How to Backup Photos from Apple Photos App to Dropbox on Mac?

Shreyas Patil SEO
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Backup Photos from Apple Photos App to Dropbox on Mac?

Backing up your photos is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your precious memories. The Apple Photos app makes it easy to organize and view your photos on a Mac, but it doesn't automatically back them up off your computer. That's where a cloud storage service like Dropbox comes in handy.

With just a few clicks, you can set up automatic backups from Apple Photos to Dropbox, ensuring your photos are protected in the cloud. In this article, we'll walk through the full process of backing up your Apple Photos library to Dropbox on a Mac.

An Overview of Backing Up Photos from Apple Photos to Dropbox

Here's a quick rundown of the steps involved in backing up your Apple Photos library to Dropbox:

  • Link your Dropbox account in Apple Photos preferences.
  • Designate a Dropbox folder to sync your Photos library.
  • Set up automatic background uploads from Apple Photos to Dropbox.
  • Check sync status and confirm backups are working properly.
  • Access backed up photos from other devices logged into your Dropbox account.

We'll go through each of these steps in detail below. With the right setup, you can sleep easy knowing your photo memories are safe in the cloud.

Step 1: Link Dropbox Account in Apple Photos

The first thing you need to do is connect Apple Photos on your Mac to your Dropbox account. Here's how:

Open Apple Photos Preferences

  • Launch the Apple Photos app on your Mac.
  • Click Photos > Preferences in the menu bar (or press ⌘ + , ). This opens the Photos preferences window.

Click on the iCloud Tab

  • In the preferences window, click the iCloud tab.

Sign In to Your Dropbox Account

  • Under "iCloud Photo Library" click the "Choose a different storage provider" link.
  • Select Dropbox from the list.
  • Enter your Dropbox account credentials and click Sign In.

This links your Dropbox account with Apple Photos. Now you're ready to designate where to save your library backups in Dropbox.

Step 2: Choose Dropbox Save Location

With your Dropbox account connected, you need to pick a folder in your Dropbox where you want to sync and store your Apple Photos library backup.

Navigate to Dropbox Folder

  • Open the Dropbox desktop app and navigate to All Files or a specific folder you want to use.

Right Click and Copy Dropbox Folder Path

  • Right click on the folder and choose Copy Path to copy the folder path to your clipboard.

Paste Folder Path in Photos Preferences

  • Back in Photos, go to Preferences > iCloud and paste the folder path into the "Dropbox folder location" field.

For example, you might paste something like /Photos Backup to save your library in the Photos Backup folder.

Click Done to Save

  • Click Done to save the folder path. This tells Photos where to sync your library in Dropbox.

Now your Dropbox destination is set up! Next we'll enable background syncing to continuously backup new photos added.

Step 3: Enable Dropbox Background Uploads

With your Dropbox folder linked as the storage destination, you can enable an automatic background sync from Apple Photos to Dropbox. Here's how to turn it on:

Check iCloud Photo Library Setting

  • In Photos > Preferences > iCloud, make sure "iCloud Photo Library" is enabled with your Dropbox folder path filled in.

Check Download Originals to This Mac

  • Also confirm "Download Originals to this Mac" is enabled so full resolution versions of your photos will be saved locally and backed up to Dropbox.

Click Download Originals Now (If Applicable)

  • If you have a large iCloud library that hasn't fully downloaded, click "Download Originals Now" to start filling in any missing originals to your local library.

Check Upload to Dropbox Setting

  • Make sure the "Upload to Dropbox" setting is enabled too. This automatically pushes new photos added to your library up to your Dropbox.

That's it! With iCloud Photo Library enabled using your linked Dropbox folder, Apple Photos will now continuously back up any new photos you import or take to Dropbox automatically.

Step 4: Check Sync Status and Confirm Backups

It's a good idea to confirm the setup is working properly and your photos are actually being backed up to Dropbox from Apple Photos. Here are a couple ways to verify:

View Dropbox Sync Status

  • In Apple Photos for Mac, click Photos > View Sync Status.
  • Look under "Dropbox" to see the last sync time and number of items uploaded.

Check Dropbox App

  • Open the Dropbox desktop app and navigate to your designated Photos folder.
  • Confirm new photos are appearing from your Apple Photos library.

Check Dropbox Website

Check Dropbox Website

  • Log into in your web browser and view your Photos folder there.
  • Verify the photos are showing up from your desktop Photos library.

If you see your latest Apple Photos showing up in Dropbox, then your backup setup is working! Now you can rest assured your photos are safely stored and synced to the cloud.

Step 5: Access Backed Up Photos on Other Devices

Once your photos are backed up from Apple Photos to your cloud Dropbox, you can view and access them from any other device signed into your Dropbox account:

  • Mobile: Install the Dropbox app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Log in and go to your Photos backup folder.
  • Computer: Install the Dropbox desktop app on a Windows PC or other Mac. Your photos will sync from the cloud.
  • Web: Go to in any desktop web browser. Navigate to your Photos folder to view and share photos.

This makes your photo library accessible across all your devices. If something ever happens to your Mac's local storage, you'll still have backup copies of all your precious memories in Dropbox's reliable cloud storage.

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. 

Download PicBackMan

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.


Backing up your irreplaceable memories from Apple Photos on a Mac to a cloud storage service like Dropbox is one of the smartest things you can do. It protects your photos collection from local drive failures and ensures you always have access from any device.

Following this guide, you should now have a seamless backup set up between Apple Photos on your Mac and Dropbox. Automated iCloud syncing to a Dropbox folder ensures your photo library is continuously saved off-site. Check that backups are working properly, then rest easy knowing your photos are safe in the reliable cloud.

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