Automatically backup your photos online for FREE

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For a lot of people, the most valuable thing stored on their computer (or their phone) is the collection of photos. A lot of things can be replaced, but not the photos. In case you didn’t know, there’s a way to back up your photos that is 100% automated and completely free. You should be taking advantage of this.

Google Photos


This is one of those things that I do as second nature now, and for that type of thing I sometimes forget that not everyone knows about it so it might not occur to me to do a blog post about it. But recently I’ve talked to some clients that were completely unaware of this service, so it reminded me that I need to talk about it here.

For a quick overview, here’s what I am able to do now. Once this is set up, you can do the same thing.

Like most people, I take pictures on my phone. It’s an Android phone, but iPhone can do this same process.

So let’s say I walk out my front door and take a picture of my car:

Google Photos


I can then walk back inside to my office, and see that the picture I just took is already viewable on my computer. I didn’t have to click “upload” on any program, I didn’t have to connect my phone to my computer with a USB cable, and I didn’t have to pull out the phone’s memory card and plug it in to the computer. It’s all automated.

So that means even though I might have a ton of important, irreplaceable family pictures on my phone, they wouldn’t be lost forever if my phone got dropped in the ocean or run over by a truck. I can still get them on my computer (or any computer with an internet connection).

To do this, you’ll need a Google account. If you have Gmail, that’s the same thing so you already have the account you need. If you don’t have a Google account, just go to and create one (it’s free).

On your phone, go to the Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iPhone) and get the Google Photos app and install it.

Open the app, click the 3 horizontal lines in the top left, and choose Settings. The very first one in the list is called “Back up and sync”. Click that and make sure it is enabled.

This means that any picture you take will be automatically uploaded to Google Photos ( immediately after you take the picture. And the fact that it’s automated is critical. I mean, if you had to remember every so often to manually back up the pictures on your phone, how often would that happen? If you’re like me, not very often. Automation means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to do it.

And this isn’t just for your phone – you can upload all your pictures from your computer to Google Photos as well. Think about that – a free, automated backup for all your pictures. No more excuses for not backing up!

I would definitely not recommend that Google Photos be your ONLY backup, but it should absolutely be PART of your overall backup strategy at least. If you need help setting it up, get in touch with me.

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Jeff Owens
January 29th, 2018


I just want to thank you for your weekly podcast. I share it with my wife, a non Techie, and she loves your tips.

Last Sunday, the regular IT guys were gone, I had to help download a Youtube video for a 10 year old girl to sing from. I remembered your post in 2014 and used it to get this video so she could see the words when she sang.


Jeff Owens

Marge Teilhaber
January 29th, 2018

Thanks, Scott, for this post. Does this app synch with a computer photos in WhatsApp, too? Or photos texted to us?

Scott Johnson
January 29th, 2018

Good question – I’m not sure.