Have you ever lost your phone? There’s that sinking feeling when you realize it’s nowhere to be found.
It’s best to back up your photos, so they’re safe and sound — no matter what happens to your device. The method is up to you. Just don’t wait till it’s too late.
Put them in the cloud
Both Android and iOS let you back up your photos to the cloud for safekeeping. It’s easy, and you don’t have to install extra software to do it.
On an iPhone:
- Open Settings on your device and tap your name at the top.
- Tap iCloud, then tap Photos.
- Turn on iCloud Photos to start saving your photos to the cloud.
The process may take some time to complete. Once it’s finished, any photos you take will be automatically saved to the cloud. You can also view them on your desktop by signing in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID.
- Open the Google Photos app and sign in if you need to.
- On the top right, tap your account photo or initial.
- Select Photos settings, followed by Back up and sync.
- Toggle Back up and sync on.
Note: iCloud and Google Photos come with limited free storage. More will cost you 99 cents to $1.99 per month.
Good news if you have an Amazon Prime account:
Here’s one way you shouldn’t store photos
It’s tempting to store your photos on a thumb drive. They’re small and lightweight — and that makes them easy to lose. Plus, the cheapest drives don’t usually have any encryption or password protection. Think about how you’d feel if someone swiped yours.
The big selling point is its onboard software that shows you how to move your photos. But Amazon reviewers are mixed. I’ll leave that choice up to you.
For a physical backup, go with a secure external drive
If you want to store your photos physically, a secure external drive is a better choice. These devices tend to have higher storage capacity and faster speeds, plus they’re harder to lose. They’re also cheaper now than they were years ago.
If you’re looking for something a bit more secure, go with an encrypted external drive. features a 10-digit keypad that protects the contents from being read. You can only get in if you know the code — which means your files are safe if the hard drive is lost or stolen. How cool is that?
You have no excuse now that you know how easy it is to get your photos off your phone. Take some time to protect your memories. Otherwise, you could be out of luck the next time your phone breaks, is lost or stolen.
Woman using smartphone on a wooden desk.
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