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Selecting all photos on iCloud so you can download them

Well, you would be mistaken if you thought it would be easy to download all of your photos from iCloud. It is easy if you only have 50 photos, or if you are some kind of super twitch gamer who can click the mouse 10000 times in 5 seconds.

Apple, in their infinite wisdom, removed the ability to select all photos. You cannot shift click to select many photos. Boo!

I eventually figured out a solution. It takes a few steps. I posted this on stackexchange as well here:

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/283630/downloading-all-photos-from-icloud-photo-library-without-photos-app

It would be appreciated if this works for you if you could vote my answer up.

Here’s the details:

I was able to figure out a workaround for this. It will force the underlying structure to select all of the photos on the page and allow you to click the download selected photos button. It will download them all separately as if you had selected all of the photos by hand (but without RSI).

You need to use Chrome dev tools. I am sure you can do it with other browsers, I just haven’t tried. The following steps are involved, and I would appreciate if someone can tell me how to get the “this” value for the object I need in a simpler fashion (steps 4-10).

Here’s the steps:

  1. Make sure chrome dev tools is closed.
  2. Go to photos in iCloud, then All Photos
  3. Right click any photo on the page and select Inspect.
  4. Click Sources tab at the top of dev tools.
  5. Click braces {} at bottom of the sources window to format the code.
  6. Search for case m$408$0.TOGGLE (should be around line 41706)
  7. Set a breakpoint on the line above which is a switch statement.
  8. Click on any photo in the main window.
  9. Go back to dev tools and see the scope window (below source for me).
  10. Right click on “this” variable and choose Store as Global Variable.
  11. Look in the console. Should see something like temp1 which is set to this.
  12. Remove the breakpoint in the source window.
  13. Click the Resume Script Execution button in main window.
  14. Go to the console, and type the following and press enter:
    temp1.selectAll()
    
  15. Nothing appears to have changed, but it has underneath.
  16. Now click the download selected items button at the top.
  17. You will now see a bunch of downloads happening.