Export As a File From iOS Photos

You can use the Add To iCloud Drive option in iOS Photos to essentially export a photo as a file. You can access it in the iCloud Drive app, or on your Mac in the Finder. You can even filter or markup the picture before exporting.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Export As a File From iOS Photos.

It used to be, not too long ago, that apps in iOS were really sandboxed into their own space and they could only access their own things. You could do some stuff like sharing photos across apps with all sorts of functions.

But now things are really breaking out a little bit more. For instance, it's very easy to export a photo as a file, even in iOS. Something you really couldn't do not that long ago.

So we have the Share button at the top right. I'm going to hit the Share button there and you get all the different share options like Messages, Mail, all that stuff.

But at the bottom part there you also see the Add To iCloud Drive option. If you're using iCloud Drive this is basically an export as file button.

So I tap it there and now I see all my iCloud Drive folders and I can select one. I actually created an iCloud Drive file called Project A. So I'm going to select that. It's actually going to save that in that iCloud Drive folder.

I can go to that on my iOS device. I can go to iCloud Drive and I can see there is Project A. And there's the file there.

Of course since I'm signed into the same Apple ID on my Mac it instantly appears in my iCloud Drive folder under Project A. There it is. So I can actually do things with photos on my iPad where it is really nice to edit photos and then I can save or export as a file and then take it from there on my Mac to do something with that file.

This also works after applying filters or markup or whatever. So I'm going to markup this photo here on my iPad, add a little monster there, hit Done and Done and now when I save it out to iCloud Drive, select that folder. Then I look on my Mac and there's the file. I select it and you can see the markup was included.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Export As a File From iOS Photos”

    Merry winslow
    3 years ago

    I can access iCloud Drive via my settings. How do I make the logo for the app appear on my desktop of the iPad ?

    Thank you Gary for your valuable dedication and support !


    3 years ago

    Merry: Do you mean the iCloud Drive app? It should be there automatically in iOS 9 or 10. I think in iOS 9 you were asked to add it at some point, and maybe you opted not to? Either way. You can always search for the iCloud Drive app int he App Store and add it.

    Tom Hoole
    3 years ago

    Great tip, can you export more than one photo at a time?

    3 years ago

    Tom: Oddly enough, no. This option doesn’t appear when you select multiple photos. But it should — so maybe Apple will add this eventually.

    3 years ago

    Can you export a file to iCloud drive from Safari?

    3 years ago

    Jeff: Depends on the type of file and how the website presents it. You can for many images — tap and hold an image, Share, and you have that option. Seems to work for other files as well — links to sound files for instance.

Comments Closed.