How to Backup Your Photos With Google Photos

Photo: Lisa Wikstrand / Getty

If you have kids or animals then you’ve probably taken a billion or so pictures of them with either your fancy DSLR camera, your smartphone camera, or a combination of the two. You probably have a photo library the size of Texas sitting on your hard drive.

You honestly have no idea how many pictures you’ve taken and you probably don’t even want to know. You just know that it is a lot. You also know if you lose a single one of them, their will be hell to pay, courtesy of your significant other.

If you were smart you probably spent a weekend meticulously backing up your photo library to DVD or some other form of media and then you took all of those disks down to your safety deposit box at the bank for safe keeping. You did do that, right? Of course you did.

In case you didn’t spend 20 hours backing up your photo library, you might want to know about the recent development known as Google Photos. Google in their infinite generosity has decided to provide unlimited photo storage to all (with a couple of caveats of course). The good news for you is that it’s pretty easy to use and you can set it up to not only back up photos from your computer, but also those you’ve taken on your smartphone and/or tablet as well.

This doesn’t mean you should skip backing up your pictures to physical media, but it is a nice secondary storage method for backing up your pictures on a regular basis, and is probably a lot more “regular” then your every other year method that you might be using now.

Here Are The Basics for Backing up Your Photos with Google Photos:

Backing Up Your Mobile Device’s Photos to Google Photos:

You’ll first need to download the Google Photos App for either your iOS or Android device. Once the app is downloaded and installed, do the following.

For iOS-based Devices:

  1. Open the Google Photos iOS app on your mobile device.
  1. In the top left corner of the application screen tap the button with the 3 horizontal lines.
  2. Choose “Settings”
  3. Select the “Back up & Sync” option.
  4. Select the “ON” position.
  5. At this point, you may be prompted by the app to allow access to your photos and videos for back up purposes. Switch to the iOS “Settings” application (gear icon), go to “Privacy” > “Photos” and turn “Google Photos” to the “On” position.

For Android-based Devices:

  1. Open the Google Photos Android app on your mobile device.
  2. In the top left corner of the application screen tap the button with the 3 horizontal lines.
  3. Choose “Settings”
  4. Select the “Back up & Sync” option.
  5. Select the “ON” position.

Backing up the Photos On Your Computer to Google Photo: (Win or Mac)

  1. From your computer’s web browser, go to
  2. When prompted, choose either the Mac OS X installer or the Windows installer
  3. Download the Google Desktop Photo Uploader application for your type of computer.
  4. Open the installer and follow the onscreen setup instructions.
  5. Launch the Google Photos Desktop Uploader application
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen.
Was this page helpful?