to privacy.apple.com using your Apple ID. Choose 'Request to Transfer a Copy of Your Data', and Google Photos as the destination. Decide to transfer photos, videos, or both. Allow Apple to connect to your Google account and confirm the transfer.

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You will receive an email from Apple confirming when they have completed the transfer. However,  you can always check the status of the transfer by logging back into privacy.apple.com. Just be aware that they do say the process can take between 3 and 7 days, depending on how many pictures and videos you have to transfer.

If you’re not willing to wait that long, there is another way which I’ll explain in just a second, but first, let’s walk through each of those steps for using Apple’s bulk transfer process with screenshots.

Start by opening your Internet Browser, navigate to the URL, https:// privacy.apple.com, and log in using your Apple ID.

imaging showing how to sign in using apple id

Choose, ‘Request to Transfer a Copy of Your Data’.

Image displaying option to transfer data

Select Google Photos as the destination and choose whether you wish to transfer photos, videos, or both.

imaging showing Google Photos as transfer destination
imaging showing option to transfer photos videos or both

Apple will tell you how many photos and videos you have stored in iCloud and warn you that you’ll need the appropriate amount of storage available in your Google account for the transfer to complete successfully. Google offers 15GBs of data for free when you sign up for a Google account. If your photos and videos amount to more than that, you’ll likely need to purchase additional storage.

warning messaging confirming storage availability on Google photos

You are then asked to sign in with your Google Account details and allow Apple permission to complete the transfer.

imaging showing option to allow apple to access google photos

To complete the process, click Confirm Transfer.

imaging showing option to confirm image transfer from apple to google photos

How To Use Backup and Sync To Transfer Your Photos from iCloud To Google Photos.

Using an Apple Mac:

If you’d rather not wait for Apple to work their magic, the alternative is to use Google’s free Backup and Sync utility for both Windows and Mac. You can download the tool directly from Google Photos by clicking on Utilities, and Backup Photos From Your Computer. Or, alternatively, Google “Backup and Sync”, click on the first result and you’ll find the link to download it there.

I’ll demonstrate the process on Mac first and then show you how it works on Windows.

Mac users, you’ll need to ensure all your photos held in iCloud are being synced to your computer. To do this go to Preferences in the Photos App and click on the iCloud icon.

the preferences menu option in Photos app on Mac

You want to ensure that the radio button to Download Originals to this Mac is selected. This ensures a complete copy of all your photos is both held in the cloud and on the computer.

the option to download iCloud photos to Photos app on mac

Follow the usual installation process to install Backup and Sync. Then, once installed, open the app and log into your Google Account.  

log into google account in backup and sync settings

Confirm the security settings and then, switching back to the Backup and Sync setup window, tick the option to Backup Photos and Videos.

allow backup and sync permissions to access google account

The Backup and Sync app allows you to copy more than just photos to your Google storage. However, in this demonstration, I’ll just tick to upload my the Photos Library on my Mac.  You can opt to choose between High and Original quality. High simply means Google will compress your images and reduce videos down to 1080p, whereas Originals remain unaltered. Click Start to being the synchronization process. 

backup and sync settings on a mac

You can monitor the progress by clicking on the icon in the menu bar but be patient because it can take some time.

backup and sync app running in background

On Windows PC:

For Windows users the process is much the same, however, I do recommend downloading the iCloud app, which will copy all your photos to your pictures folder before uploading them to Google. You can download the iCloud App from the Microsoft Store.

downloading icloud app from microsoft store

Once installed log in using your Apple account and choose what you which to sync to iCloud.

entering apple id in icloud app
icloud app settings

 If we then open up our Picture folder we can see a copy of my photos beginning to sync.

icloud syncing to windows pictures folder

Install Google’s Backup and Sync app and log into your Google account. 

Confirm the security settings and then select your Pictures folder. As with Mac users choose whether to upload in High or Original quality and hit start. 

backup and sync settings for windows

Google will start the synchronization process and if we switch back to Google Photos in our Browser you’ll being to see your photos being transferred from iCloud, via your PC, into Google Photos.

icloud photos showing in google photos app

Automatically Sync Google Photos with the iCloud

To sync Google Photos and iCloud automatically, back up your Photo Library to iCloud and have Google’s Backup and Sync running on your Mac. Each time you add a photo or video to your photo library, iCloud and Google Photos will update automatically.

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