I take a ton of photos with my smartphones and I have been automatically backing them up for some time. However, this seems to confuse a lot of folks that I talk with so today I’m going to share with you the step-by-step on how to backup your smartphone photos automatically to your OneDrive cloud storage account. While OneDrive is my favorite service, you can use your favorite cloud service also, but I recommend OneDrive, especially for Windows Phone users. Important note: OneDrive used to be called SkyDrive and on some devices you may see one or both the names, they are all one in the same though.
The automatic backup means that when you take a photo with your smartphone it automatically sends a copy of it to the cloud into your OneDrive account. After initial one-time setup you do not have to do anything else, it is all automatically done! If you were to break or lose your phone you would still have all your photos available. You can also delete your photos from your phone and they will still be available in your OneDrive account. By default, your photos are saved to a private folder than only you can access. No one else will be able to see the photos unless you grant them access or unless you share them some other way.
BONUS TIP! You can do this with your tablets that have cameras in them too!
For Windows Phone Users:
Here are the instructions based on my Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone running WP8. Yours might be a tiny bit different, but generally there is very little difference.
- When you setup your Windows Phone you already entered your Microsoft user information. That is what is tied to your OneDrive account also. You can go to http://www.onedrive.com to make sure you are all set up first and see what already is in your cloud.
- If you do not already have the OneDrive app installed, do so
- Go to SETTINGS (the little gear icon) on your phone
- Scroll down the list until you see BACKUP and select that option
- Click on PHOTOS to see your options
- Good quality can use Wi-Fi or data plan to upload, best quality will wait until you are on a Wi-Fi connection to automatically backup. Data plan is the data you pay for with your wireless account; Wi-Fi, like your home signal, does not count towards your wireless data plan. Select the option that suits you best.
- You will see the same options for video on that screen to select from also.
- Now your photos will be saved to your OneDrive account. The default setting is to go to the folder: PICTURES, and then CAMERA ROLL. You can access these from the OneDrive app on your phone, tablet, laptop, computer, or any web browser anytime you like.
For Android Device Users:
Even though my Windows Phone is my primary phone, I love my Samsung Note 3 also which is an Android operating system device. I am able to backup photos I take with this smartphone to my same OneDrive account also. Again, your device may be a tiny bit different, but it should not have too much difference in how to do this.
- If you have not already, set up your OneDrive account which uses your Microsoft user account. http://www.onedrive.com
- If you do not already have the OneDrive app on your device, install it.
- On your Android device, go into SETTINGS
- Now go to ACCOUNTS and then ADD ACCOUNT
- Select OneDrive from the list and enter your user information
- Checkmark SYNC MEDIA STORAGE for this account
- That’s it. Now your photos will be automatically backed up to your OneDrive account in the folder, PICTURES, and then CAMERA ROLL. You can access these from the OneDrive app on your phone, tablet, laptop, computer, or any web browser anytime you like.
- Note that if you go to SETTINGS and then BACKUP you will not see OneDrive listed there, but as long as within the ACCOUNT settings for OneDrive you have it checkmarked to sync it will be working. (see step 5)
Remember, you can delete these photos from your phones camera rolls after they have been backed up. If you want the photo back on your phone at a later date, just open up the OneDrive app to grab it again.
Do you have your device set to automatically backup your photos? Why or why not?
Disclosure: While I do work with Verizon Wireless as a #VZWBuzz Ambassador, Microsoft as a #WindowsChampions Ambassador, and Samsung, this post is not necessarily sponsored by any of them. I have received devices and services in my relationship with them, but this tutorial is showing you something I really do use in my everyday life.