Very often we use our smartphone even to take pictures/videos and it is always noisy to save them somewhere else, for example on our PC. Even though there are several ways to do that backup (and then possibly free space on your phone), you have to remember to do that periodically. There is, for example, the Microsoft Photos app than may help you in synchronizing photos/videos, but it always takes some time in searching new photos on your external device and often it is even quicker to drag&drop new photos’ files simply using File Explorer that allows you to see your smartphone memory, when connected via USB. Then there is also Microsoft Your Phone Companion app that allows several features. You need only to install also on the smartphone the same app (IT: Complemento de Il tuo telefono- Collegamento a Windows 10) and then you can manage, on your PC, several things (e.g. read/send messages) of your smartphone without having to connect it via USB. One of the features is to see (and possibly save) only latest taken pictures … but even in this case, it requires a manually handling . It is worth pointing out that this app is proving more and more features every new release so it will be improved even more: some newest ones ask for a bluetooth pairing between smartphone and PC (e.g. Dialed calls).
But let’s come back to the object of this post! The easiest, safer and so best way to save your pictures/videos taken with your smartphone (and have them available wherever you want) is to have them synchronized with a cloud. Very often Photos/Gallery app on a smartphone is already linked to a cloud, possibly the Google one (Google Drive) or the one of the phone brand (e.g. Samsung, Huawei , Xiaomi). However the space that you can have for free is not so much (e.g. 15GB with Google Drive, 15GB with Samsung, 5GB with Microsoft OneDrive). Obviously you can buy from each of them more space! The better and cheapest solution I experimented is the Office 365 Home one year subscription. It gives not only 1TB on OneDrive but also all Office applications for all your devices where you login with your Microsoft account … and all that for 6 people!! Therefore you can buy the Office 365 Home (P.S. 30/7/2020 – now called Office 365 Family) one year subscription and then you can give to other 5 friends too all the features it provides. So, altogether, 6 people, logged with their own Microsoft account on every device they own (e.g. PC, tablet, smartphone), can use all Office apps and have their own 1TB on OneDrive! Altogether 6TB and Office on all devices they own, always updated to its latest version. Even on your smartphone you will have the Office apps with full features (e.g. when used with Samsung Dex you can also save the modified files you have on your smartphone connected to an external display).
Note that every file or folder can be shared with someone (or with everyone if you like): for example, I am in the habit to use a directory of my OneDrive to share files for this blog. And this for a cost of 99,99€ if you buy online from OneDrive site, but currently even less (59.99€, 72€) if you buy, for example, from Amazon (**)!! I think it is much better (and safer) than buying 1TB external HD each one for backup! I know it is strange that it costs less if you buy not directly from OneDrive site (even though, in that case, you get one month free per year if you activate there a continuous charging), but that’s it …
Note that, for subsequent renewals, you can buy it when it is on offer and renew it even two months before the deadline. Moreover, note that the price may differ if the code is sent by e-mail or by mail and that latter option may be cheaper!!
Anyway the activation procedure is easy also having an activation code: you have only to insert it in OneDrive section that allows that kind of activation. In the following, you can find that procedure, step-by-step, going into your Microsoft account with a browser.
You can then invite till 5 friends to use your subscription and take the same feature you have: so 72:6= 12€ each!!! Much better and safer than buying each a 1TB hard disk for backup …
When you will renew your subscription, they will continue to have their benefits, but you are always the “master” so you can change whenever you want with you want to share it even in the future.
Obviously OneDrive space can be used to save whatever file type and not only jpg/mp4 and the synchronization with all your PCs is done automatically too. Note that with Amazon Prime Photo , if have a prime account, you have unlimited space but for saving ONLY jpg files, so only pictures … and performance are non comparable!
Photos and videos synchronized with OneDrive will be available in the Images\Roller directory of your OneDrive folder [IT: by default C:\Users\your_username\OneDrive\Immagini\Rullino even though I alway prefer, during OneDrive configuration on a PC, to change the OneDrive directory location in order to have the synchronization in a directory (e.g. Data) not related to the specific logged user. So in my case I have them in C:\Data\OneDrive\Immagini\Rullino]. You should note that by default there is the cloud icon in the Status column of each photo/video thumbnail to remind you that, by default, pictures are all only on the cloud and they will be downloaded locally only if you need, so no space is taken in your HD.
In fact, on a Windows 10 PC, since 2018 update, OneDrive management became better and now it allows to set the files on-demand option, so for a file/folder you can see the icon without having it locally, so without using local HD space: only when you click on it (and your PC is connected to Internet) the file is downloaded locally and it can be seen. Then you can decide to leave it locally or to free space and have it again only on the cloud. For more information about this topic you can see, for example, https://www.windowscentral.com/how-get-started-onedrive-windows-10
If you have OneDrive set to do the photo backup on that cloud, it is better to disable other automatic saving embedded (may be by default) on the Photo/Camera app. For example, in the case of the Samsung Camera app, in its settings section should be disabled the synchronization with Samsung cloud:
On the contrary in OneDrive app settings you must set on the upload from Camera:
Then, if you like, you can even set also other directories to be synchronized with the OneDrive cloud:
Depending to the settings you choose, synchronization is done possibly only when the smartphone is connected to Wi-Fi (so no data traffic could be charged) and the battery level is not low.
Here there are some posts of mine that you may be interested to:
- How to configure OneDrive in Windows 10
- How to solve possible problems on synchronization between PC and smartphone using Microsoft “Your Phone Companion” app
- Microsoft Phone Companion: another very useful app that is going to be dismissed? NO, it is now embedded in the Photos app!!
Just in case, in the following you can find some links regarding how to save photos on your PC (without using a cloud):