4 Great Ways to Back Up Photos on Your PC

Wall covered in frames

Long gone are the days when all your cherished photos lived on film and you had limited ways to protect them. Most of us now prefer using digital cameras to capture precious moments, but until recently many people relied on external hard drives to back up those photos.

While this is a perfectly fine way to protect your photos (and one we still recommend), there are a number of additional options at your fingertips. What’s more, some of them are (at least up to a point) free!

Below are some of our favorite ways to back up photos on your PC.

Use the OneDrive app to back up photos

Windows users, rejoice! Microsoft offers a free product called OneDrive that allows you to back up your favorite photos online. As Microsoft puts it, it’s like an extra hard drive that you can access from any PC, anywhere in the world.
OneDrive sign-in screen

OneDrive gives you a couple of options to back up photos. If you’d like to copy your photos onto OneDrive without deleting them from your PC, click the OneDrive tile on your desktop and select the folder(s) you’d like to save your photos to. Right-click and then select Add files. Select the files you want to upload to OneDrive and click Copy to OneDrive.

If you’d like to free up some space on your hard drive, you can move the photos from your PC over to OneDrive instead. Simply open the app and select the photos you’d like to move. Right-click, select Cut and then tap the arrow next to This PC. Once you’ve done that, select OneDrive and choose a folder to move your photos to. Right-click again and select Paste.

While OneDrive gives you 15 GB of free space, you can always upgrade to get additional storage for all your photos: 100 GB for $1.99/month, or 200 GB for $3.99/month.

Use Amazon Cloud Drive storage

Many people subscribe to Amazon Prime, but a lot Prime’s features remain completely unknown to users. One of those is Cloud Drive Storage, which provides you with unlimited backups of all your favorite photos. If you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime, this comes at no additional charge!

Amazon Cloud Drive screen in Amazon Prime

To back up photos using Amazon Cloud Drive, log in to your Prime account, select the Plus (+) icon under your name and click on the photos you’d like to upload to your Cloud Drive. Or you can simply drag individual files onto your browser, and the upload will begin automatically.

Upload screen in Amazon Cloud Drive

If you’re not interested in subscribing to Amazon Prime, you can also pay for Cloud Drive access separately. Amazon offers 5 GB of storage free of charge, and pricing options go up incrementally for more storage.

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Use your Google Drive to back up photos

Most users are comfortable backing up documents on Google Drive, but many people aren’t aware that you can also use the space to back up photos. With 15 GB of free storage, it’s a cost-effective way to ensure all of your favorite photos are secure.

Closeup of Google Drive sidebar menu

To upload your photos, simply click the Up Arrow icon and select the files you’d like to store on your Google Drive. As in Amazon Cloud Drive, you can also simply drag individual files onto your browser and start the upload process automatically. However, keep in mind that your 15 GB of free storage includes your Gmail and any existing documents in your Google Drive, as well as any photos you’ve uploaded to your Google+ account.

Still, if you’re looking for an option that requires little setup and lives on a platform that you’re already using daily, Google Drive could be right for you.

Add your photos to Dropbox

Another option that requires very little setup is Dropbox. We’ve discussed some of the ways you can integrate Dropbox into other apps you use, but it’s also a good option for backing up some of your precious memories.

Dropbox desktop screen showing files and folders

Similar to Google Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive, you can upload any file by simply dragging it into the browser window you’re using for Dropbox. Dropbox is also easy to set up on your desktop, giving you the ability to enable automatic uploads of all your files.

However, Dropbox only offers users 2 GB of free storage. If you’re most comfortable with Dropbox’s interface, you can upgrade to Dropbox Pro for $9.99/month, which will give you 1 TB of storage.

Final thoughts on photo backups

As you might have already noticed, these options don’t require any additional hardware and come with minimal costs. We think photo backups should be easy on the wallet, and these four options are easy to set up and to use on a daily basis. With backups moving so heavily over to cloud storage, these are also options that are far more secure than an external hard drive alone could be.

Are there any other backup solutions you use to make sure you never lose any of your photos? Let us know in the comments section below!

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