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Media Management Tips for Android

Automatic Photo Backup

Plenty of cloud services, like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, tend to offer photo (and video) syncing. Whenever you take a photo, it’ll automatically get sent to your online storage. This not only ensures your photos and videos are backed up (in case you lose your phone), it also means you can remove them from your phone’s storage when you need to free up space. Double whammy!

We recommend Google Photos for this. It’s free, it likely came with your phone, and those photos don’t take up any space on your Google Drive as long as you upload in “high” quality rather than the “original” quality. For most stuff, that’s probably going to be fine.

To set up photo syncing, open “Photos” and select “Settings.”

Then choose “Back up & sync.” If it isn’t already toggled on, go ahead and do that now.

Note that there’s an option that lets you choose the size (Full or Standard). If you choose “Original” size, then you’re limited to your available Google Drive space. If you choose “High Quality” (2048 px), then you get unlimited free storage. The one exception here is the Google Pixel phone, which gets unlimited free storage at original resolution.

You can also purchase more storage and choose when and what is backed up, such as when the device is roaming or plugged in.

The nicest feature of Photos, however, is its ability to quickly remove files that have been backed up. Once you’ve got everything set up and all of your files are being stored in your Google Drive, jump into the Photos app and open the menu on the left side. Close to the bottom of this menu there’s an option that reads “Free up space”—this will automatically find all of the images and videos that have been backed up to your Drive and remove them from internal storage. It’s brilliant, easy, and super-fast.

If you’re a big Dropbox user, you can also enable automatic photo uploads there. In the app’s Settings menu, there’s a section called “Camera uploads.” If it’s not already on, just tap the “Turn on camera uploads” option.

Once it’s on, you have some options to play with, like when to upload (battery status, charging, etc.), how to upload (Wi-Fi, cellular data), and what to upload (photos, videos).

That’s all that there really is to it. Once you start snapping pictures and taking video, they will be automatically uploaded per your specifications or until you run out of storage space.