Backup Photos - Belt and Suspenders

I have all my photos on the iCloud-plan, and I rely on things working and backing it all up. However, I would like to create another backup of all my photos. The problem is that I have more photos and home videos than can fit on my Macbook Pro. So here’s my question: Is there a way to make an automatic backup of all my files even when they’re stored in Apple’s iCloud?

It could be another online solution, but I’d also like a physical backup, and that requires that all my photos come through my Macbook, right?

(Sorry if there’s already a thread about this. I have looked, and I didn’t find anything about this in particular).


I guess you could use dropbox and define in the Dropbox settings that you do not want this directory to be synced to your computer. That means that the files are not stored locally. With a tool like cloudmounter you can access the content in the cloud as if it they are stored on your computer.

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I have a similar situation. The way I roll:
I have two Photos libraries, one is my “Live” library which lives on my boot drive and is synced with iCloud Photo Library and is usually about two years of photos. I slough a few months or a year to an Archive photo library stored on an external disk.

My Live library is:

  • Synced via iCloud Photo Library
  • Backed up using Time Machine
  • Cloned as part of a daily Carbon Copy Cloner clone of my boot drive
  • Backed up offsite using Backblaze.

My Archive library is:

  • Backed up offsite using Backblaze (along with the rest of the contents of that external drive).

Overall I feel that offers sufficient protection. Certainly my Live library is well covered: one sync, and three backups on different media and geographic locations. And all of this is done using products and services that I use outside the context of photos, specifically, so there’s no added cost.
I’d like to have another backup of the Archive library since it’s presently only backed up once, I may try to figure out a way of cloning it to another local destination.

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The easiest solution here is to have a desktop with a big enough hard drive for your entire photo library (best if this is an always on machine hooked up to a fast interenet connection). I do this with my iMac, so all my photos get backed up with Time Machine/Carbon Copy Cloner/Backblaze. Since you’re working with a MacBook Pro which doesn’t have enough space on it’s internal drive for your full library, it doesn’t sound like this is an option unless you’re willing to buy a second Mac.

If you were willing to go the online route, you could use another service like Google Photos or Dropbox and upload your stuff to both that and iCloud. This would require some extra work on your part (on iOS I think that all of these third party services require some level of manual intervention to upload pics) and things like edits to a photo wouldn’t sync across devices.

For just a local copy, you could get an external hard drive and export your pictures and video from the Photos app to the exernal drive. This is probably the most manual, but it gets you a simple, local copy that you could then back up further (another drive, Backblaze, etc.).

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