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How to Backup iPhone photos Without iTunes?

Photos on your iPhone contain some of your most precious memories that you’ll
want to keep safe and backed up. While iTunes has traditionally been the go-to
for syncing iPhone photos to your computer, there are now better ways to get
photos off your iPhone, even without a Mac or PC.

In this guide, we’ll cover several methods to back up iPhone photos without
needing iTunes at all. Whether you want an automated cloud backup or prefer to
manually transfer photos to an external hard drive, there are iTunes-free
options for everyone.


  • Introduction
  • Use iCloud Photo Library for Automated Backups
  • The Advantages of iCloud Photo Library
  • How To Enable iCloud Photo Library
  • Check iCloud Photo Settings on iPhone
  • Use Google Photos to Back Up Pictures
  • Installing and Setting Up Google Photos
  • How To Back Up Photos on Google Photos
  • Manually Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Drives
  • Connect iPhone to Computer, Drive or Cloud Service
  • Copy iPhone Photos to External Drive or Cloud Folder
  • Disconnect and Store Photos Safely
  • How to Recover Deleted Photos on iPhone
  • Using iPhone’s Recently Deleted Folder
  • Restoring from iCloud or iTunes Backup
  • Third Party iPhone Recovery Software
  • Conclusion

Use iCloud Photo Library for Automated Backups

The easiest and most comprehensive way to backup iPhone photos without iTunes
is to use iCloud Photo Library.

iCloud Photo Library automatically uploads all photos and videos from your
iPhone to iCloud whenever your device is connected to power, WiFi and has
screen lock disabled. This allows your entire iPhone photo library to be
backed up seamlessly without having to connect to a computer.

The key benefits of using iCloud Photo Library include:

The Advantages of iCloud Photo Library

  • Automated backups – Once enabled, iCloud Photo
    Library will automatically backup new photos quietly in the background. No
    need to manually connect to iTunes or remember to transfer photos

  • Sync across devices – Photos added to iCloud Photo
    Library are automatically synced across all your Apple devices logged into
    the same iCloud account. Add a photo on iPhone and it will appear
    automatically on your iPad, Mac, Apple TV and more.

  • Full resolution storage – iCloud stores your photos
    and videos in their original full resolution, unlike competing cloud
    services that compress image quality.

  • Safety net for deletions – Even if you delete a
    photo from iPhone, you can recover it from Recently Deleted in the iCloud
    Photos app for up to 30 days.

  • Private and secure – iCloud Photo Library uses
    end-to-end encryption so the photos stored are kept private and secure.
    Only you have the key to decrypt them.

How To Enable iCloud Photo Library

Enabling iCloud Photo Library is simple and just takes a few steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap on your name at the top of Settings.

  3. Tap on iCloud.

  4. Tap on Photos.

  5. Toggle on the switch for iCloud Photo Library.

  6. Tap OK to confirm enabling iCloud Photo Library.

It will take some time for iCloud to fully upload your existing photo library
the first time. The upload progress will be displayed in Settings > Your
Name > iCloud > Photos.

Once completed, any new photos you take or existing ones you edit will
automatically sync to iCloud.

Check iCloud Photo Settings on iPhone

Under Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Photos, you can check the
status of your iCloud Photo Library backup and confirm options like:

  • iCloud Photo Library is ON (green)
  • Upload and download progress of your photo library
  • Optimizing iPhone Storage setting is enabled to save device space
  • There is enough iCloud storage space for your photos and videos
  • Shared Albums are updated and synced across devices

So with just a few taps, you can setup automated and regular iPhone photo
backups to iCloud – no iTunes required!

Use Google Photos to Back Up Pictures

Another great iTunes-free option for backing up iPhone photos is Google

The Google Photos app can backup an unlimited number of photos and videos,
provided they are under 16MP and 1080p resolution respectively.

Here’s how to setup Google Photos to backup your iPhone pictures:

Installing and Setting Up Google Photos

  1. Install the Google Photos app from the App Store on your iPhone.

  2. Sign into Google Photos with your Google account.

  3. In Google Photos, tap on your profile icon in the top right.

  4. Tap on Settings.

  5. Under Backup, tap on Back up device folders.

  6. Select Camera Roll to enable backup of all photos saved on your iPhone.

  7. Tap Turn on sync to confirm backup to your Google Photos account.

How To Back Up Photos on Google Photos

Once setup, Google Photos will regularly backup new photos and videos from
your iPhone provided:

  • Your iPhone has an active internet connection (WiFi or mobile data)

  • Background App Refresh is enabled for Google Photos

  • Your iPhone is charging and the screen is locked

With Photos High quality unlimited free storage, there are no space limits for
backing up iPhone photos. But do note video backups are limited to 1080p
resolution and under 16MP for photos.

The Google Photos app makes it easy to search, browse, edit and share your
backed up iPhone photos on other devices. And should you ever need to restore
iPhone photos, you can redownload the images back to your device from Google

Manually Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Drives

While automated cloud backup solutions like iCloud and Google Photos are the
most convenient, some users prefer manually transferring photos from their
iPhone to an external hard drive or computer.

This method doesn’t require any subscriptions, internet connection or account
registration. Follow these steps:

Connect iPhone to Computer, Drive or Cloud Service

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer, external hard drive or cloud storage
    device using the USB cable. This can also be done wirelessly over WiFi.

2.Unlock your iPhone and tap Trust when prompted to allow data access.

Copy iPhone Photos to External Drive or Cloud Folder

  1. Open the iPhone’s DCIM folder from the connected device.

4.Select all the photo folders you wish to transfer.

5.Copy and paste the selected folders to the external device or cloud service

  1. Alternatively, import the photos directly from iPhone using editing software
    like Adobe Lightroom.

Disconnect and Store Photos Safely

  1. Once transfer is complete, safely eject the iPhone before disconnecting.

  2. Store the external drive or cloud backup in a secure location either
    on-site or off-site.

Manually transferring photos takes more work but is preferred by some users
due to greater control and privacy over the backup process. Just be sure to do
regular transfers anytime new photos are added to your iPhone camera roll.

Download PicBackMan

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to
hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest
way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts.
Simply Download PicBackMan (it’s free!), register
your account, connect to your online store and
tell PicBackMan where your videos are – PicBackMan does the rest,
automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and
uploads those too. You don’t have to ever touch it.

How to Recover Deleted Photos on iPhone

Accidentally deleting photos on your iPhone can be devastating. Luckily, it’s
often possible to recover recently deleted iPhone photos with these methods:

Using iPhone’s Recently Deleted Folder

If you have iCloud Photos enabled, your iPhone has a Recently Deleted folder
that stores deleted photos for up to 30 days.

To recover deleted photos from here:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap on the Albums tab at the bottom.

  3. Scroll down and tap on Recently Deleted to view your deleted photos.

  4. Tap Select to enter selection mode.

  5. Tap the photos you want to recover to select them.

  6. Tap Recover to restore the photos back to your Camera Roll or other

This allows you to rescue photos that were accidentally deleted within the
last month.

Restoring from iCloud or iTunes Backup

If more than 30 days have passed, you may be able to restore deleted photos
from an iCloud or iTunes backup:

For iCloud:

  1. Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage >

  2. Tap on your iPhone backup > Restore to this iPhone.

For iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.

  2. Launch iTunes and select your iPhone.

  3. Click Summary > Restore Backup and select your backup.

  4. Click Restore to download the backup and restore deleted photos.

Older backups tend to have older versions of your photos. But it’s still an
option if needed.

Third Party iPhone Recovery Software

When all else fails, powerful third party iOS data recovery software like
iSkysoft and EaseUS MobiSaver can rescue deleted iPhone photos.

They perform a deep scan of your iPhone storage and can retrieve photos even
without backups. Just search for “iPhone data recovery” to find highly rated

Recovering deleted photos takes some effort but is often possible with the
right tools and some patience. Act quickly after deletion for the best chance
of photo recovery.


Backing up your iPhone photos without needing iTunes or a computer has never
been easier. With built-in options like iCloud Photo Library and third party
apps like Google Photos, you have automation and redundancy.

Manually copying photos to hard drives gives you physical backups under your
full control. And recovering recently deleted photos is doable in most cases
if you act swiftly.

Hopefully the backup, transfer and recovery methods covered in this guide give
you confidence that your iPhone photos are secure. Never worry about losing
your memories again thanks to the many iTunes-free solutions now available!

253+ Reviews & Counting

Kip Roof testimonial Kip Roofgoogle photos flickr
PicBackMan does exactly what it's supposed to. It's quick and efficient. It runs unobtrusively in the background and has done an excellent job of uploading more than 300GB of photos to 2 different services. After having lost a lot of personal memories to a hard drive crash, it's nice to know that my photos are safe in 2 different places.
Julia Alyea Farella testimonialJulia Alyea Farella smugmug
LOVE this program! Works better than ANY other program out there that I have found to upload thousands of pictures WITH SUB-FOLDERS to SmugMug! Thank you so much for what you do! :) #happycustomer
Pausing Motion testimonialPausingMotionsmugmug
I pointed PicBackMan at a directory structure, and next time I looked - all the photos had uploaded! Pretty cool. I use SmugMug and while I really like it, the process of creating directories in is pretty laborious when you need to make 80+ at a time. This was a breeze. Thank you!
Gavin Whitham testimonialGavin Whithamflickr
PicBackMan was really easy to setup and has been running for 3 days now backing up all my locally saved photos to Flickr. My photos are really valuable to me so it's great to be able to have them easily backed up to a secure location.
 Jim Griffin testimonialJim Griffinsmugmug
It's AWESOME!! I have tens of thousands of pictures...and they are now successfully uploaded to SmugMug, where they are safely backed up, and I can edit and organize them. If you are hesitating about using PicBackMan, hesitate no longer...try it...and you'll be glad you did!!
Robert testimonialRobertonedrive
I started with the basic plan, went to premium and now on their platinum plan and it's more than worth the price for me. PicBackMan has saved me many tedious hours of effort moving many files between my various cloud and photo site services and my local computers.
Pausing Motion testimonialVladdropbox
I am very satisfied and surprised at the same time with Pic BackMan. The service is very good and useful. I used it to transfer my photos from Dropbox to my Flickr accound. I highly recomment it.
Dave testimonialDavesmugmug
PicBackMan was an answer to many a prayer. How can I get this MASSIVE collection of photos onto a service that cripples uploading? PicBackMan. I uploaded approximately 85,000 photos in less than a month. It would have taken me close to a year to get all of those photos where they needed to go. Nothing short of brilliant.
Barry Graham testimonialBarry Grahamflickr
Great tool for enduring your photos are always safely backed up. I backed up tens of thousands of photos and dozens of videos to Flickr in my 1st couple of months using PicBackMan. Would unreservedly recommend as it works seamlessly and copies your photos to Flickr in sets which reflect your folders.
Achal Gupta testimonialAchal Guptaflickr
This is a fantastic piece of software! I wanted to backup 100+ gigs worth of original sized photos to Flickr and after trying many many tools, PickBacMan was the one that finally worked. It worked flawlessly for 10 straight days uploading all my photos without a single error/ timeout/ crash. Absolutely amazing! I didn't try the other premium features but the ability to replicate stuff across multiple...