How to save and secure iPhone and iPad photos? Putting an iPhone in your pocket (or for someone even an iPad) means having excellent tools for taking photos, sharing them and organizing them. It also means always having your memories with you, the faces of your loved ones, in some way a significant piece of your life. For this reason, the idea of losing the photos that we have taken while using a mobile device is something to be avoided absolutely. However, this can happen for many reasons: for the loss or theft of the device or for distraction or bad luck, perhaps because the iPhone falls into the water or hits the ground violently.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to prevent a clumsy gesture or the action of an attacker from turning into a small (or large, depending on the sensitivity of each) catastrophe: backing up the images.
Back up iPhone photos
There are several ways to save iPhone photos and eventually recover them. Some are perfectly “native” or integrated into the operating system and the services that Apple makes available to those who have one of its devices, others are offered by third parties that have nothing to do with Apple.
Here we will essentially deal with those suggested by Apple but we will also mention those presented by Google and Amazon, two services that many of those who read us have at hand.
Save photos to iCloud
Saving your photos on iCloud is certainly the simplest and most immediate way. To be sure to secure each shot, simply go to Settings-> Photos and Camera and activate the iCloud Photo Library switch. The automatic sending of the photos taken to the basic cloud takes place automatically only when the device detects an active WiFi connection. In the case of a 3G or 4G data connection, the option will remain in stand-by and photo uploading will start again as soon as the device is connected to a WiFi network.
It is important to note one thing: iCloud backup is an exact copy of the photo archive on the iPhone. This means that if a photo is permanently deleted from the iPhone (because we decide to do so immediately or because we have left it in the trash for more than 30 days) it will also be deleted from iCloud.
Back up using the cellular network
You can also use the Cellular network for backup by going to Settings-> Photos & Camera -> Cellular Data. Here you will find two switches
- Cellular Data: it is used to make a backup using the cellular network only when the iPhone hasn’t made a backup using the Wi-Fi network for some time
- Unlimited Updates: use the cellular network as if it were using the Wi-Fi network. Synchronization happens constantly.
Save photos optimizing space
Saving photos to iCloud can also help you save space on your iPhone or device. In fact, you can choose to keep only low-weight copies of the images taken locally while those in original format are stored on iCloud. Just select the Optimize iPhone space option in Settings->Photos and Camera. This mode can be understood as a sort of archiving: photos are stored in iCloud in their original format, but optimized versions remain on the device, in order to preserve memory inside and take up as little space as possible.
Choosing Download and keep originals instead, the photos are kept on the iPhone or iPad in the original version, therefore in high resolution, using more iPhone memory.
Back Up and paid iCloud plan
There is no free infinite space in iCloud. Apple only offers 5GB of free storage which is also used for other data. In particular, in addition to the photos, they occupy significant space:
- Application data backup
- Email messages
- Whatsapp backup
For this it is very likely that you will have to invest in an iCloud plan. There are three price ranges: 50GB: €0.99; 200GB: €2.99; 2TB: €9.99.
Saving with My Photo Stream
Apple has also had an automatic backup system for years. This is My Photo Stream. This service, different from iCloud Photos, has the function of uploading the most recent photos for viewing and importing on all devices. The photos are kept in the My Photo Stream album for 30 days up to a maximum of one thousand peers at a time and has no additional costs.
However, my photo stream is now in fact accessible only to a small number of users: in practice, those who do not have an iCloud Photo backup and owners of old Apple IDs. In fact it seems that the service is being discontinued. Those who still access it must keep in mind that it still has limitations compared to iCloud Photo Backup. Specifically My Photo Stream
- Does not download high resolution photos to iPhone (when restoring they are low resolution)
- Photos are stored for a limited time (30 days)
- It is not accessible from Apple Watch or Cloud.com
- Doesn’t load several types of photo formats (including TIFF or Live)
Restoring photos from iCloud
When we need to recover our photos from iCloud because we change the phone, due to the catastrophic event we mentioned above, it will be very easy to do it
- Just access the account with our password from another device and the photos will be restored immediately
- We will also be able to download the photos individually from a Mac or a PC from the iCloud.com account
- You can also use Photos on your Mac by selecting iCloud Photos in preferences. You will then have access to the archive and it will be possible to download the images
- On PC you will have to use iCloud for Windows
Save photos locally on Mac or PC
Automatically saving photos to iCloud is probably the best and easiest way to keep them safe. But if you don’t want to buy a paid iCloud plan, you can always download images using a Mac or PC. At that point the only limit will be the capacity of the disk where you are going to save them.
Using a Mac
You can use both the Photos application and the Image Capture application to access your iPhone and iPad photos. Simply plug your device into your Mac’s USB port, then select your device to see your photos appear. At that point we will have to drag them to the destination where we want to save them. Then eventually delete from the device.
Using a PC
To save photos on a PC with Windows you must have iTunes in its latest version, then use Photos for Windows. Your device will be visible as if it were external media or a camera, and your images will be instantly accessible. You can also use the Photos app for Windows.
Back Up Using Google Photos
The Google Photo application allows you to save images to your Google account space. The operation is automatic and immediate and allows you to perform interesting functions including synchronization, selection of upload quality and the ability to access photos from all devices on which you have access to your Google account. Google Photo offers free space up to 15 GB which, however, are those that are also managed by Gmail and the drive; you can add space with prices comparable to those of iCloud but you can buy up to 30 TB of space with Apple’s “only” 2 TB.
Back Up using Amazon Photo
Amazon Photo, another of the backup systems that we recommend you explore, is very similar to Google Photo. It works with an application and allows you to automatically synchronize images. Compared to Google Photo, it has a more restrictive limit in the completely free range (only 5 GB) but if you have Amazon Prime, the disk capacity is unlimited in both size and resolution. In practice, you can upload all the photos you want without worrying about the “weight” of the photos. But if you upload videos, there’s only 5GB free even if you have Amazon Prime. For this reason, if you make a lot of movies, you may be forced to pay extra here too. For example, to have 100 GB of video space (equal to 14 hours of 1080p HD video) you have to pay €19.99 a year (or €1.99 a month).