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Use Google Photos to Free Up Your iCloud Backups

Limited phone storage is one of those modern life banes. Although our portable devices come with gigabytes of internal storage, this often isn’t enough to house all of the photos, videos and apps that we like to keep. On some smartphones, this can be combatted through the use of microSD cards, which allow a user to expand their available storage by large amounts.

On iPhones, however, that’s not an option. This can leave users stuck with a warning message that their backups to iCloud can’t process due to the lack of space available. If you need to keep everything on your phone, what are you to do to free up that space?

Well, Google might be able to help you. Providing photos and videos are taking up the bulk of your storage space, or at least a great portion of it, you can use the Google Photos app to help take the storage load off your device.

May 2015 saw the announcement from Google that their Google Photos utility was separating from their Google+ platform, becoming its own entity entirely. The big draw was that Google Photos would allow users to store an unlimited amount of photos at no cost, providing they abided particular image quality constraints.

The reason this is relevant is because the Google Photos app for iOS has an automatic backup and sync option for the photos stored on your device. This means that those with an iPhone can move their photo backup from iCloud to Google Photos for free, thus making it far less likely that a storage limit on iCloud will be reached.

It’s simple to get started. First, download the Google Photos app for iOS. To do this, just search for it within the App Store and it should be the first result. It’s free, so grab it with the ‘Get’ button.

Open the app and enter your Google account details. It should notice if you have a Google account in use on another app on the device, so select that if it does. Remember, this is the account that is going to be used to backup all your photos, so if you have multiple accounts (like personal and work), then choose wisely.

You’ll then have an option on what quality of photo you want to store. For unlimited storage, select the ‘High Quality’ choice. Then progress through the wizard and enable the automatic sync and backup. Choose whether to just do this on Wi-Fi or not.

And that’s it! Now that’s done, you can disable the photo backup on iCloud. To do this, go to the iPhone Settings app and select the ‘iCloud’ option. Towards the top of the next page, select ‘Photos’ and you can disable the full iPhone photo library backup, the Photo Stream feature, or both.

You’ll then be prompted to go into iCloud and you can choose to delete your old backups. However, be wary of this – if you don’t have those files on your phone anymore, and they’re not backed up anywhere else, then you will lose them. Always ensure you create a secondary backup before deleting anything – or move them across to Google Photos.


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