How to store all photos in the cloud for FREE

That is correct. There is no error in that title.

Paying for cloud storage really isn’t expensive, but it definitely isn’t nice to see any sort of money continuously exit your bank account (and I think most people agree with me…). Most people have so many photos stored up either on their phone or on a computer, where they have accumulated photos in a variety of ways. Finding a way to save the space that photos use on your phone storage and store them completely for free, seems almost impossible – or so I thought.

How to Delete Google Photos from Cloud Only & Keep Local Device ...

At first, I was also skeptical upon finding out that this was possible. However, I felt more assured when I found out who was providing this program. The tech behemoth, Google (or Alphabet if you want the parent company). The same company that provides the search engine, some cloud storage in the form of Google Drive, your email and too many other services to even mention. So at this point you understand that the service will be reliable and that you don’t have to worry too much about all your photos disappearing or anything like that.

This service is called Google Photos. The app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS, as well as being able upload photos from your computer through Google’s downloadable application, Backup and Sync (all three of which can be downloaded here). Once you have downloaded the app on your phone (which you should probably start with), the app will request access to your photos and ask you if you want to back up in “High Quality” or “Original Quality”. Make sure you choose “HIGH QUALITY”! I researched more on the topic and found that the difference in quality between High Quality and Original Quality is negligible – but the cloud storage it takes up is NOT.

If you choose High Quality, then you are able to backup an unlimited number of photos, whereas if you choose the original quality option, it will start taking up your valuable 15GB of Google Drive Storage instead. After choosing the high quality option, Google will back up all of your photos into the cloud for free. This will obviously take a while as it is essentially uploading a ton of data into the cloud (but I promise it will be worth the wait).

Google Photos sync may be fixed w/ iOS 13 background API - 9to5Google
Credit: 9To5Google

After all this is done, you are able to go onto the “Free Up Space” option in the menu bar of the Google Photos app and clear all the photos in your phone (theoretically). Although, I personally encountered a few issues with this… For some reason every time I tried to delete my photos, the photos just would not delete. It was likely because I was trying to delete 4000 photos concurrently, which could have been too much for even a new iPhone to handle. Anyways, if you encounter this problem, just delete the photos manually from your phone by selecting and dragging your finger to select a large number of photos at a time and clicking delete (if this also doesn’t work do it in batches of 200-400 photos). Remember that all this photos must also be deleted from the “Recently Deleted” folder in your iPhone photos app.

How to reclaim phone storage with Google Photos' Free Up Space ...
How to free up space as described above
Credit: Android Central

The next step is to back up any photos you have stored on your computer or laptop, to clear up some more space there. This can be done by downloading the “Backup and Sync” application found here. Then it will ask you to choose which folders to back up (hint: choose the one with the photos you want to back up!). All of this may take a while to do but it will be worth the wait. Once all this has been uploaded then you are done! Both the phone app and the desktop app will continue to backup any photos that are added into the respective folder/phone, whenever you open the app.

How to master Google Photos - The Verge
Credit: The Verge

Here are the biggest benefits about using Google Photos:

  • You can now just download the Google Photos app on any device and access your entire library of photos ever.
  • All photos are arranged in a chronological timeline.
  • The photos are organised by people (and pets), and the application can easily identify the vast majority of photos of a person (even when they are younger).
  • You are able to search through your photos by objects, animals, colours or location – by using the built in search function.
  • You will be shown photos from previous years as memories.
  • The app will make short movies, collages or animations from specific locations, times or people.
  • Photo Books can be ordered directly from the app.
  • Sharing any of your photos with others (or vice versa) has become considerably easier.
  • Its FREE!

I hope others can benefit from this application as much as I have, and that the application can be shared with friends, in order to make your photo storage more efficient and less costly. If you enjoy these sort of tutorials, I would love if you take the time to let me know.

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