There are several ways to save and recover iPhone photos. Some are perfectly “native” or integrated into the operating system and services that Apple makes available to those who have one of its devices. Others are offered by third parties that have nothing to do with Apple.
Here we will essentially deal with those suggested by Apple but we will also mention those presented by Google and Amazon, two services that many have at their fingertips.
Save photos to iCloud
Saving your photos on iCloud is certainly the simplest and most immediate way. To be sure of securing every shot is enough, go to Settings-> Photos and Camera and turn on the iCloud Photo Library switch.
The automatic sending of the photos taken to the base cloud occurs automatically only when the device detects an active WiFi connection. In the case of 3G or 4G data connection, the option will remain on standby and the photo upload will restart as soon as the device is connected to a WiFi network.
It is important to note one aspect: iCloud backup is an exact copy of the photo archive on the iPhone. This means that if a photo is permanently deleted from your iPhone (because you decide to do it immediately or because you put it in the trash and left it there for more than 30 days), it will also be deleted from iCloud.
Back up using the cellular network
You can also use the Cellular network for backup by going to Settings-> Photos and Camera -> Cellular Data. Here you will find two switches:
- Cellular Data: used to back up using the cellular network only when the iPhone has not backed up using the Wi-Fi network for some time
- Unlimited Updates: Use the cellular network as if you were using the Wi-Fi network. Synchronization occurs constantly.
Save photos by optimizing space
Saving photos to iCloud can also be useful for saving space on your iPhone or device. In fact, you can choose two to keep only low-weight copies of the images taken locally, while those in the original format are stored on iCloud. Just select in Settings-> Photos and Camera, then the option Optimize iPhone space. This mode can be understood as a sort of storage. On iCloud, you store photos in their original format, but optimized versions remain on the device, so as to preserve the internal memory and take up as little space as possible.
By choosing Download and keep originals instead, the photos are kept on the iPhone or iPad in the original version, therefore in high resolution, using more iPhone memory.
BackUp and paid iCloud plan
There is no free infinite space on iCloud. Apple only offers 5 GB of free storage memory which is also taken up for other data. In particular, in addition to photos, they take up significant space:
- Backup Application Data
- Email messages
- Backup of Whatsapp
For this, it is very likely that you will have to invest in an iCloud plan. There are three price ranges: 50 GB: $0.99; 200 GB: $2.99; 2 TB : $9.99.
Saving with My Photo Stream
Apple has also had an automatic backup system for years. This is My Photo Stream. This service, other than iCloud Photos, has the function of uploading the most recent photos to be viewed and imported on all devices. The photos are kept in the My Photo Stream album for 30 days in the maximum number of thousand peers and have no additional cost.
My Photo Stream, however, is now in fact accessible only to a small number of users: in practice, those who do not have the iCloud Photo back up and the owners of old Apple IDs. It seems that the service is being phased out. Those who still access it must keep in mind that it still has limitations with respect to Backing up Photos on iCloud. Specifically My Photo Stream:
- Does not download high-resolution photos on iPhone (when restoring they are low resolution)
- Photos are stored for a limited time (30 days)
- It is not accessible from Apple Watch or Cloud.com
- Doesn’t load different types of photo formats (including TIFF or Live)
Restoring photos from iCloud
When you need to recover your photos from iCloud, it will be very easy to do it.
- Just log into the account with our password from another device and the photos will be restored immediately
- You will also be able to download photos individually from a Mac or PC from the iCloud.com account
- You can also use Photos on Mac by selecting iCloud Photos in your preferences. At that point, you will have access to the archive and you will be able to download the images
- On PC you will have to use iCloud for Windows
Save photos locally on Mac or PC
Automatically saving photos to iCloud is probably the best and easiest solution to keep them safe. But if you don’t want to buy an iCloud paid plan, you can always download the images using a Mac or PC. At that point, the only limit will be the capacity of the disk where you will go to save them.
Using a Mac
You can use both the Photos application and the Image Capture application to access iPhone and iPad photos. Just connect your device to the Mac’s USB port, then select the device to see the photos appear. At that point, you will have to drag them to the destination where we want to save them. Then possibly delete from the device.
Using a PC
To save photos on a Windows PC you must have iTunes in its latest version, then use Photos for Windows. The device will be visible as if it were an external media or a camera and the images will be immediately accessible. You can also use the Photos application for Windows.
Backup using Google Photo
The Google Photos application allows you to save images on your Google account space. The operation is automatic and immediate. It allows you to perform interesting functions including:
- the selection of the upload quality,
- the ability to access photos from all devices on which you have access to the Google account.
Google Photos offers free space up to 15 GB but these are the ones that are also managed by Gmail and the drive. You can add space at prices that are comparable with those of iCloud but you can buy up to 30 TB of space with Apple’s “only” 2 TB.
Backup Using Amazon Photos
Amazon Photos, another backup system we recommend you explore, is very similar to Google Photos. It works with an application and allows you to automatically synchronize images. Compared to Google Photo it has a more restrictive limit in the completely free range (only 5 GB) but if you have Amazon Prime the disk capacity is unlimited both in size and resolution.
Basically, you can upload as many photos as you want regardless of the “weight” of the photos. But if you upload videos, there’s only 5GB for free even if you have Amazon Prime. For this reason, if you make a lot of films, you may be forced to pay extra here too. For example, to have 100 GB of video space (equal to 14 hours of HD 1080p video) you have to pay $19.99 per year (or $1.99 per month)