Why iCloud is Not Backing Up Your Photos

Many of us have our phones set so the pictures and videos we take are automatically “backed up” using iCloud Photos. Well, here’s the thing about iCloud, it’s not actually backing up your photos.

A back up collection of your photos and videos should not change. You should move copies of your photos and videos into the back up and they should just sit there, safe, in case you need them.

iCloud works more like a file transfer system. It synchronizes, or “syncs”, collections of your photos. When you take a picture on your phone the system works to make your photo collection on your phone sync, or be the same as, your photo collection in iCloud. If you delete a picture on your phone the system works the same way, it syncs, or makes your iCloud collection look the same as your phone collection, by removing that same photo. The same thing happens if you log in to iCloud. If you log in and delete a photo in iCloud it will sync with your phone collection and remove that photo from your phone. The system works to make the two collections the same.

Family Photo Solutions
Why iCloud is not backing up your photos – Family Photo Solutions

iCloud can also sync with your computer. It’s a very slick file transfer system! If you take a photo on your phone it can sync to your iCloud collection which will in turn sync with your computer collection. Your new photo can be found on your phone, iCloud and your computer. It can feel like you are creating a back up copy of that photo because it now resides in 3 different places. The danger is that the synchronization works with both adding photos and deleting photos. If you now deleted that photo on your phone it would also be deleted from iCloud and from your computer.

There are lots of ways to back up the photos and videos on your phone. My favourite is to have your photos automatically back up to Dropbox, Amazon Photos or One Drive. Backing up to one of these cloud storage sites will provide a true back up copy of your collection and keep your photos and videos safe.