Have you ever accidentally deleted or lost a file that you NEED? Do you live in fear that you will accidentally delete all of your photos? I used to, but I now use several methods to ensure that my photos will live on forever, even those really embarrassing ones.
As I was working this morning, I had the most recent episode of The Middle playing, Not So Silent Night (Season 7, Episode 10). Amidst the craziness of the Heck family Christmas festivities, Sue manages to somehow delete all the family photos from the archaic computer. Frankie’s ensuing rant felt all too familiar. When she said she hadn’t backed up the computer in more than a year, a little piece of my soul died. I wanted to reach through the screen and tell her “This could all have been prevented!”
So, I figured I would share some back up ideas with all of you, so that you don’t experience the Frankie Heck Lost Photo Meltdown. Now, I am sure that there are a lot more ways to back up photos than I am going to share with you today, but these are the ones I have used or am currently using. My family photos are precious and priceless. All of these are methods that I truly believe in.
Duplicate copy of photos on another computer or external hard drive
In case of the main hard drive failing on my computer, I also have a copy of all our photos on an external hard drive. A good portion of them are also on my husband’s computer.
Con: If there is a natural disaster, fire or electrical surge that affects your entire home, you may lose the backups as well. So, while duplicate copies of the photos is a good place to start, don’t stop there!
Duplicate copy of photos burned on CD or DVD
Every few months, I burn a copy of the most recent photos (& my digital scrapbook pages) to CDs or DVDs. These will be safe through an electrical surge.
Con: CDs and DVDs may not be stable for long periods of time. Some experts have claimed that they may only have a 2-5 year lifespan. Also, if there is a fire or natural disaster, the files will be lost. You can also mail a copy to a family or friend who lives in a different area of the country.
Online Backup Service
This is my favorite method of backing up my files. There are a lot of online backup services. I am not an expert in this area, but I can tell you that I use Backblaze (affiliate link). When I initially signed up for the service more than 7 years ago, it met all of my needs and has continued to meet my needs, while maintaining a relatively reasonable price. When I started using Backblaze, I selected only the photo folder on my computer to be backed up. Once those were backed up, I added my Scrapbook Pages folder. After that, I added all of my Scrapbook Products to the backup queue. Once all of those files were backed up, I allowed my computer to back up all of my files.
Con: The backup can be corrupted. Once a month, I check to be sure that my backup is intact and that there are new files actually being backed up. It can also take quite a long time to do the initial backup. It took about three weeks to do my initial backup. Hint: It may be worth it to bump up your internet speeds for a month or two to speed up your backup.
The Cloud Backups
Did you know that if you have Amazon Prime (affiliate link) you get free Amazon Cloud storage space for your photos and music files? I didn’t. We have had Amazon Prime for years and I just found out that I can back up my photos and music to the cloud. And it’s included in the cost of something I already have, use & love. There are other cloud services that you can use, including Google (I think this one is free! Free is good!) & Apple. I’m not an Apple person, so I am not sure how that one works.
I would highly encourage you to use at least two of these methods, preferably one local and one off-site method. If you have other photo backup ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments. I’d love to hear more ideas.