Back up photos from your mobile device

Save your device's photos and videos to your Google Photos library. This can include photos that you've taken 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 be saved to your Google Photos library, including ones that you capture in the future.
  • A feature of Google Photos: Google Photos is separate from Google+ (and you don't need a Google+ account to use the Google Photos app).
  • Privately stored: Photos and videos backed up from your device are private unless you decide to share them.
  • Syncing: Changes that you make to photos and videos, like deleting or editing, will be reflected across all your synced devices.

Turn back up & sync on or off

Android app

Change the setting

  1. Open the Google Photos app .
  2. At the top left, touch the Menu icon .
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Touch Back up & sync.
  5. Switch on or off.
    Bear in mind that changing backup settings will affect all apps that use back up & sync, such as Google Drive.

Optional: Check what's backed up

  1. At the top left of the Google Photos app, touch the Menu icon .
  2. Select Photos.
  3. Photos and videos that aren't backed up will have this icon .
iOS app

Change the setting

  1. Open the Google Photos app .
  2. At the top left, touch the Menu icon .
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Touch Back up & sync.
  5. Switch on or off.

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

  1. Open the iOS settings app > touch Privacy > Photos.
  2. Switch Google Photos on.

Turning it off
Note that if you've turned back up & sync on in other apps, like Google Drive, you need to switch it off in every app. For example, if you've 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 ensure that it's completely switched off.

Optional: Check what's backed up

  1. At the top left of the Google Photos app, touch the Menu icon .
  2. Select Photos.
  3. Photos and videos that aren't backed up will have this icon .

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost?

Whether there's a cost depends on your settings. You can choose between 2 storage sizes for backing 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

Where are my photos and videos stored?

Photos and videos are saved in your Google Photos library, which is private unless you choose to share it.

View your photos and videos from any device synced to your Google Photos library by going to photos.google.com or by opening the Google Photos app.

How does sync work?

Sync means that you only have to make changes to photos and videos once. Changes that 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.

Andrea is a Photos expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

Was this article helpful?