Pro­tect prized pho­tos

Don’t rely on iCloud — here’s how to back up your Pho­tos li­brary

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Car­rie Mar­shall

We love iCloud Photo Li­brary. Be­ing able to take a photo on an iPhone and see it in­stantly on your Mac or the kids’ iPad is one of those mag­i­cal mo­ments that makes us love Ap­ple. But for all its ben­e­fits, iCloud Photo Li­brary — or iCloud Pho­tos, as it’s called in iOS 12 and macOS Mo­jave — is a lousy backup.

That’s be­cause it isn’t ac­tu­ally in­tended as one. iCloud’s job is to sync changes be­tween your de­vices, so you can ac­cess any of your pho­tos on any of your de­vices at any time, and changes you make in one place take ef­fect else­where too. How­ever, if an im­age is dam­aged in one place, that’ll prop­a­gate, and with­out an­other backup — one that’s de­tached from iCloud — the pic­ture may be gone for­ever.

Ac­ci­den­tal dele­tion is less of a con­cern, but still a real one. Deleted items are re­tained in the Re­cently Deleted al­bum for up to 40 days, but that’s an aw­fully pre­car­i­ous peg on which to hang ir­re­place­able, once–in–a–life­time pics.

The so­lu­tion is sim­ple: back up your pho­tos. As you’ll dis­cover in this tu­to­rial, it’s easy to copy some or all of your Pho­tos li­brary from your Mac to an ex­ter­nal drive. You can just as eas­ily au­to­mate the process with a tool like Car­bon Copy Cloner ($39.99,

The trick to back­ing up any­thing on your Mac is to do it reg­u­larly and to add re­dun­dancy, so if one backup were to fail all is not com­pletely lost. One sim­ple way to do that is to auto–up­load to an­other cloud ser­vice: it’s much slower than an ex­ter­nal drive, but it’s an ex­tra bit of off–site in­surance.

Third–party apps such as Flickr Down­loadr can eas­ily help re­cover your up­loaded pics.

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