How to Disable My Photo Stream on Mac?

Shreyas Patil SEO
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Disable My Photo Stream on Mac

Photo Stream allows you to automatically sync photos between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. While convenient, you may wish to disable Photo Stream for privacy, storage limits, or other reasons. This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to fully disable My Photo Stream on your Mac.


To follow along, you'll need:

  • A Mac computer running macOS 10.12.4 or later
  • An Apple ID signed into iCloud
  • My Photo Stream previously enabled

Step 1: Open Photos App Preferences

The first step is to open the Photos preferences:

  1. Click on the Apple menu icon in the top left
  2. Select  System Preferences
  3. Click on  Apple ID
  4. Select  iCloud  on the sidebar
  5. Click  Manage  next to Photos

This will open the iCloud Photos preferences where Photo Stream can be disabled.

Step 2: Uncheck My Photo Stream

In the iCloud Photos window, locate the option for  My Photo Stream  and uncheck the box next to it.

This will prevent any new photos added to your iCloud Library from automatically appearing in Photo Stream.

It can take a few minutes for changes to take effect across iCloud. Let the update complete before moving on.

Step 3: Confirm Photos Not Syncing

To confirm photos are no longer automatically syncing via Photo Stream:

  1. Add a new photo to your iPhone camera roll
  2. Check if the photo appears automatically on your Mac Photos library after a few minutes
  3. If the photo does  not  appear, disable sync was successful

You can also open  Recently Added  smart album on both devices to check for automatically synced photos.

Step 4 (Optional): Delete existing Photo Stream Album

If you wish to delete previously synced Photo Stream photos stored locally:

  1. In the Photos app, click  Albums  in the sidebar
  2. Right click on the  My Photo Stream  album
  3. Choose  Delete Photos...
  4. Select  Delete photos  to confirm

This will remove the album and all synced photos stored locally on your Mac.

Deleting the album does  not  delete copies synced to other devices in iCloud.

Step 5 (Optional): Disable iCloud Photo Library

If you wish to fully disable cloud syncing of photos across Apple devices:

  1. Return to iCloud preferences
  2. Uncheck the box next to  iCloud Photo Library
  3. Click  Turn Off  and  Delete  to confirm

This will stop uploading new photos, remove synced photos, and cancel your iCloud storage plan (if only using it for photos).

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Q:  Can I re-enable My Photo Stream later if I change my mind?

A:  Yes! You can return to the same iCloud Photos preferences and re-check My Photo Stream to enable it at any time.

Q:  What happens to photos already in My Photo Stream if I disable it?

A:  Existing photos remain stored in the cloud for 30 days and on your devices in the My Photo Stream album locally.

Q:  Is disabling Photo Stream the same as turning off iCloud Photo Library?

A:  No. Disabling My Photo Stream stops automatic syncing between devices but leaves the cloud Photo Library unchanged otherwise.

Q:  Can I delete My Photo Stream album itself after disabling?

A:  Yes, the album can be manually deleted like any other Photos album to remove previously synced photos.

Q:  Will disabling Photo Stream free up storage space on my iCloud?

A:  No, it will not affect your total iCloud storage usage. To reduce photo storage you would also need to disable iCloud Photo Library.


Disabling My Photo Stream is simple to do by unchecking it in the iCloud Photos preferences on your Mac. This prevents automatic syncing and copies of photos across your Apple devices.

You also have the option to delete the existing synced album, or fully disable iCloud Photo Library for maximum photo privacy and to reduce cloud storage usage.

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