My Photo Stream Not Working On Mac, Fix

Are you having issues with My Photo Stream on your Mac. Are updates to My Photo Stream not appearing in Photos? Or did your Mac suddenly stop importing images from My Photo Stream? Another common problem that a lot of users seem to be having is missing the My Photo Stream section in the Photos app. If you are having this problem, then this article is for you.

On your Mac, you can view your recent photos in My Photo Stream by going to Photos > Albums > My Photo Stream so that you can access your recent photos, if My Photo Stream is enabled on your iOS devices, this is, of course, if you set up iCloud.

My Photo Stream

Before you do anything, it is a good idea to check iCloud System Status for current scheduled maintenance. It is possible that you are having this problem temporarily because Apple may have been having issues with a host of iCloud-related services.

See also: How To Transfer Photos & Videos From iPhone & iPad To Computer (Mac or Windows)

Note: My Photo Stream does not upload your Live Photos.

My Photo Stream Fixes

Please try each step one at a time until you resolve your issue.

  1. Make sure that your Mac is running the latest version of macOS. If not, update your Mac.
  2. Restart your Mac. You can do so by going to the Apple menu > and Restart. Restart your Mac
  3. Make sure that My Photo Stream is enabled on other devices. Here is how:
    • iOS devices: Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos and turn on My Photo Stream.
    • Apple TV: Settings > Accounts > iCloud and turn on My Photo Stream.
  4. Ensure that you are using the same Apple ID, if you have multiple Apple IDs.
  5. Make sure that your Mac has a working, reliable Internet connection. Without an active Internet connection, My Photo Stream won’t show. You may try some basic troubleshooting tips:
    • You may restart your modem and router.
    • You may restart your computer.
    • Turn off your Wi-Fi and wait a few seconds and then turn it on by clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
    • Press and hold the Option key and then click the WI-Fi icon in the menu bar while holding the Option key. Click Open Wireless Diagnostics and run this tool, you will need to enter your admin password.
  6. Open the Photos app and click Photos and then Preferences > iCloud and ensure that My Photo Stream is selected.
  7. On your Mac, follow the steps below:
    • Quit the Photos app, if it is running. You can right-click and click Quit.
    • Open Activity Monitor, it is located in Applications / Utilities. You can also use the Spotlight app to open this.
    • In Activity Monitor, click the CPU column (columns are missing?)
    • In the Activity Monitor app, use the search field (upper right corner)
    • Type photos in the search field
    • From the results, look for Photos Agents and select this by clicking
    • Now, click the X in the top-left to force quit it.
    • Now close the Activity app and reopen the Photos app. Is your My Photo Stream now working? If not continue the steps below:
    • Quit the Photos app again and open Activity Monitor
    • Again search the photos word
    • This time kill the processes that start with “…” and now reopen the Photos app. activity monitor
  8. On your Mac, open the Photos app and then click Photos > Preferences > iCloud and find the My Photo Stream and turn this off and wait a few seconds and then turn this on.

So you completed all of the tips above and you still do not see photos from My Photo Stream. You may want to contact Apple support.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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7 thoughts on “My Photo Stream Not Working On Mac, Fix”

  1. Just doing #8 worked for me–thank you! Now I’m wondering…will I have to do this every time? I’ll find out soon.

  2. I checked all the points you suggest and still My Photo Stream would not sync from my iPhone to my MacBook Air running OS Catalina.

    The fix was to open Photos, Preferences on the Mac, uncheck My Photo Stream, close Photos, re-open Photos, go to Preferences, select My Photo Stream, and now it works. Confused? I am.

  3. So sorry – I’ve tried all the measures here and it looks as though there is no problem with my Mac. In spite of this, my Photos keeps saying that it has been updated – but that simply hasn’t happened. This problem happened out of the blue. I have made no changes to explain why it should have happened. Is there an outage at your end by any chance?


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