If you’ve used an iPhone, you probably know that it’s very easy to automatically back up your content using iCloud. However, if you decide to switch to another service, things are not necessarily easy. Fortunately, Apple just made this a lot easier by providing a tool that allows you to natively export your iCloud photos and videos to Google Photos.
There are a few prerequisites for this process, including having enough storage in your Google Photos account and enabling two-factor authentication on your Apple account, if you haven’t already. Once you start the transfer process, it takes three to seven days to complete, which Apple says is necessary to verify that the request was made by you and to complete the data transfer. However, if you add or delete files during the process, Apple says there is a chance they won’t get copied to Google Photos, so it’s best to add them manually once it’s complete.
Although images are saved in your albums, videos are not, and only the latest version of a file is copied to Google Photos. Smart Albums, Live Photos, and Photo Stream content cannot be transferred to Google Photos. Similarly, some metadata and RAW files may be lost when copying files. Finally, duplicates only appear once, which helps you save space in your destination folder, but it can be annoying if you did it on purpose in the first place. Once transferred to Google Photos, the filenames of albums and videos begin with “Copy of”, so you will have to spend some time renaming them if you are a fan of order like me.
The service is currently available in Australia, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States for now. To transfer your photos, go to privacy.apple.com and select Transfer a copy of your data.