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.
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:
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.
Enabling iCloud Photo Library is simple and just takes a few steps:
Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Tap on your name at the top of Settings.
Tap on iCloud.
Tap on Photos.
Toggle on the switch for iCloud Photo Library.
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.
Under Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Photos, you can check the
status of your iCloud Photo Library backup and confirm options like:
So with just a few taps, you can setup automated and regular iPhone photo
backups to iCloud – no iTunes required!
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:
Install the Google Photos app from the App Store on your iPhone.
Sign into Google Photos with your Google account.
In Google Photos, tap on your profile icon in the top right.
Tap on Settings.
Under Backup, tap on Back up device folders.
Select Camera Roll to enable backup of all photos saved on your iPhone.
Tap Turn on sync to confirm backup to your Google Photos account.
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
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:
2.Unlock your iPhone and tap Trust when prompted to allow data access.
4.Select all the photo folders you wish to transfer.
5.Copy and paste the selected folders to the external device or cloud service
Once transfer is complete, safely eject the iPhone before disconnecting.
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.
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.
Accidentally deleting photos on your iPhone can be devastating. Luckily, it’s
often possible to recover recently deleted iPhone photos with these methods:
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:
Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
Tap on the Albums tab at the bottom.
Scroll down and tap on Recently Deleted to view your deleted photos.
Tap Select to enter selection mode.
Tap the photos you want to recover to select them.
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
If more than 30 days have passed, you may be able to restore deleted photos
from an iCloud or iTunes backup:
Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage >
Tap on your iPhone backup > Restore to this iPhone.
Connect your iPhone to your computer.
Launch iTunes and select your iPhone.
Click Summary > Restore Backup and select your backup.
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.
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!