Finally I get to write about setting up a simple backup plan for your digital pictures. Last week I have written about the things that you need in order to be able to backup your pictures. So, assuming that you have an extra hard disk (internal or external) you can start backing up your digital pictures. In this article I will explain how I backup my pictures using SyncBack Freeware software.
STEP 1. Download and install SyncBack software.
I assume that you have already done so. If you haven’t done so, use the link at the end of the article. The install is very simple…no need for instructions on this one.
Download SyncBack for free here
STEP 2: Create a new profile in SyncBack
The first thing you need to do after you start SyncBack is create a new backup profile. You can create many profiles for backing up different folder structures. For example, I have six profiles: Backup iTunes, Backup My Documents, Backup My Pictures, Restore iTunes, Restore My Documents and Restore My Pictures.
Each profile holds the source and destination folders as well as the parameters that you have set. Parameters include: actions to take if source and destination are not in sync, filtering different types of files and many others.
Create a SyncBack backup profile
STEP 3. Set source and destination folders in your SyncBack profile
Just browse to your source folder and then to your destination folder. If you have an external hard drive, make sure it’s connected to your computer. If you’re backing up your pictures choose My Pictures on your main hard drive and then My Pictures on the destination hard drive.
Setup source and destination folders in SyncBack
STEP 4. Set parameters for your SyncBack profile
You can click on the Advanced tab if you want to filter certain things or schedule your backups and many, many other options.
If you want your backup to completely mirror your main computer’s hard drive, then you should instruct SyncBack to delete any files in the destination folder that are not in the source folder. This way, if you erase a bunch of bad pictures on your computer they would be deleted from your backup as well.
It is up to you what kind of backup you want: a true backup where you preserve any file you ever had on your computer, or a mirror backup where you preserve only what is currently on your computer.
Personally, I choose the second option because I put in a lot of effort to clean up really bad pictures on my main computer, so I want that effort to be duplicated on the backup drive.
Setup SyncBack to create an exact mirror copy of your computer’s hard drive
STEP 5. Run the backup manually or automatically.
Once the profile is set you will see it listed in the main window. Now you have a few options in terms as to what you can do with it. The simplest thing is to run it by double clicking it or right click on the profile and click Run (or you can just double click the profile). A feature that I also like is the Simulate, which shows you a list of what files will be copied before the operation is completed.
Run your new SyncBack backup profile manually
Or setup an automatic schedule task. To do this RIGHT-CLICK your profile and choose Schedule, then dismiss the many popups you get from Windows informing you about the password policy. Eventually you get to the Windows Scheduler window where you can pick the date an time for the task to run.
Setup an automatic schedule for your profile
STEP 6. Be consistent.
The key to backing up your pictures is to do it consistently. I setup my profile to run automatically every night at midnight so it picks up all my changes from the previous day. Doing it automatically makes everything so much easier.
Additional resources for backing up your digital pictures
- Get SyncBack Freeware.
- Check out my favorite external drives for backing up your digital pictures:
Western Digital Live Duo – Get the safety of the RAID architecture for a low price.
Essentials for organizing your digital photosOver the years I have come to rely on only a few products for managing and backing up my large media collection. These are my essential products and services I have been using for many years to keep things organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
If you don't like the subscription, you can get also download the last standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 for Mac or Windows (while it is still available). However, the product is no longer maintained by Adobe.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.
If you're looking for a reliable unlimited cloud backup service, I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup. I have used Backblaze for my online backup for more than 3 years now. All my files are safe and secure and I have never had any problems with them.