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What is My Photo Stream? When the Apple iPhone feature will shut down and how iCloud Photos works

Apple fans will have used My Photo Stream for many years – but the company has announced it is going to disappear.

Instead, Apple wants customers to use iCloud Photos, which is available on iPhones and iPads running iOS 8.3 or later and Macs running OS X Yosemite or later.

What is My Photo Stream?

It is a service for photo storage that dates back to 2011, so some people will have been using it for well over a decade.

Apple says: “My Photo Stream is a free service that uploads the last 30 days of images (up to 1,000) to iCloud, making them accessible on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC.

“It predates ‌iCloud Photos‌ and has largely been replaced by the ‌iCloud Photos‌ service at this point.”

What is happening to My Photo Stream?

Apple’s My Photo Stream service will end in the coming months.

It says: “Going forward, Apple plans to have all customers use ‌iCloud Photos‌ instead of My Photo Stream. New photo uploads to My Photo Stream will stop on June 26, 2023, and images will remain in ‌iCloud‌ as usual for 30 days until the shutdown point.”

Will this put my photos at risk?

Apple says it won’t and that all images in My Photo Stream are stored in their original format on an Apple device. However, users who want to keep photos should save them to the photo library before 26 July.

It says: “the photos in My Photo Stream are already stored on at least one of your devices, so as long as you have the device with your originals, you won’t lose any photos as part of this process. If a photo you want isn’t already in your library on a particular iPhone, iPad, or Mac, make sure that you save it to your library on that device.”

The company continues: “Images in My Photo Stream can be saved to the Photos app on the ‌iPhone‌ by opening up ‌Photos‌, going to the My Photo Stream album, selecting individual photos, and using the Share button to save them to the Library. The process is the same on the Mac, but you will need to drag images from My Photo Stream to the Library.

“Apple suggests that ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac users turn on ‌iCloud Photos‌ to view their photos and videos across their devices. ‌iCloud Photos‌ is available on iPhones and iPads running iOS 8.3 or later and Macs running OS X Yosemite or later.”

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