10 Best Methods to Backup Photos on Android, iOS, PC and Mac

Last Updated on January 9, 2022 by Peter Wood

Digital devices already become the most important part of our life. We almost cannot do anything without these devices today. As the cameras of digital devices increasingly improve, we take more and more high-quality photos on our devices. Backup photos become more and more significant. These photos recorded the footprints of our lives and the achievement of our work. However, the lifetime of any hardware is limited. Although we use them carefully, abrasion and damage are unavoidable. Not to mention that thieves are staring at the advanced equipment. Backup is the ultimate solution to these problems. Therefore, this article will introduce how to back up photos to external hard drives.


Part 1: How to Back Up Photos on Windows

Windows 11 is the latest version of Windows. And many users do not understand how to back up photos to an external hard drive. Actually, the process is similar to Windows 8.1.

Step 1: Organize the photos and save them in one folder on Windows 10.

Step 2: Click on the Start menu and select the Settings option.

Step 3: Find out the Update & security option.

Step 4: Plug the external hard drive into the USB interface.

Step 5: In the Update & security window, click on the button of Add a drive and select the external hard drive.

Step 6: Click on More options to activate the Backup options box.

Step 7: Tap on the Back up now button and then Add a folder.

Step 8: Then select the folder that saved the photos to back up.

Step 9: After a few minutes, the photos will be copied to the external hard drive.

It will take a longer time to back up these photos for the first time. And the next time, the program will skip the repeated photos automatically, so it will become faster.


Part 2: How to Copy Photos on Mac

Mac is developed by Apple. And the unique operation system makes the backup process special as well. To back up all the photos on Mac, you can organize the photos and other files in iTunes.

Step 1: Insert the external hard drive, which is big enough to store all the photos, to your Mac computer.

Step 2: Format the external hard drive before backup, if you use it to back up for the first time.

Step 3: Time Machine application is the professional backup utility for Mac users. Navigate to System Preferences and open Time Machine.

Step 4: Select the external hard drive as the Backup Disk and turn Time Machine on to activate the backup process.

Step 5: The initial backup photo process may take a while depending on the amount of data on your Mac computer.

The backup process needs not only carefulness but also patience. It may take a few minutes to back up photos every time. But when you upgrade your computer, you will discover that it is convenient to restore the backup photos.


Part 3: How to Store Photos for iPhones

To keep security, Apple does not design a USB interface for iPhones. So users have to transfer photos from iPhone to PC and store these photos from their computers to external hardware.

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone and open Settings.

Step 2: Find out the iCloud option and open it.

Step 3: Select the Photos option and turn on the iCloud Photo Library option. Then all the photos on our iPhone will be uploaded to iCloud automatically when your iPhone connects to Wi-Fi.

Step 4: Then turn to your computer and access the iCloud on the browser.

Step 5: Log in to the same Apple account and download the photos to back up from iCloud Photo Library to computer.

Step 6: Then you can follow the guidance above to backup the photos from your computer to the external hard drive.

A Backup photo is not one-off work. It needs you to do it frequently. Although iPhone users could synchronize photos from iPhone to iCloud, the storage of iCloud is limited as well. So it is a better choice to keep the photos on external hardware.


Part 4: How to Backup Photos on Android

To computers, the USB hard drive is a good choice to back up photos; for Android handsets, the external SD card is the popular choice to back up photos.

Step 1: Insert the external SD card into your Android handset.

Step 2: Unlock your smartphone and navigate to Settings. Scroll down to Storage to check the storage of the SD card. Make sure that the space of the SD card is big enough to back up the photos.

Step 3: Launch the explorer app that is usually an icon that looks like a folder. Open the memory of your smartphone, which is usually called storage or phone. And all the photos were taken by your smartphone store in the folder of Camera.

Step 4: Select the photos to back up. Click on the drop-down menu on the top of the screen and select Move, and then choose SD card as the destination.

Step 5: Then the photos will be backed up to the external SD card in a few seconds.

After the process, you can unplug the external SD card and keep it in a secure place.


Backup Android Photos with Android backup app

BitTorrent Sync is a cloud service for backing up Android photos. When you need to keep copies of your Android photos tucked away on a laptop or NAS, BitTorrent Sync should be a good option as the Android backup App. BitTorrent Sync will back everything up whenever you are on the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 1: Launch the Android version of BitTorrent Sync to back up photos.

Step 2: Tap the Context menu to choose the New backup option.

Step 3: Select the Pictures option and tap the + icon to add Android photos.

Step 4: Once you choose a folder, it will appear in Sync main view and back up photos automatically.

BitTorrent Sync

Backup Android Photos with OneDrive

OneDrive is another popular backup service provided by Microsoft Corporation. The backup App has a Camera Backup feature, which allows you to upload Android photos you take on photo to OneDrive. But OneDrive only offers 3GB storage space for free. You can turn on the Camera Backup feature from Settings to upload photos in full resolution and good quality with a Wi-Fi network.

Step 1: Open OneDrive App on Android phones to back up Android photos.

Step 2: Select the Camera Backup option from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Tap on the Turn on the icon for the Camera Backup button.

Step 4: The Android photos will be automatically backed up to the One Drive account.


Part 5: 5 Methods to Save Photos Online

There are many photos sharing networks online, like Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest. However, these networks are not good at saving photos. Even if you save photos to an SD card, you will find the SD card runs out of space within a short period. The benefits of storing photos in professional photo savers are clear. We can not only save our photos orderly but also look at these photos across devices. Therefore, in this part, we will introduce five useful photos savers.


Flickr is one of the most popular photo savers online. It has added more features and a new layout in the last few years to attract more users. Here are the most attractive features include.

  1. If you register a Flickr account, you will get 1TB of storage for free and you can save 500 thousand photos. But when you upload photos, Flickr has a 200MB limit size.
  2. Flickr users could organize, tag, comment, share and print their photos.
  3. Flickr also provides editing tools for photos.
  4. Recently, Flickr has launched two new features, Camera Roll and Uploader. Camera Roll allows us to organize your photos according to the date. So you can find the photos through months and years. An uploader is desktop software for both Mac and Windows users. We can upload photos from our PC to Flickr directly via Uploader.
  5. Of course, if you need more features you have to choose to pay $6 per month or $50 per year to upgrade the photo saver app. And if you need more space, you have to pay $499; then you can get 2TB storage.

Finally, Flickr does not support multiple image formats, like GIF.


Google Photos

Some people like to use Google+ as their default photo saver. Therefore Google released a more professional application called Google Photos to meet Internet needs of users. The basic features include:

  1. This photo saver is free for Google users, and it will provide 15GB of storage. While if that is not enough, you could also pay an extra fee to expand the storage. There are two choices, $1.99 per month for 100GB or $9.99 per month for 1TB.
  2. We can upload photos from PC to Google Photos on photos.google.com, or through a desktop app called Picasa. And there are also apps for iOS and Android.
  3. The best feature of Google Photos is synchronization. After setting up automatic upload photos in-app, the new photos on our phone will synchronize to Google Photos.
  4. Google Photos could offer some amazing functions because Google has integrated artificial intelligence into Google Photos. For example, Google Photos could identify the place you take the photo and tag it.
  5. If you have uploaded a series of photos, Google Photos will stitch them together to create a panoramic photo or an animated photo.
  6. This photo saver could also create stories for the photos taken on holidays or special events.

If you do not like these cool features, you can just throw photos into Google Photos. And then it will organize the photos on a timeline.


Amazon Prime Photos

Amazon Prime Photos is a part of Amazon's cloud storage service. It also provides 5GB of space for subscription users to save photos. The simple features include.

  1. The photos saved in Amazon Prime Photos are arranged chronologically.
  2. And users could just post photos in Amazon Prime Photos in email, Facebook, or download them to our computer.
  3. There is a photo saver app on smartphones and PCs to upload and download photos. The best feature of Amazon photo saver is an automatic backup.

If you are not a Prime subscription user, the costs of photo saving will become $12 per year.



Photobucket is one of the most popular photo savers, partly because it provides unlimited storage. The principal features include.

  1. In addition to saving photos, Photobucket is also a convenient platform to share photos. This photo saver integrates with Facebook, users could share photos directly. Users could also use the auto-generated URLs to embed our photos in messages.
  2. Photobucket users also like to utilize the tools and filters to edit their photos.
  3. This photo saver allows users to save 2GB of photos for free. And if users download its mobile apps, the storage will expand to 8GB for free. There are also extra paid versions, including 99 cents per month to remove advertisement and $40 per month for 500GB storage.

Based on the analysis above, we can select the photo savers online we like and enjoy the service freely.



DropBox should be one of the most popular backup services that automatically upload photos and videos as you take them. The online backup service only provides 2GB of storage for photos and videos. When you back up photos to Dropbox, you can get the photos from any of your devices or share the file/folder with different people in high quality. Just learn more about how to backup photos with Dropbox.

  1. Sign in to Dropbox before you upload photos for Backup.
  2. Tap the menu button to click the Gear or Settings icon.
  3. Scroll to find the Camera Upload section.
  4. Toggle to either Turn on or Turn off Camera Upload.

Part 6: How to Backup Photos from iPhone to PC/Mac, or Vice Versa

Whether you need to backup iPhone photos to a computer or need to save some important photos from computer to iPhone, iPhone Transfer is always the first choice to sync and backup photos between different devices, especially when you have to sync a large number of photos. It can remove data from a computer, iOS device, and iTunes Library selectively. It is the easiest way to backup photos from iPhone to PC/Mac, or vice versa within one click.

  1. Backup photos from iPhone photos to computer, or vice versa within one click.
  2. Browse the iPhone or computer photos within the program before transferring.
  3. Convert the iPhone HEIC to JPEG when you backup photos from iPhone to PC.
  4. Provide some basic photo editing features to polish, convert and manage photos.
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Step 1: Once you have installed iPhone Transfer, you can launch the program on your computer. Go to the Photos tab on the left side, which you can check the photos you want to backup from different folders from the Camera Roll.

iOS Transfer

Step 2: Choose the desired photos or choose the Check All option to backup all iPhone photos. When you selected the desired photos, you can click the Export to PC option to transfer the selected photos to your computer.

Export Media to PC

Step 3: When you need to backup photos from computer to iPhone, you can click the Add button and find the file you want to import. Click the Open button to transfer and backup photos from your computer to Photo Library.

Backup Photos to iPhone Win Download Mac Download

Part 7: FAQs about Backup Photos on Different Devices

This is the title

1Can I backup the iPhone HEIC photos to Windows PC?

Since HEIC is not the default photo format of Windows PC, you can only save the iPhone default photo format to Windows PC. Because the HEIC file contains meta-data and is smaller in size compared to JPEG/PNG, you can simply download a HEIC image converter and viewer to backup the iPhone photos to PC/Mac directly.

2What is the best Cloud service to back up photos?

In depends. When you have Apple devices, iCloud is the best choice to backup photos. As for the Android phone, Google Photos has an excellent 15GB of free storage, which you can save images up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080P. Dropbox is one of the largest file storage platforms to backup photos for different platforms.

3How to backup old photos to digital file format?

The easiest way to turn your old photos into digital format is to send them away to a photo scanning service. When there is any damage to the original old photo, you also need to repair the photos beforehand. Just choose the desired photos, backup them, and even create them into a slideshow for a golden memory.


Although the performance of digital devices increasingly improves, storing many photos will affect the speed. And if the digital devices were damaged or stolen, the valuable photos would lose forever. So it is an important thing for most users to backup photos frequently. This article has provided the guidance to back up photos from Windows, Mac, Android handsets, iPhone to external hardware or online photo saving sites. When you need to back up photos, you can follow the how-to and keep your photos secure.

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