Are your iPhone and Android photos are really backing up to the cloud? Some things to check…

October 11, 2017

We have long recommended that our clients make sure that photos on mobile devices are backing up to the cloud. That way if anything happens to your phone, your photos are safe. Most often, phones are set up this way so it is infrequent for us to find a problem. But it is important to know that most mobile devices are set up to back up only when connected to WiFi and do not back up over data.

Why is this significant? Those vacation pictures you take over the course of a week at the beach may not get backed up until you return home and your phone is again connected to your home’s wifi. And now that unlimited data plans are much more common people are connecting their phones to wifi less frequently – even while at home.

Here are some tips:

  • If you are an iPhone user, know that your photos will only back up over WiFi and while the phone is charging. Apple does not have an option to back up over data. So try to connect your iPhone to WiFi overnight if you are traveling.
  • If you are an Android user, you have the option to back up over data as well as WiFi. But this must be enabled in your Cloud settings.
  • For iPhone users especially, consider using a second back up app that permits back up over data. We have started using Google Photos which offers unlimited photo storage if you are willing to store photos at “high resolution,” not “full” resolution. If you want full resolution, Google offers 15 gb free storage and additional storage for a fee. Google Photo settings can be adjusted to back up over data.
  • No matter where you store your photos, check periodically to make sure they are truly being stored as you intend. Log into your iCloud account, for example, and see if your photos are indeed there.
  • Be careful when deleting photos! If you delete a photo from your device, it will delete from the cloud and other devices. For example, if you delete from your iPhone, the photos will be deleted from other devices connected to the cloud like your laptop or iPad.

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