Back up your photos (and your iPhone)

Back up your photos (and your iPhone)

We’ve all been there and if you haven’t, it’s coming.

You’re going about your day, at the grocery store or just at home and then your phone falls. It falls on the ground, in the pool, in the toilet. It doesn’t matter where it falls, because chances are, it’s not going to work the same way it used to.

Your screen – shattered, wet, unresponsive. At this moment, you are one of two people:

  1. The tech conscious consumer who has all their photos and data backed up
  2. The person who didn’t pay for additional iCloud storage and hasn’t backed up their phone in months, if ever

For the 1s, good for you. You’re free to go.

For the 2s, keep reading and we’ll make you into a 1. And if cost is a concern, don’t worry. I’ll show you ways to back up your stuff that is free.


These are the most important. These are memories, experiences, references, people, places, pets. Chances are, you don’t want to lose these. Here’s how to not lose them.

Google Photos

The amount of people that still do not know about or don’t use Google Photos is fascinating. Most people already have a gmail account and even if you don’t, I’d argue Google Photos is worth setting one up.

Setting up Google Photos is as easy as it gets.

  1. Download the app (App Store)
  2. Log in with your gmail account
  3. Give Google Photos access to your photos/videos
  4. Decide if you want to save a high quality photo (free) or original quality photo (free, but size counts towards your Google Drive storage)
  5. Done

That’s it, those five steps and your photos are backed up and available online and on any device that has the Google Photos app.

Drop your phone in all the toilets you want. Your photos will always be saved and available.

It even has a ton of cool search/sharing features and helps you delete photos on your phone that have already been backed up to free up space. Try it. It’s worth it.

What about all the apps and stuff?

So we’ve touched backing up your photos, but now let’s talk about all the other stuff on your phone.

By default, Apple gives you 5GB of iCloud storage that you can use for your phone backups. However, people have tons of apps (and photos) and those take up a lot of digital space. This could easily eat up your 5GB. So, what are your options?

1. Pay for more storage. I pay the $2.99/month for 200GB of storage that I share with my wife (iTunes family accounts for the win!). This works perfectly for us and we never have to worry about not having a backup in case something happens. That piece of mind is worth the cup of coffee a month.

2. Backup on iTunes (free). Yes, iTunes still exists, but not for long. Plug in your iPhone every now and then to your computer, fire up iTunes and sync. This was the way to do it before iCloud existed and still works well. Set a reminder to do this every other week, once a month, once a quarter (who thinks in quarters outside of work?).

What else?

That’s it really. This covers your photos/videos and your apps and other phone data. It’s not that hard, but backing up your phone is one of those simple tasks that just aren’t on everyone’s radar. Hopefully this shows you how simple it is to make sure your phone and memorable contents are always backed up.

Is there anything I missed? Something you want me to write about? Let me know!