How to use iCloud Photos as your Apple TV’s screen saver


The iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. That means that iPhone owners take pictures with their phone time and time again, saving these images to their devices or their iCloud storage to be accessed and shared later. Apple TV owners can share these same images on the big screen through a screensaver or slideshow using their iCloud account. 

How to use iCloud Photos as your Apple TV’s screen saver

We have already shown you how to use photos from your computer as an Apple TV screensaver, so it’s only right that we show you how to use photos that aren’t stored on your computer. Most of us are familiar with iCloud and its use. iCloud allows Apple users to store files to the cloud.

If you have tons of images you can turn on iCloud photo sharing, which means that any photo saved to the iCloud account will be viewable and available on any other Apple device using that same iCloud account. That device list includes the Apple TV. So, if you would like to display the photos from your latest trip or screenshots for a presentation, you can do so with relative ease. Of course, you will need to have an iCloud account and iCloud Photos enables on your mobile device for the following steps to be applicable (Settings -> iCloud -> Photos -> iCloud Photo Library).

Step 1: Sign Into Your iCloud Account on the Apple TV

You are going to have to sign into your iCloud account and enter in your Apple ID and password. Head over Settings -> Accounts -> iCloud and Sign In.

Apple Sign In

Note: If you are using either new Siri remote or the regular Apple TV remote this process can be a pain in the ass. Try downloading the free Remote app from the App Store to make it quicker to enter in information like this.

Hit continue and enter in your password. Once that is done you’ll be signed into you iCloud account on your Apple TV.

Signing In - iCloud

Step 2: Turn on iCloud Photo Sharing and My Photo Stream

Once you have signed in, you will be able to turn ON iCloud Photo Sharing and My Photo Stream. Once you enable these options you’ll be able view your stream on the Apple TV.

iCloud Photo Sharing

Step 3: Enable Your Photo Screensaver

Now that we have those options set we can switch the default screensaver. On the new Apple TV (4th Generation), go to Settings -> General -> Screen saver.

Apple TV

For older Apple TVs go to Settings -> Screen Saver -> Photos.

In the screen saver section go to Type. You’ll notice that Aerial is the default type for 4th Generation Apple TV devices.

Screensaver - Type

In Type, find My Photos and in Albums select Photo Stream or another album that you have available for share.

Apple TV

After you have selected your album or stream you’ll need to set is as your screensaver. You can also choose to just Play Slideshow. This will leave your screensaver as is, but play your photos as a slideshow instead.

Set as Screensaver - Apple TV

Once you click Set as Screensaver you’ll need to confirm this on the next screen; so click Yes.

Set Screensaver - Confirm

After that, your newly selected album or stream will play whenever your Apple TV is idle. You can double-check that everything is right by going to Settings -> General -> Screen saver and making sure that My Photos is the screensaver option.

My Photos - Screensaver - Enabled

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