How to Automatically Back Up iPhone Photos Using iCloud

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The photos you click on your iPhone are precious memories that you don’t want to lose just because you lost your phone. It’s best to back up your photos. The easiest way to do that is using iCloud.

How iCloud Photos Works

There are many ways that you can back up your photos. You can transfer them to an external drive, your computer, or a third-party backup service. But nothing will work as seamlessly as iCloud Photos.

iCloud is Apple’s own cloud syncing service that lets you securely back up data like photos, messages, and apps to their cloud storage. Once it’s uploaded, this data can be accessed on all of your Apple devices or by¬†using the iCloud website.

iCloud starts you off with 5 GB of free storage. If you have a large photo library, though, you’ll want to upgrade to one of the paid plans. You can get 50 GB of storage for $0.99/month, 200 GB of storage for $2.99/month, and 2 TB of storage for $9.99/month. If you’re using the 200 GB plan or higher, you can share the storage space with your family members.

Related: How to Increase Your iCloud Storage Space

How to Enable iCloud Photos Backup on iPhone

To get started, open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.

Open Settings App on your iPhone

Go to the “Photos” section.

Go to the "Photos" section in the Settings app.

Tap the toggle next to the “iCloud Photos” option to enable the feature.

Enable "iCloud Photos" feature in the "Photos" section.

And that’s it. Instantly, your iPhone will start uploading photos from your gallery to iCloud.

Customizing and Optimizing Your iCloud Back Up

Once the feature has been enabled, you can customize what happens once the photos are uploaded to iCloud. If your iPhone is running out of storage, you can choose to only keep compressed versions of uploaded photos in your gallery.

In the “Photos” section, choose the “Optimize iPhone Storage” option to keep only compressed versions of photos locally. This feature works automatically and only kicks in when your iPhone is running out of storage space. A full-resolution version of a photo can be downloaded at any time with iCloud.

If you have ample storage space, choose the “Download and Keep Originals” option. As the name suggests, it will keep a complete library of all your photos on the iPhone.

Choose "Optimize iPhone Storage" to automatically delete photos when you're running low on storage space.

You can also customize how the iCloud Photos feature uses cellular data. On the “Photos” page, go to the “Cellular Data” section (It might be labeled as “Mobile Data” in some regions.).

Go to the "Cellular Data" or "Mobile Data" section in "Photos" page.

Here, you can enable or disable the “Cellular Data” (or “Mobile Data”) feature depending on your cellular plan. When it’s disabled, the Photos app will only upload photos when you’re using Wi-Fi.

Tap the toggle next to the "Cellular Data" or "Mobile Data" option to enable the feature.

On the other hand, if you have an unlimited data plan, you can enable the “Unlimited Updates” feature. It uses cellular data to upload and download photos from iCloud without any restrictions.

Go to the "Cellular Data" or "Mobile Data" section in "Photos" page.

Now that the feature is set up, any new photo or video will be uploaded to iCloud instantly (along with all of your old photos and videos in the Library). To check the progress, open the Photos app and go to the “Library” tab or the “Recents” photo album. At the bottom, you’ll see the upload progress bar.

The upload progress bar in the Photos app.

If you’re running out of iCloud storage space or if you’re shifting to a different backup service, you can disable iCloud Photos at any time. Open the Settings app, go to the “Photos” section, and tap the toggle next to the “iCloud Photos” option.

Now that your photos are safe and sound, you should spend some time enhancing some of your favorite shots. You don’t even need a third-party app! Just use the built-in editor in the Photos app to apply filters and fine-tune some details. Happy editing!

Related: How to Edit Photos on Your iPhone (Using the Photos App)

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