How to use Google Photos to back up your photos on all of your devices
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  • Post published:13/04/2021
  • Post last modified:13/04/2021
  • Google Photos can back up your photos and videos automatically from your phone, tablet, and PC. 
  • Google Photos backups are kept in sync with all your devices, so you can see your images from anywhere.
  • The backup controls are in the Google Photos app — tap the account avatar at the top right, then Photo settings, and then tap “Back up & sync.” 
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Google Photos is available on the mobile app for iPhone and Android, and in web browsers. One of the best reasons to use the app is for the unlimited, mostly free cloud-based photo backup and storage it provides.

Once set up, the Google Photos app will automatically save photos and videos to the cloud and sync them across all your devices, so you always have access to your images. 

What to know about Google Photos backup

Google Photos can automatically back up your photos and videos as long as they meet Google’s image size requirements. Each photo must be smaller than 200MB and 150 megapixels, while videos can be no larger than 10GB. On the other hand, images smaller than 256×256 pixels are ignored to avoid backing up thumbnails and icon images. Some newer cameras are getting close to these image limits. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra can capture 108-megapixel images, for example.

Google Photos backs up most common image formats, including JPG, HEIC (used by the iPhone), PNG, WEBP, GIF, and most common RAW file formats. Likewise, Google Photos supports most common and many uncommon video formats, including MPG, MOD, MMW, TOD, WMV, ASF, AVI, DIVX, MOV, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, MP4, M2T, M2TS, MTS, and MKV files.

Google Photos backs up photos at either “high quality” or “original quality.” 

  • The high-quality setting slightly compresses your photos and videos to save space, reducing their quality. The advantage of high-quality backup is that it’s completely free — your photos and videos do not count against your total Google Account storage space.  
  • The original quality setting does not change your photos and videos in any way — they’re stored in the resolution and image quality in which they were originally captured. These images count against your Google Account store, though. 

If you use the original quality setting, you might need to subscribe to Google One. Google offers several storage plans for Google One, including 100GB for $1.99 per month, 200GB for $2.99 per month or 2TB for $9.99 per month. 

After June 1, 2021, new high-quality images count toward your Google Account storage the same as original quality. You might need to add a Google One subscription at that time to continue using Google Photos backup.

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