Turn Off iCloud Storage

In keeping with my previous article on corrupt thumbnails in the Photos app, I wanted to discuss turning off iCloud photo storage. I ended up doing that during this process. I am just going to start over with photo storage.


iCloud Storage

There are several benefits to storing your photos in iCloud. It you do not keep the originals on your Mac it will free up a lot of space. I kind of don’t trust this so I do keep the originals on my Mac. Another benefit is your photos can be shared by all your other Macs and iOS devices. The downside is that it is expensive. I pay for 200 GB of space and will probably have to increase that in a year or so.

As previously mentioned, because I was having problems with the Photos app I decided to turn off iCloud storage. I want to issue a warning here!! If you do NOT keep the originals on your Mac you may lose your photos. In this case you are supposed to log into iCloud and download your photos to your Mac. Yes, a very convoluted process to say the least. Not to fear though. There is an UNDO feature.

If you go into the iCloud Pref Pane you should get this screen (hopefully with someone a little better looking in the window):


All you have to do is click on the “Manage” button and you will be taken to this window:


Here is some really good advice: READ THE PARAGRAPH. If you disable iCloud storage you have 30 days to download your photos. Once you click on “Disable and Delete”, click on “Done” and you are, well, done. If you retain your original photos on your Mac there is nothing left for you to do.

If you change your mind about deleting the photos off iCloud, just click on the “Manage” button again and you will see this screen:


I guess I came out a little over the top on this procedure. I don’t want anyone to lose their photos. During my Mac Tech Career I cannot count the times that people brought in a Mac with a dead hard drive. When asked the $64,000 question, “do you have a backup?”, the answer about half the time was “no.” What a sad thing for people to lose something as precious as photos of events, friends and family.


I know people who have never even used iCloud storage. If you are using it and wish to turn it off you can. Just be careful and think it through first.