It's handy to be able to store photos in the cloud, since this means you can access them anywhere you've got an internet connection. But what if you want to download them to a Mac for future access even when offline? Don't worry: it's easy.

In this article we show how to download the images stored in iCloud to your Mac, whether you want to grab individual or selected photos, or download the whole lot in one go.

How to download individual photos from iCloud

Go to iCloud.com and log in with your usual Apple ID and password. You'll see the usual array of iCloud apps, including Mail, Contacts, Calendar and so on. Click on Photos to see all the images you've saved in iCloud.

How to download photos from iCloud to Mac: iCloud.com

Browse to the photo you want to download, and either click (to highlight) or double-click (to open it).

How to download photos from iCloud to Mac

Either way, at the top-right you'll see various icons: from left to right, these signify favourite, add to album, share, download and delete. Click the download icon (the cloud with a downward arrow).

Check your downloads folder: the selected image will have appeared there.

How to download photos from iCloud to Mac: Downloads folder

How to download multiple photos from iCloud

This is a pain! At some point (we think around the end of 2016), Apple took away the option to multi-select images in Photos on iCloud.com, so it's no longer possible to use Shift-click to select more than one and then download them all at once.

Instead of using the web portal, we'll need to use the Photos Mac app. (This will be preinstalled on your Mac if you're running Mac OS X Yosemite or later; see here for more information.)

Open Photos and you'll see largely the same interface we got in iCloud.com. However, you'll quickly notice that if you click on one image, then Shift-click another, the app will select both images plus any in between in the listing. Better still, if you want to download the lot, you can use Cmd + A to select all. (Shift-click and Cmd + A are both useless in the iCloud.com version of Photos.)

How to download iCloud photos to Mac: Photos app

Select the multiple photos you want to download and drag them to a folder on your desktop (or just the desktop, although this could get messy). You'll see a green plus sign and a red number, which shows how many photos are about to be saved to your Mac.