photos iconBacking up the photos you take on your iPhone might not sound like a thrilling prospect, but it's far from a thankless task. On the contrary, it's a crucial step in ensuring that your most precious pictures are never lost. Plus, once you have a system for backing up your photos in place, you can get on with enjoying taking pictures with your smartphone in the confidence that they're safe.

You see, having a backup of your photos prevents them from being lost if you should ever lose your ‌iPhone‌, or if your handset breaks. And if your device's capacity is slim, an additional benefit of backing up your ‌iPhone‌'s photo library is that it also allows you to save local storage space. With that in mind, let's look at your backup options.

1. Backing Up to iCloud

icloud drive icon iosFirst up, there's Apple's homegrown solution: iCloud Photos works with the Photos app to keep your photos and videos securely stored in iCloud, and up to date across your Apple devices and on iCloud.com.

‌iCloud Photos‌ automatically keeps every photo and video you take in ‌iCloud‌, so you can access your library from any device, whenever you want. Any changes you make to your photo library on one device are reflected on your other devices, ensuring a consistent experience wherever you choose to browse your pictures.

When you sign up for ‌iCloud‌, you automatically get 5GB of free storage. If you need more space, you can buy more ‌iCloud‌ storage, with plans starting from $0.99 a month for 50GB. There are also 200GB and 2TB plans available that also let you share your storage with your family.

To turn on ‌iCloud Photos‌ on your ‌iPhone‌, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap your Apple ID banner.
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. Tap Photos, then turn on iCloud Photos by toggling the switch.

settings

2. Backing Up to a Computer

If you want to keep your backups local, you can always just back up your ‌iPhone‌ to your computer. If you already sync your ‌iPhone‌ through Finder on a Mac, or via iTunes on a Windows PC, then you're already backing up your photos to your computer.

macoscatalinafinder
One disadvantage to this method is that you don't have direct access to your backed up photos, so you can't just browse them whenever you want unless they're still on your ‌iPhone‌. You have to restore the backup file to your ‌iPhone‌ to view or manage your stored photos. In that sense, having a backup of your photos on your computer offers peace of mind in case your ‌iPhone‌ is lost or breaks, but ultimately it lacks the convenience of ‌iCloud Photos‌ or third-party storage alternatives.

3. Alternative Backup Options

If you don't want to be restricted to ‌iCloud‌ or a computer backup, or you just want another backup for redundancy, there are some third-party options available for backing up your ‌iPhone‌ photos. Two of the most popular are Dropbox and Google ‌Photos‌. Both of these services offer free plans that will happily back up your ‌iPhone‌'s photo library, although with some caveats if you're prepared not to shell out for the privilege.

Google Photos

google photos new icon black backgroundEach Google account comes with 15GB of free storage that can be used to store any type of file, including your photos. If you choose to back up photos in their original quality, they will count against your storage quota.

Currently, if you choose to back up photos in high quality, you get unlimited free storage, although that will no longer be the case from June 1, 2021. After that date, all photos and videos uploaded to your Google account will take up your allocated storage.

To back up your ‌iPhone‌'s photo library to your Google account, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Google Drive app for ‌iPhone‌ from the App Store.

  2. Launch the app and create a Google account or log in using your existing Google credentials.

  3. Tap the triple-lined icon in the top-left corner of the app interface, then select Settings.

  4. Tap Backup.
  5. Select Photos & videos and toggle on the switch next to Back up to Google Photos, then select High quality (free unlimited storage) or Original (full resolution - counts against your storage quota).
  6. Return to the previous screen and tap Start Backup.

If you're looking for an alternative way to browse your photos on ‌iPhone‌, try the Google Photos app, where you can also control backup options.

Dropbox

Dropbox can back up the photos on your ‌iPhone‌ as they're taken, thanks to Camera uploads. With this feature, your ‌iPhone‌ will automatically add your camera roll's photos to Dropbox and will also ask you if you want to back up your existing library.

dropbox
However, expect to pay a subscription if you want to back up photos to Dropbox. The free Basic plan only includes 2GB of storage, which won't go very far at all. However, the Plus plan ($7.99 a month) gets you 2TB of encrypted storage and the ability to use Dropbox Rewind, a 30-day data recovery service.

To back up your ‌iPhone‌'s photo library to Dropbox, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Dropbox app for ‌iPhone‌ from the ‌App Store‌.
  2. Launch the app and sign up to Dropbox or log in using your existing credentials.
  3. Tap Account (the person icon) in the bottom-right corner of the interface.
  4. Tap Camera Uploads.
  5. Toggle on the switch next to Camera Uploads.
  6. Tap Upload.

Background uploading allows Dropbox to upload photos even when the Dropbox app is closed. It automatically uploads your photos whenever it detects a change in your device's location. To turn it on, navigate to the Camera Uploads screen, tap Background uploading, then use the slider to select the battery level or toggle Only while phone is charging to on.

Top Stories

Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
iOS 15 Users Underwhelmed Feature

Users Underwhelmed by iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Survey Suggests

Monday June 21, 2021 7:17 am PDT by
Users appear to be underwhelmed by Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates, according to the findings of a new survey by SellCell. The survey asked 3,000 iPhone and iPad users, evenly split between men and women, aged 18 or over in the United States, what they thought of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the naming of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. Over 50 percent of all of the survey's...
purple iphone 12 and 12 mini

iPhone 12 Mini Production Reportedly Ended Earlier Than Expected Due to Relatively Low Sales

Monday June 21, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Following widespread reports that the iPhone 12 mini has experienced poor sales performance, at least relative to other iPhone 12 models, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today claimed that production of the device has already ended. According to TrendForce, the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the second quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple will focus on selling ...
primeday2020 feature3

Amazon Prime Day: The Best Apple Deals

Monday June 21, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Amazon's annual Prime Day event has officially kicked off today, beginning 48 hours of discounts, offers, and tons of savings across Amazon's storefront. This includes everything from home electronics to clothing, jewelry, video games, movies, and much more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...