Backing up Photo Library to Google Photos in macOS

Backing up your photos is an important step to make sure they aren't lost due to an accident or while your computer is being serviced.

To backup your Photo Library to Google Photos:

Start by exporting your photos from the Photos app.

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Navigate to the "Photos" option in the left hand menu bar. This should show all of your pictures.
  3. Press the Command and A key together to select all of your photos.
  4. Click File -> Export -> Export (number) Photos
  5. A export box will pop up, click Export in the lower right-hand corner.
  6. Click the "Create New Folder" button in the bottom left of the next box. Be sure to remember where this folder is saved.
  7. Name the folder, select it, and click "Export" in the lower right-hand corner.
  8. A notification will pop up once all the pictures have exported to the folder. (Please note that for large photo libraries, this could take a long time. A small circle will appear next to the photos button in the top of the window. This indicates the export progress.)
  9. Open your preferred browser and go to "photos.google.com"
  10. Sign in (if you aren't already) and click continue on the information box.
  11. In the top right section of the window, click the "Import" button.
  12. Find the folder where you exports all of your pictures from the Photos app and select it. 
  13. Hit the Command and A key together to select all of your pictures. Then click Open.
  14. A progress box will appear in the lower left corner of the screen.

After the progress box indicates that it is complete and your pictures appear in the Google Photos Library, your pictures are backed up.

It is important to note that this only backs up photos in your Photos app. You can easily back up pictures that you have stored anywhere else on your computer by following steps 11-13, and selecting your other photos in step 12 instead of the export folder.

Backing Up to Google Drive (Alternative Method)

If you do not wish to use Google Photos, there is an option to backup your Photos Library and restore it later. Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. Go to your Finder and go to the Pictures folder.
  2. Find the Photos icon and hold Control while clicking on it.
  3. Select "Compress 'Photo Library'" and it will generate a new file.
  4. Open Google Drive and select upload, just like you would for any other file.
  5. Go to the Pictures folder and locate the "Photo Library.zip" that you generated in step 2.
  6. Upload this to Google Drive and your photos library has been backed up.
  7. Later on, you can download this .zip file, click on it, and drag it back into your pictures folder. When it asks you if you want to replace the file, select yes. This restores your photo library to the state it was in when you backed it up.

This does not include pictures you have stored outside of your Photos library, they will need uploaded separately.

  • 94
  • 14-May-2018
  • 3357 Views