Set up Photo Stream

You need to set up Photo Stream on each iOS device and computer that you want to use with Photo Stream.

On a Mac, you can also choose where you want your photo stream to appear (in either iPhoto 9.3.2 or later or Aperture 3.3.2 or later), and your upload and import preferences. To use Shared Photo Streams, you need iPhoto 9.4 or later or Aperture 3.4 or later.

Note:   If you already set up iCloud on your devices, Photo Stream may already be turned on. To make sure everything is set up correctly, or to set up Photo Stream on another device, follow the steps below.

On an iOS device

  1. On your device’s Home screen, tap Settings, then tap iCloud.

    If you’re asked to sign in with your Apple ID, then you haven’t set up iCloud on this iOS device. Sign in with your Apple ID to set up your iCloud account.

  2. Tap Photo Stream, then tap to turn on My Photo Stream; if you want to be able to share photos and view photo streams shared by others, also tap to turn on Shared Photo Streams.
    Photo Stream item

    With My Photo Stream turned on, any new photos you take with your iOS device appear in your photo stream after your device is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

    If you also set up a Mac to work with Photo Stream, by default any photos you take with your iOS device are also imported into your iPhoto or Aperture library. You can change this default setting when you set up iPhoto or Aperture (see below).

On a Mac to work with iPhoto or Aperture

You can set up Photo Stream on your Mac to work with iPhoto or Aperture.

Set up Photo Stream to work with iPhoto.

Set up Photo Stream to work with Aperture.

On a Windows computer

To use all the features of Photo Stream, you need to have iCloud Control Panel 2.0 or later installed on your computer.

  1. Open the iCloud Control Panel, then select the Photo Stream checkbox.
    Photo Stream checkbox

    To open the iCloud Control Panel in Windows 8, move the pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to show the Charms bar, click the Search charm, then click iCloud Control Panel on the left.

    To open the iCloud Control Panel in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, choose Start menu > All Programs > Folder icon iCloud > iCloud Control Panel icon iCloud.

  2. To change the default Photo Stream upload and download folders, click Options. Click Change to choose a folder, then click OK.

    By default, photos are automatically downloaded to the My Photo Stream folder inside the Photo Stream album in your Pictures library, and uploaded from the Uploads folder inside the Photo Stream album in your Pictures library.

  3. Click Apply.

    Any new photos you import from a digital camera to the upload folder you chose in the iCloud Control Panel on your computer are uploaded and added automatically to your Photo Stream.

    You can also add photos to Photo Stream manually.

For a list of file types that can be added to Photo Stream, read “What photo formats does Photo Stream support” in the Photo Stream FAQ on the iCloud Support website.