DIY: Amazon Prime Photos Backup System – Part 1 – Setting up Devices

DIY: Amazon Prime Photos Backup System – Part 1 – Setting up Devices

Do you wonder how to back up all of your photos?  Both the digital and the digitized?  Are you confused about the difference between backing up and syncing?

To answer the last question first, understanding the difference between backing up and syncing is very helpful in setting up the photo preservation system you need:

  • Backing up is like a one-way street. The pictures are copied to the backup location.
    • Pro: If you lose your phone, for instance, the photos would be safely saved at the backup location.
    • Con: If you want to cull junk pictures, you would need to delete them from both places.
  • Syncing is like a two-way street.
    • Pro: If you delete the junk picture on the phone, it will also get deleted when synced.
    • Con: If your phone dies, you may lose all your pictures.


If you are already a member of Amazon Prime, then Amazon Photos, together with Amazon Drive is a great option!  Amazon Photos provides unlimited storage for photos, and video storage could be purchased for $19.99 per year for 100G of storage.

This depicts how Amazon Photo and Amazon Drive work together with each other and with your devices

Once you turn ON Auto-Save, the photos on the devices are backed up to Amazon.  This means that if you lose your phone or it dies, your pictures are safely saved in Amazon.


Amazon Photos and Amazon Drive are two ways of looking at the same pictures.  If you like to see the pictures in organized folders, you would choose to view them in Amazon Drive.


This is what the Amazon Drive looks like on my account:

Digging into the Amazon Drive, Pictures Folder, I see my devices:

If you prefer to view ALL of your pictures, organized by either Date Taken or Date Uploaded, you could view them using Amazon Photos.  It would look like this:

To get started with Amazon Prime Photos, do the following:

  • Download the Amazon Photo app to your desktop. This will serve as your dashboard, as we will see in Part 2 of this blog.
  • Be sure to sign up for both Amazon Photo and Amazon Drive.
    • These are web-based and should both be on your computer and on your devices.
  • Turn Auto-Save to ON for any device that has pictures that need to be backed up.
    • Amazon provides choices regarding when backup should take place, such as, only when charging, only when within WiFi access, or all the time.
  • If you have an iPhone, you need to turn OFF iCloud sync for Photos.
    • Not doing this results in many copies of the same picture in the Amazon Drive/Pictures/Device_Name folder, it seems that iCloud renames the pictures when it syncs them.

If all of your photos have always been taken by your phone or iPad, and you have no other photos, you could stop here.  But if you have cameras, or older prints that need to be digitized, you will want to organize all the pictures into one place.  This is called a Photo Hub.

To create the Photo Hub, additional steps need to be taken.  I will delve into how to create a Photo Hub and how to maintain your photo collection in next month’s blog.

If you have any questions at all, or need help setting up an Amazon Photos account, please contact me at



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