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Back up photos & videos

Save your device's photos and videos to your Google Photos library. This can include photos you take with your device's camera and photos saved on your phone.

What is back up & sync?

  • A backup service: Your device's photos and videos will save to your Google Photos library, including ones you capture in the future.
  • Privately stored: Photos and videos backed up from your device are private unless you decide to share them.
  • Syncing: Changes you make to photos and videos, like deleting or editing, will be reflected across all of your synced devices.

Turn back up & sync on or off

Turn on
  1. Open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the top left, tap Menu .
  4. Select Settings Back up & sync.
  5. Switch on or off.

If you see a message asking to allow the app to access your photos:

  1. Open the iOS settings app > tap Privacy > Photos.
  2. Switch Google Photos on.
Turn off
  1. Open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the top left, tap Menu .
  4. Select Settings Back up & sync.
  5. Switch on or off.

Note: If you turned back up & sync on in other apps, like Google Drive, you need to switch it off in every app. For example, if you turned back up & sync on in both the Google Photos and the Google Drive apps, you'll need to turn it off in both apps to fully turn off back up & sync.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if my photos have been backed up?

Check if your photos are backed up

  1. Open the Google Photos app .
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Photos .
  4. At the top, you'll see if your photos are backed up, or if it's still waiting to back up. 
How much does it cost?

Whether there is a cost depends on your settings. You can choose between 2 storage sizes to back up your photos and videos:

  • High quality: Unlimited free storage for photos and videos that might be reduced in size or resolution. Learn more
  • Original: Counts against your Google Account's 15 GB of free storage for photos and videos that are stored exactly as you captured them.

Check my Google storage

How does sync work?

Sync means that you only have to make changes to photos and videos once. Changes you make to your photos, like editing and deleting, will happen on every device that syncs to your Google Photos library. This includes:

  • Any phone or tablet that has the Google Photos app and backs up & syncs to the same Google Account.
  • Any computer that signs in to photos.google.com with the same Google Account.
What if I also back up using the Google Drive app?

If you have the Google Drive app installed on your iPhone or iPad and you also turned on back up in the Google Drive app, you need to switch back up off in both apps to stop backing up your photos and videos.

For example, if you turned back up on in both the Google Photos app and the Google Drive app, your photos will still back up until you turn it off in both places.

Turning off back up & sync means that changes you make to photos and videos, like deleting and editing, won't sync to your Google Photos library.

Brenna is a Google Photos expert and wrote this page. Help her improve it by leaving feedback below.

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