iCloud Photo Library service allows you to easily sync and back up all your images and videos to iCloud. However, if you worry about keeping your irreplaceable photos and videos safe, you’ll want to perform a second backup.
It can take the form of a local backup on your computer drive or an external drive. Here’s how you can do it.
How to back up iCloud Photo Library to hard drive
The best way to back up all your images and videos in iCloud Photo Library is that ensure you have downloaded all your content onto your Mac.
Note: If you intend to back up your entire library to the hard drive on your Mac, then you should do it on Mac desktop with a 1TB drive or higher. Otherwise, you can consider making a backup to an external drive.
- Open Photos app on your Mac.
- Click on Photos from the App menu in the upper left corner.
- Choose Preferences from the drop-down menu.
- Click on iCloud
- Select Download Originals to this Mac.
Your Mac will now start downloading copies of all your images and videos to your hard drive, and they will be stored in the Photos app library.
Back up your iCloud Photo Library content to an external drive
There are two popular ways to back up your iCloud Photo Library to an external drive, which are backing up your library automatically and manually. (If you don’t want to back up the whole thing, you can choose to export sections of your library.)
Back up Photos library automatically
If the Download Originals option has already been enabled for your Photos library, you can easily make a backup of your Photos library as a backup routine. No matter Time Machine, or clone hard drive you are using, all your images and video will be automatically downloaded from iCloud and backed up. (If you don’t currently use a backup service, you can start it now.)
Also read: How To Copy iTunes Library to USB Drive
Back up Photos library manually
If you’ve already enabled the Download Originals option for your Photos library, but you don’t like backing it up automatically, you can easily copy your Photos library to an external drive at intervals. To do so:
- Connect an external drive to your Mac using USB, USB-C, or Thunderbolt cable.
- Open a new Finder
- Navigate to Users > [username] > Pictures.
- Drag& drop your Photos Library to the external drive.
- Wait for it to copy your library
Back up portions of your iCloud Photo Library
If you don’t want to back up your entire library, then you can choose to export individual images and video to an external drive.
- Connect your external drive to your Mac using USB, USB-C, or Thunderbolt cable
- Launch the Photos app on your Mac
- Choose photos and videos you want to back up.
- Navigate to the File menu.
- Click on Export > Export Unmodified Original For 10 Videos…
- Click Export
- Select your external drive
- Choose Export Originals.
These are common ways to back up your iCloud Photo library. If you have any question, let’s know in the comment below.