iCloud Photos

iCloud Photo Library is Apple's photo storage service, which lets you store all of your hundreds of thousands of pictures in iCloud. Doing so makes it possible for you to grab the photos you want onto your device without having to store them locally. And you can view any of those on Apple TV once you set it up with iCloud!

Unlike Apple's other devices, your Apple TV can't download images from the web or Messages to add to your Photos library — it relies solely on iCloud's photo sharing options to present your images. As such, you'll need to log in to iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC to make that happen, then turn on one of iCloud's photo sharing options.

You have a few different choices when it comes to viewing images on your Apple TV:

  • If you're subscribed to iCloud Photo Library, you can turn it on and stream your entire collection of images and video.
  • If you just want to share albums you've shared with friends and family (or vice versa), you can turn on iCloud Photo Sharing.
  • If you aren't subscribed to iCloud Photo Library, you can turn on My Photo Stream, which lets your TV access just the last 1000 photos or video you snapped.

How to enable iCloud Photo Library

When you turn on iCloud Photo Library, every image and video you've stored will be available on your TV. This is great if you don't mind people going through your image collection (or you live alone), but keep in mind that if you have guests, you may not want to keep this setting enabled.

  1. First, log in to iCloud on your Apple TV by going to Settings > Accounts > iCloud > Sign in.

    Accessing iCloud on Apple TV

  2. Select iCloud Photo Library to toggle it on.

How to enable iCloud Photo Sharing

If you select iCloud Photo Sharing, your Apple TV will have access to any albums you've shared with friends (or they've shared with you). You can use this setting in tandem with iCloud Photo Library, or in isolation (if you don't want your entire image library accessible inside your living room).

  1. If you haven't already, log in to iCloud on your Apple TV by going to Settings > Accounts > iCloud > Sign in.

    Accessing iCloud on Apple TV

  2. Select iCloud Photo Sharing to toggle it on.

How to enable My Photo Stream

If you've chosen not to use iCloud Photo Library on your Apple TV, you can still access iCloud's My Photo Stream feature, which lets you view the last 1000 images you took on (or uploaded to) your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This feature can be used in tandem with iCloud Photo Sharing, or by itself; it disappears if you enable iCloud Photo Library.

  1. If you haven't already, log in to iCloud on your Apple TV by going to Settings > Accounts > iCloud > Sign in.

    Accessing iCloud on Apple TV

  2. Select My Photo Stream to toggle it on.

Any questions?

Is there anything else you'd like to know about turning on and using iCloud Photo Library on Apple TV? Do you have a tip or suggestion? Let us know in the comments.