There are moments in life when your phone’s camera is crucial: your child’s first steps, or their graduation from high school, for instance.
But your phone is likely full of stuff, and you could end up facing this obnoxious message:
There are few things as frustrating in our convenience-filled world as repeatedly running into your phone’s storage limit. It means an action as simple as taking a photo is delayed while you free up space … often by deleting old photos.
For most people hitting that storage limit, there’s one culprit: photos.
They take up a lot of space, and you take a lot of them — you might even be taking “HDR” photos (which are even larger files than standard photos). So, what do you do? You have two main options:
- Buy a phone with more internal storage, which costs more money.
- Regularly offload photos and delete them from your phone, which costs your time.
But there’s a third, totally free, amazingly simple option: Google Photos. Here’s everything you should know about Google’s secret-best service.
If you have a Google account — Gmail, for instance — you already have Google Photos.
It’s true, and it’s incredibly simple:
-Navigate to photos.google.com (while signed in to your Gmail account).
-Start using Google Photos!
If, for some reason, you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need one to use Google Photos. Signing up is free and easy.
But let’s not kid ourselves — y0u probably have a Google account already, right? Almost certainly.
But you’re here to free up space on your phone, right? For that you’re going to need the Google Photos app — it’s available for free on both the iTunes App Store and Google Play:
The app is really where the best Google Photos stuff is. I’ll explain why momentarily, but first and foremost you need download links — here they are:
Now that you’ve got the app installed, what’s so good about it? While there are many answers to that question, prime among them is Google Photos’ “Back up & Sync” function.
Despite logic dictating that you should click the “Free up space” option in the main menu, the first place you should navigate is the “Back up & Sync” menu in Settings.
This is the main reason that Google Photos is so great: It takes your entire photo library — every photo you’ve ever taken on your phone, as well as screenshots and photos taken within Instagram and whatever else — and uploads it to the internet. The photos remain private, hidden behind your Google account information, but now you can access them anywhere. On your laptop? Yep. On a new phone? Yep. On your tablet? Yep, there too.
This unto itself is pretty incredible — but what’s even more incredible is what this means for the concept of storing photos on your phone. Specifically: You can straight up delete your entire photo library, thus freeing up a tremendous amount of your phone’s free space.