How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos, for Free

Jul 30, 2020 - 7 Comments

How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos

Are you an iPhone user looking to backup your photos to the cloud, but you have either ran out of iCloud storage space, don’t want to pay for iCloud fees, or you’re already intertwined within the Google ecosystem? You’re certainly not alone. Thanks to Google Photos, there’s an alternate way to backup iPhone photos to the cloud, and it’s free.


Apple provides 5 GB of free iCloud storage with every account, but for many people, that’s not enough to store their stuff, let alone all of the photos in their libraries. Of course one solution is to pay Apple for more iCloud storage space and then to use iCloud Photos, but that’s not the only option. Google provides a solution to alleviate this issue with Google Photos, by offering unlimited storage space to its users at no cost at all.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the free Google Photos cloud storage space to store your iPhone or iPad photos, then read on so you can learn how to backup pictures from iOS and iPadOS directly to Google Photos.

How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos for Free

In order to take advantage of Google’s unlimited storage for photos, you’ll need to install the Google Photos app on your iPhone or iPad. Additionally, a Google account is required to use this service. Simply follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Open “App Store” from the home screen of your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Find “Google Photos” on the App Store and install the application onto your device. Once installed, tap “Open”.

    How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos
  3. Upon opening the app, you’ll be asked to sign in with your Google account.

    How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos
  4. Once you’ve signed in, you’ll have the option to “Back up as (Google account name)” as shown in the screenshot below. Simply tap on it.

    How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos
  5. Now, select the “High Quality” option and tap “Confirm” to start backing up your iPhone or iPad photos to Google’s cloud servers.

    How to Backup iPhone Photos to Google Photos

These are pretty much it, now you can keep a backup of your iPhone photo library online with the help of Google Photos.

Image & Video Quality When Backing up iPhone Photos to Google Photosy

Although Google Photos offers unlimited photo storage for free, there’s a caveat. The High Quality setting that you selected will compress all the photos and videos before being uploaded to the cloud servers using Google’s lossless compression algorithm. Thus, you may see some image quality degradation in that process.

For example, a 16 MB image file will be compressed to around 2 MB by Google Photos when you choose High Quality. Additionally, if the image resolution is higher than 16 megapixels, Google will downsize it to 16 megapixels.

Similarly, if the videos you upload to Google Photos are higher than 1080p resolution, they will be resized to Full HD.

Now, you might be wondering what the difference in image quality is, and for many users the difference is nearly impossible to notice until you start pixel peeping or zooming in further, or if you’re really serious about image editing. But for casual users and most pictures, it’s prob ably fine.

Regardless, if you still want to store your photos at the original file size and at full true native resolution, Google provides 15 GB of data on the free tier, which is still 10 GB more than what Apple’s iCloud offers for free. However, it’s worth noting that this storage space is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. Like iCloud, you can always pay Google for more space too.

Did you backup your entire iPhone or iPad photo library to Google Photos? What do you think of Google’s clever compression algorithm that helps them provide unlimited storage space for free? Let us know your experiences, thoughts, and opinions in the comments!

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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. Tectulia says:

    Google just announced that Photos its no longer free.

  2. Hal Durnford says:

    I haven’t confirmed but believe Google does not preserve the Live Photo’s movement.
    Amazon Photos (included with an Amazon Prime membership) does backup full resolution and maintains the Live Photo by subsequently downloading the photo and the 3 second movement as a QuickTime Movie. Amazon Prime has 5 GB for various file types to backup, and unlimited for photos.

  3. Felyne says:

    Thanks for the alternative, but No thank you. Google saves and shares.
    Get a photo stick.

  4. I hope the privacy is good though

  5. Jay says:

    Google Pictures: FIRST, you have to buy the app!

  6. katbell says:

    Nothing comes for free..

  7. Katbell says:

    Nothing in this life comes for free..and Google is not the one 😊

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