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How to back up your Apple photo library

Doug Drinkwater | May 4, 2016
We investigate the best solution for keeping backups of all your photos

How to back up your Apple photo library with iCloud

Apple's iCloud comes baked in with iOS and, by and large, it doesn't disappoint; you get 5GB of free storage, and photos are automatically backed up and synced across all your Apple devices - including your Mac, iPad and iPhone.

iCloud is easy for manage and iCloud Photo Library can be enabled to easily share and collaborate on photo albums. You can also manually sync photos to the cloud, although this can be cumbersome.

It is not faultless, though; iCloud is ring-fenced in the Apple ecosystem, its security was famously exposed in October 2014 and some of the prices, including £6.99 a month for 1TB, are not that cheap (although prices start at £0.79 a month for 50GB, which we think is a great deal). 5GB is also not much considering this is per each Apple ID, which not ideal if you have an iPhone and iPad.

It is, however, a worthy contender in this list.

Remember: Should you want to disable iCloud's auto-backup feature, you must go to Settings > iCloud > Photos and uncheck My Photo Stream.

iCloud Photo Library stores every photo and video you take, making them accessible from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and even to your Mac!

Once set up all the photos and videos you take will be stored in iCloud, so you will be able to access your library from any device, anytime you want.

Unlike with Photos in the Cloud, you aren't limited to how many photos you can access, where the cut for Photo Stream is still 1000, and that's all you will get if you don't update to iCloud Photo Library.

Another benefit is that if you edit a photo on one device those changes will show up on the other devices.

iCloud Photo Library is limited by how much iCloud storage you have. If your photo library is huge and you don't fancy opting for the 1TB iCloud storage option, just remember to open your Mac and regularly sync the images from the cloud.

How to back up your Apple photo library with Dropbox

Dropbox is arguably the poster boy of cloud storage, and it's easy to see why.

The service is available cross-platform, it is exceptionally easy to share links to albums and to use the desktop software to drag-and-drop files into. In addition, hi-res images are supported and there are no file size restrictions on Dropbox Business. It's also very quick to enable the auto-uploading of photos (including over WiFi or cellular when using a mobile app).


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