how to archive and store your digital photos

Tips on How to Archive and Back Up Your Digital Photos

If you just take a little time on a regular basis, you’ll find it doesn’t take long to organize, archive and back up your growing digital photo collection.

Develop Good Storing and Naming Habits

Establish a regular schedule for offloading your images from your camera or phone. Don’t just dump them into a file on your computer. Take a few minutes to batch-rename them. Using photo software like Photoshop Elements, or Adobe Lightroom Classic will help you rename your photos in quickly. Use descriptive names and be consistent so you can find particular photos later. Use your photo software’s tagging and naming functions to give your images keywords to help make future searches easier.

Back-Up Regularly

Professional photographers say you should have your images backed up in three different ways to protect them against unforeseen circumstances. While backing up and archiving your digital photos may seem like a chore, it will pay off in the end. You’ll be able to find the images you’re looking for and they’ll stay safe and secure for years to come. It will also make sharing your photos with friends and family a lot easier.

Store Photos in the Cloud

Your best bet is cloud storage. You can get an abundance of free photo storage from Amazon Prime Photos, Dropbox, Google Photos, iCloud, Photo Bucket, Microsoft OneDrive, and more. If you find you need additional storage, it’s usually fairly inexpensive to add additional storage.

Upload and Store Photos through a Free Online Photo Service

Another safe way of archiving your images is by uploading them to an online photo service such as Snapfish or Shutterfly. They offer unlimited free storage, plus you can use these sites to share your images, edit them and order prints, photo books, and keepsakes.

Store Photos on an External Hard Drive

external hard drive is another way to create a backup

Many people like to back up their images on an external drive. You can get a portable external hard drive quite reasonably at Amazon. I like to have an additional, off-site backup method, though, in case of hard drive failure (albeit rare), or some kind of a disaster like a fire or a flood. So I back up my external drive on Carbonite.


While this may seem like an old-school method, did you know that if you use high-quality DVDs and store them properly, they’ll last up to 100 years? DVDs are a great choice for archiving your digital images. They’ll hold 4.7 GB, so the number of images they can hold will depend on how big your photo files are. Be sure to use a high-quality DVD from a top manufacturer, as they will be less likely to deteriorate than cheap ones. Take care to store your media properly to avoid data loss.

If you just take a little time on a regular basis, you’ll find it doesn’t take long to organize and archive your growing collection.

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