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Best Way Of Backing Up Photos

By | 20/10/2022

Have you lot ever had trouble finding a photograph and feared the worst — that y’all accidentally deleted information technology? Or maybe yous’ve heard a friend bemoan of how their hard drive failed and they lost everything from pictures of their firstborn to that one time-in-a-lifetime selfie with Michael Jordan?

After taking a moment to realize how fortunate you’ve been to have non lost whatever pics yourself, you probably think, “I should start bankroll upwardly my photos.” Well, you’ve plant the right commodity. We’re going to go through a few solutions for backing up your Mac and, more specifically, your photo collection. Because while losing an important slice of work is tragic, it’s usually replaceable. The moments that your pictures represent are fleeting, and there’s no way to recreate them.

Before you backup your photos

In that location’s truth in the phrase “garbage in, garbage out”. And then before you even ask yourself, “How do I support my photos?” you’ll want to make certain your photo library is cleaned up. Space is precious, so backing upwardly duplicate and nearly-duplicate pictures will be a waste product.

Thankfully, a Mac app like Gemini 2 can help you unclutter your photos before you back them upwards. And the best part is, you tin download information technology for free to give it a endeavor.

Best ways to support your photos on Mac

As mentioned earlier, there are a couple means to go near bankroll up your photos. The ones we’re going to go over are:

  • iCloud
  • Time Automobile
  • Google Photos
  • External hard drive

Later on reading this article, you’ll exist able to weigh out the cost versus convenience for each of these options and encounter which ane works best for you lot. At the end of the day, the best way to fill-in photos is the ane that’s easy for yous to use on a regular footing.

i. How to backup photos to iCloud

The get-go method is the one that comes standard with your Mac and doesn’t require y’all to install any additional software. iCloud is cloud-based storage made past Apple tree and available to anyone with an AppleID. Using iCloud to fill-in photos is easy thanks to automated backups and syncing, built into both iPhone and Mac. All you lot accept to do is make sure iCloud is turned on on each device, and yous’re all gear up.

The catch, equally there always is, is that you only become v GB for gratuitous. And that includes not only photos, merely too anything else you decide to store on your iCloud drive. Additional storage can be purchased and is fairly affordable compared to other cloud storages.

Setup iCloud Photos backup

When you lot backup your photos to iCloud, not simply does it save your pictures to the cloud, but it besides saves them on all of your devices. Since we’re talking mainly about your Mac in this article, you tin follow the steps below to see how to salvage iCloud Photos to your Mac running macOS Mojave or earlier:

  1. Get to System Preferences > iCloud.
  2. Click Options adjacent to Photos.
  3. Select iCloud Photos.

Afterward you turn on iCloud Photos, you’ll become access to other options for syncing and sharing your photos.

If your Mac is running macOS Catalina or college, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple logo > System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud.
  2. Check the box next to Photos.

iCloud: Summary

iCloud is designed to backup your photos from any Apple product. Most of the time it works seamlessly and everything happens in the background. Then, once you lot set information technology upwardly, you can pretty much forget about information technology.

The major downside of iCloud is that you only get five GB costless and you’re guaranteed to fill that up pretty quickly. But, the subscription tiers are reasonable and you could end up paying less than $3/calendar month to back up your photos.

two. How to fill-in photos to Fourth dimension Motorcar

The next type of backup veers away from the cloud-based model. Time Auto is the built-in Mac awarding that volition automatically backup your Mac to an external hard drive. Which means you lot will have to purchase an external drive or use a network drive, just the vivid side is as long as you accept the difficult drive plugged in your Mac volition exist backed up.

One of the major benefits to Fourth dimension Automobile is that information technology’southward a differential backup. That means that after the initial fill-in it will only dorsum upwards the files that are new and/or changed. So every backup after the kickoff one will exist faster because, in theory, it’s bankroll up fewer files.

Does Fourth dimension Machine support my photograph library?

At that place tin can be some confusion as to what Fourth dimension Machine backs up once it’s configured. Simply put, it backs upwardly everything, including whatever photos stored on your Mac.

That existence said the easiest way to search for photos and/or restore things from your backup is to ensure you’re using the Photos app on your figurer. If you simply accept random photos scattered throughout your Mac it tin exist harder to rail those down, whereas Photos helps you lot keep your library organized.

Setup Time Machine backup

Because Time Machine backs up everything on your estimator, any duplicates you have taking upwards infinite on your computer’south difficult bulldoze will also waste matter infinite in your fill-in. The Mac app, Gemini ii, tin scan your difficult drive to help you chop-chop discover and remove duplicate files.

Once y’all plug an external difficult bulldoze into your Mac, a pop-upwards should announced request you to fix up Time Car. All you need to do is click the button, Use every bit Backup Disk, then you lot’ll be fix to go. Pretty piece of cake, right? Well in the event you don’t see that pop-upwards, don’t worry. Y’all can fix up Time Machine manually by following these instructions:

  1. Become to Apple tree > Organization Preferences > Time Machine.
  2. Click Select Disk.
  3. In the Time Machine preferences window, select your external drive from the list of available disks.
  4. Then click Use Disk.

If the hard bulldoze is not formatted properly to be used with Time Motorcar, you’ll be prompted to format it. Y’all’ll also notice an option to encrypt the hard drive and your backup, which adds an actress level of security in case yous misplace the external drive.

Fourth dimension Automobile: Summary

Since Time Machine is a native macOS feature, information technology’s really simple to gear up and utilize. In fact, after you set it upwardly in that location’s non much left for you to do. As long as your Fourth dimension Auto drive is connected to your Mac, information technology will keep backing up.

The drawbacks of using Time Auto are it requires a significant investment upfront, whether y’all’re buying an external hard drive or a wireless fill-in system. And obviously, it has to be continued to the bulldoze. That ways if you’re traveling, you lot’ll demand to take your external hard bulldoze with you. Or, wait until you go home to back upward over again.

3. How to backup photos to Google Photos

The next choice is another cloud-based fill-in solution, Google Photos. While not likewise-integrated into iPhone and Mac equally iCloud, Google Photos offers every bit piece of cake setup and ongoing backups.

The biggest difference between Google Photos and iCloud though is that with Google Photos you get 15 GB of storage for costless. While that’due south still a relatively pocket-sized amount of space, it at least gives yous more room to play. Especially, if you lot’re non certain which method you want to utilize and just desire to play with all of them for a little bit. Like iCloud, y’all can purchase boosted storage for a monthly fee and information technology’southward not an enormous amount either.

Setup Google Photos to backup pictures

Similar iCloud, Google handles backups on a per-device ground, but in this case we’ll be covering how to ready a Google Photos backup on Mac:

  1. Download and install the Google Backup and Sync app on your Mac
  2. Sign in with your Google Account
  3. Select whether to dorsum up only photos or videos or all files
  4. Select all folders you want to back up
  5. Under “Photo & video upload size,” select your upload quality
  6. Click Commencement

Google Photos: Summary

Very like to iCloud, in regard to ease of employ and reliability. Information technology backups pictures from both your Mac and iPhone without you lot having to do much later on y’all set information technology up. And while Google does requite yous the almost free infinite out of any of the cloud services, 15 GB is not a ton. If you proceed to employ Google Photos, be prepared to pay for more than storage.

4. Backup photos to an External difficult drive

This adjacent option will definitely take the most manual labor. On the other mitt, using an external hard drive will give yous the well-nigh control over what you’re backing up, and many adopt to have it the old-fashioned way. Whether yous’re using Photos, another photograph manager, or just accept pictures scattered around your Mac, y’all’ll be able to back them upwardly. It’ll merely take you a lilliputian bit of time to practice it yourself.

Of course, if you have iCloud turned on your Mac, y’all can too backup your iCloud photos to an external hard drive as a secondary support.

How to back up Photos Library to an external hard bulldoze

  1. Open up Finder > Pictures (or wherever your images are)
  2. Select your Photos Library, the folder yous want to back up, or private files
  3. Drag and drop the file onto your external difficult drive in the left column.

While this method gives you the almost liberty and assurance that you’re backing up exactly what you desire, if you make whatsoever changes to your Photo Library on Mac, you’ll take to back information technology up all over again.


Every bit you lot back up and re-back up photos to an external drive, eventually yous might notice it riddled with duplicates. Gemini ii, the Mac app nosotros mentioned earlier, tin can also scan your external HDD for duplicate photos, making it easy to delete them.

External Hard Bulldoze: Summary

Manually backing up your pictures to an external difficult bulldoze is pretty tiresome. Yous still have to buy an external drive, retrieve to back information technology upwardly periodically, and there’south a greater chance for wasting space by saving duplicate pictures.

In that location’s not really much of an upside to this, especially when Time Automobile is available to practice all the heavy lifting for you.

5. How to use Dropbox to backup photos

Since Dropbox is designed to backup your unabridged Mac, it’s a not bad solution for your pictures equally well. The downside is that it’s not designed specifically as a photograph backup. So, it’ll take a piddling chip of manual configuration to get it gear up. Just, I hope, information technology’s nothing too difficult.

Setting up Dropbox every bit a photo fill-in

Dropbox lets you backup specific folders on your Mac, but information technology doesn’t give you the option for your Pictures folder. That means y’all’ll demand to save your pics in a folder either on your Desktop or Documents binder. Abrasive, only not the end of the world.

And then, you need to download the Dropbox app on your Mac. Once you take that installed and opened, just follow these steps:

  1. Sign in with your Dropbox account.
  2. Click on your initials or avatar > Preferences.
  3. Go to the Backup tab.
  4. Under This Mac, click Set up.
  5. Then, click Add Folders and select the folder with your pictures.

Dropbox: Summary

Using Dropbox is great, particularly if you’re already using it for other things. You get all the benefits of “the cloud” with Dropbox, but without any of the picture-specific features that Google Photos or iCloud offer. That’south why it’d be difficult to justify setting up a Dropbox business relationship just to dorsum up your photos. In that location are a couple of other easier options on this list that are designed specifically for pictures.

half dozen. How to backup photos with OneDrive

Some other cloud-based option for your pictures is Microsoft’s OneDrive. And it’s a great option if you’re already using information technology for work and have the space to fill-in your pictures. The downside is that you lot can’t specify specific folders to sync. You can only sync the OneDrive folder it creates on your Mac.

How to ready OneDrive to fill-in pictures

After you download the OneDrive app, you lot’ll need to move your Photos library to the OneDrive binder and then tell Photos where the library at present lives. And here’s how to exercise all of that:

  • Sign in with your Microsoft account.
  • Find your OneDrive binder on your Mac.
  • In a new Finder window, go to your Pictures binder.
  • Then, drag and drop your Photos library file into your OneDrive binder.
  • Now agree down the Option fundamental and open up the Photos app.
  • Click Other Library.
  • Navigate to your OneDrive folder and select your Photos library in there.
  • Finally, click Choose Library.


If yous’re still using iPhoto, these instructions will be the same. But, any fourth dimension you lot encounter Photos Library, just replace it with iPhoto Library.

OneDrive: Summary

Again, OneDrive is a peachy cloud solution for your pictures if you’re already using it for work. Information technology does have a few photo features that are helpful. But at the terminate of the solar day, OneDrive is primarily designed to sync your Microsoft Office files and that’s where you’re going to detect information technology the most useful. The fact that you can use it for your pictures is just an added bonus.

Now that you’ve got some idea on how to back up your photos, it’south time to become started. The most important matter to go along in listen is that a backup is only as good equally the last fourth dimension it was done. And so dorsum upwards your pictures early, and back them up often. And if y’all’re truly worried almost it — why only have but one photo fill-in? Combine a cloud-based pick with an external HDD and sleep well knowing your memories are safe.

Source: https://macpaw.com/how-to/backup-pictures