Tips for backing up photos from an iPad

Photographs are among the most valuable things stored on your iPad. If you’re like most people, you can recreate most of the files and data on your iPad after a crash, but recreating most of your family photos is impossible. To ensure that your photographs remain safe in case you lose your iPad or the tablet crashes, read our tips on how to back up your photos from an iPad.

General tips. If you choose to back up your photos, make sure you back them up to a location that’s different from your iPad’s most common location. Online storage sites work well for this, or if you use an external hard drive, make sure it’s stored away from the iPad. That way if a fire or other disaster strikes, one of your storage devices should be safe.

And if you have a WiFi or cellular connection plan with your iPad that has data usage limits, understand that using an automatic online backup storage system will drain your data plan quickly, especially if you’re backing up photos. If you have data limits, only back up when you are connected to an unlimited WiFi source or use an external hard drive.

iCloud. Backing up your photos to iCloud is the easiest method you’ll find. Because Apple owns and operates iCloud and has built it directly into the iOS (the operating system that runs the iPad), using iCloud as a storage backup option is easy. When you purchased your iPad, you should have received some free storage space on iCloud. You also can purchase more space on a monthly subscription basis.

You can set up iCloud to perform automatic backups of your photos stored on the iPad. First, make sure iCloud Backup is enabled by touching Settings and then iCloud. Find the iCloud Backup command and activate its slider button. If you want to have your Photos folder backed up to the iCloud automatically, you’ll need to activate My Photo Stream in the iCloud settings too.

iTunes. If you want more storage space than what iCloud provides for free, backing up your iPad’s photos to iTunes is another option. However, you will need to physically sync your iPad with a Mac computer or with a PC to be able to upload to iTunes, which is more of a hassle than the automatic backup process of iCloud through WiFi.

Dropbox, Google Drive, and others. If you’d prefer to use a different online storage service than iCloud, quite a few others are available, including services like Dropbox or Google Drive. Dropbox is aimed more at allowing you to share photos with others from the online storage site, while Google Drive is designed as a backup storage site. With both services you’ll receive an amount of free storage space, and you can purchase additional data as well. Both services have apps available in the iTunes Store. Because these services offer automatic backups, they are very easy to use. Just drop a photo in the app’s folder, and the backup occurs automatically.

Portable hard drive. External hard drives are a great method for backing up photos from an iPad, because they have a lot of storage space for a small cost. However, you do have to physically make a connection between the iPad and hard drive and copy the photos to the hard drive folder. Some people aren’t good at remembering to do this on a regular basis, hence the popularity of online storage sites. To combat that problem, you could set a reminder on your iPad’s calendar at a regular interval, every week or two weeks perhaps, to help you remember to connect to the external hard drive.