How to Setup iCloud Photo Stream On Your Mac/Windows

Apple’s Photo Stream feature is not limited to iOS ecosystem. Photo streams work on Mac and Windows too. But you will have to setup iCloud Photo streams on your computer in order to access/sync photos across all your devices.

We took a look at setting up iCloud Photo Stream on iPhone/iPad for iOS 7.x In this one, we’ll see how to go about setting up the same on your Mac/PC.

Setting up iCloud Photo Stream on Mac

Mac, unlike Windows, doesn’t require extra software to handle iCloud settings. Under the system preferences, you have all the necessary settings to manage iCloud.

  • Open System Preferences
  • Click on iCloud
  • Check Photo Stream
  • Click on Options to the right of Photo Stream
  • Check My Photo Stream and Automatic Import

My Photo Stream and Automatic Import in iCloud

While this enables Photo Stream, you will still need to configure iPhoto or Aperture (depending on which app you use on your Mac) to fetch all Photo Stream photos. To do this:

  • Open iPhoto/Aperture and click Preferences.
  • Select the Photo Stream tab
  • Enable/check My Photo Stream.

It may take sometime before iPhoto/Aperture show all photos from your Photo Stream.

Setting up iCloud Photo Stream on Windows PC

For this, you’ll need iCloud Control Panel.

  • Open iCloud Control Panel and setup your iCloud account.
  • Check Photos
  • Click Options to check My Photo Stream and Automatic Import

Setting up iCloud Photo Stream on Windows PC

So that’s about it. With this, you should be able to see photos that you click on iPhone/iPad sync directly to your Windows/Mac.

Limits & Troubleshooting Sync

With Photo Stream though, sometimes photos stop showing up or get delayed in syncing across devices. As noted in the post about photostreams in iDevices, there is an upper limit to the number of photos you can upload to your photo stream (time-bound). Apple lets you put 1000 photos/hour and 25000 photos in a month.

High though the limit is, when you upload a bunch of photos to Photo Stream on your iPhone (supposingly), it takes sometime before these appear on your Mac/PC.

For photo stream on iPhone and iPad, here’s more about iCloud photo stream issues on your iPhone/iPad.