Understanding Apple Photos as a Sync vs. A True Backup

These days we ofter store our memories in the form of digital photos and videos. With the rise of smartphones, managing these digital memories has become easier than ever, with apps like Apple Photos offering seamless synchronization across devices. However, its important to understand the difference between a sync like Apple Photos, and a true backup. Many people overlook this, potentially putting their precious memories at risk. We are here to help you understand the differences and the pros and cons of a sync vs. a true backup.

The benefits of a Sync

Apple Photos, with its iCloud integration, offers a convenient way of viewing your digital memories: your photos and videos automatically sync across all of your Apple devices. Take a photo on your iPhone, and it’s instantly available on your iPad and Mac! This level of convenience is undoubtedly appealing, providing easy access to your entire photo library wherever you go. 

The Pitfalls of Sync

While the sync feature of Apple Photos and iCloud offers convenience, it is NOT a true backup. When you sync your photos with Apple Photos and iCloud, you’re allowing that same digital file to be viewed across all of your Apple devices connected to that iCloud account, NOT making copies of that file. If you delete a photo on one device, then it will be deleted across all of your devices linked to that account. Also, if something were to happen to your iCloud account or if there’s a catastrophic failure on Apple’s end, your photos could be at risk.

The Importance of a True Backup

A true backup involves creating an independent copy of your photos and storing them in a separate location. Ideally making multiple copies of your photos in separate locations to safeguard against data loss. The SIMPLE PHOTO SYSTEM helps you create at least one local backup on an external hard drive, as well as at least one cloud based backup using a true backup service such as Amazon Photos. Unlike a sync, which mirrors your files across devices, true backup ensures that your photos are protected even if your primary storage solution fails.

Mitigating the Risks

While Apple Photos provides syncing capabilities, it’s essential for you to implement a backup strategy to mitigate the risks associated with relying solely on a syncing service such as Apple Photos. Here are some steps you can take to ensure the safety of your digital memories:

1. **Utilize Multiple Backup Solutions:** In addition to iCloud synchronization, consider using external hard drives and cloud storage services like Amazon Photos or Dropbox to create multiple copies of your photos.

2. **Regularly Back Up Your Library:** Make it a habit to regularly back up your photo library to ensure that new additions are included in your backup. Set up automated backup schedules if possible to streamline the process. We offer convenient annual backup services in our Done for You SIMPLE PHOTO SYSTEM service. 

3. **Verify Your Backups:** Periodically verify the integrity of your backups to ensure that they haven’t been corrupted or compromised. This can involve spot-checking random files or using backup verification tools provided by your chosen backup solution.


While Apple Photos offers convenient sync features, it’s important to recognize a sync vs. a true backup. Relying solely on a sync leaves your digital memories vulnerable to various risks, from accidental deletion to service outages. By implementing a backup strategy that includes copies of your photos in multiple locations, you can safeguard your photos and videos against potential loss, ensuring that your cherished memories remain intact for years to come.

Ready to clean up, organize, and make a true backup of your Apple Photos library? We are here to help you enjoy your photos again with the SIMPLE PHOTO SYSTEM. 

Sync vs. a true backup