How to Move Photos from Amazon S3 to iCloud Drive on Mac?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Move Photos from Amazon S3 to iCloud Drive on Mac?

Moving photos from Amazon S3 to iCloud Drive on your Mac provides an easy way to access your photos across Apple devices. With iCloud Photos, you can view your photos on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac without needing to store them locally. This guide will walk you through the complete process of transferring your photos from Amazon S3 over to iCloud Drive. We'll cover preparatory steps, the actual transfer process, verifying the move, and tips for managing your photos once they're in iCloud. Follow along step-by-step to successfully move your photo library from Amazon S3 to iCloud Drive on your Mac.


Before moving your photos, make sure you have the following:

An Amazon S3 account with photos stored

You need an Amazon S3 account with existing photos you wish to move. Take note of the bucket name and folder structure where your photos are stored.

The Amazon S3 console open

Have the Amazon S3 console open in your browser to access your buckets and folders. You will use it to download the photos to your Mac.

iCloud Drive enabled on your Mac

Check that iCloud Drive is enabled on your Mac. Open System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and confirm that iCloud Drive is turned on. This is where your photos will be uploaded to.

Adequate iCloud storage space

iCloud provides 5GB of free storage, but this may not be enough for all your photos. Check how much storage you're using versus available. Upgrade your iCloud storage if needed to fit your entire photo library.

A Mac computer with macOS 10.14 or later

You will need a Mac running macOS Mojave or later to transfer photos using the Finder. Make sure your Mac is updated to the latest OS version.

Download Photos from Amazon S3 to Your Mac

Now let's download your photos from Amazon S3 to your local Mac.

Navigate to your photo folder in S3

Open the S3 console and navigate to the specific folder containing the photos you want to move. This is likely in your bucket under something like photos/collection1.

Select all photos

Check the box next to the Name column to select all photos in the folder. If you only want certain photos, you can ctrl-click to choose individual images.

Click Actions > Download

This will download the selected photos in a zip file to your computer. Take note of the download location.

Extract the photos

Once downloaded, double-click the zip file to extract the photos. Extract them to a dedicated folder or your desktop for easy access.

Verify downloaded photos

Look in the extraction location and confirm you have the full set of photos downloaded from Amazon S3. You can now move this entire folder to iCloud.

Transfer Photos to iCloud Drive on Your Mac

With the photos downloaded locally, you can now upload them to iCloud Drive:

Go to your extracted photo folder

Navigate to the folder location where you extracted the downloaded zip of photos from Amazon S3.

Drag the folder to iCloud Drive

Open a second Finder window and go to iCloud Drive. Then drag your photo folder from the first window into the iCloud Drive window.

Check the upload status

The Finder will show the upload progress. Wait for the process to complete. All the extracted photos will now upload to iCloud Drive.

Verify the photos uploaded

In the Finder, open up iCloud drive and confirm your photo folder successfully copied over with all images intact. Your Amazon S3 photos now live in iCloud!

Access Your Photos in iCloud Across Devices

With your photos uploaded to iCloud Drive, you can now conveniently access them on all your Apple devices:

View photos on Mac

Open the Photos app on your Mac to view your newly uploaded iCloud photo library. The sync may take a few minutes.

See photos on iPhone & iPad

On your iOS devices, launch the Photos app and tap Albums > iCloud Photos. Check that all your newly uploaded photos are present.

Share and edit photos

You can now share, print, or edit the photos using the Photos app capabilities on any device. Your library is synced via iCloud.


Sign in to on any browser to view your iCloud Drive files, including the photos uploaded from your Mac.

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Tips for Managing Your iCloud Photo Library

Here are some additional tips for managing your photos now that they are in iCloud:

  • Turn on iCloud Photo Library sync for automatic syncing across devices.

  • Use Optimize Mac Storage to save local space on your Mac.

  • Enable iCloud Photo Sharing to share albums with others.

  • Utilize Live Photos, Memories, Search, For You tab for photo discoveries.

  • Install the iCloud app on Windows to access from a PC.

  • Use iCloud family sharing to access photos on family members' devices.

  • Take advantage of moving, labeling, albums to organize your photo library.


In summary, transferring your photos from Amazon S3 to iCloud Drive provides an easy centralized way to access your photos on all your Apple devices. Follow the steps covered in this guide, including downloading from Amazon S3, moving the photos to iCloud Drive on your Mac, and then viewing the library everywhere via iCloud sync. Refer to the tips provided to get the most out of managing your photo library in iCloud.

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