How many photos have you taken in your life? Hundreds? Thousands? Some are probably torn and faded, stacked in a drawer. Others may not have ever made it to paper form and are taking up important space on your camera’s memory card.
The good news – you can easily free up space on your camera. You can transfer the pictures to your computer and then back them up so they won’t ever go missing.
The first step
Before you try any of these methods, transfer the photos from your digital camera (or smartphone if you’re tech-savvy) to your computer. Your camera should come with a USB cable that can connect it to the computer. After the connection, copy each photo into the “My Pictures” folder on your computer.
But what happens if your computer crashes? That’s where these four tips come in handy. You just need to do one – so pick whatever’s easiest for you.
1. USB flash drive
Head over to Walmart, Staples or any office supply store to pick up a USB flash drive. Nowadays, these little gadgets contain large amounts of storage space at a very affordable price – many under ten bucks!
Simply plug the flash drive into your computer and transfer your photos. This can be done the same way as the transfer to your computer from your digital camera – simply copy from the folder “My Pictures”, and paste into “Removable Disk” (i.e. your flash drive).
2. Social media
Are you on social media? Senior citizens are one of the fastest growing demographics on Facebook. Putting pictures on Facebook is not only a great way to share content with your family and friends, but it’s another method of backing up your pictures.
Easily post your photos on Facebook (or check out other websites, like Flickr), so that you can get to your images whenever you log in. By posting photos on the Internet, you’ll create a permanent backup.
Shoot a few e-mails to yourself to back up your pictures. Simply attach the images and send to an e-mail address you plan on having forever.
Beware that many e-mail accounts limit the amount of data you can send – so send just a handful of pictures at a time. Stick all the messages in a folder and you’ll always have access to the images.
Have you ever heard of “the cloud”? It’s a new tech term, so to put it simply – the cloud is a network of servers that allows you to do tasks, such as e-mail and store files, from any device with Internet connection (not just the bulky desktop at home).
So choose a cloud service, such as Dropbox, to store your pictures. Then, if your computer crashes or you want to look at the images from another location, they’ll be available to you!
Don’t wait to lose your pictures
Many people make the mistake of backing up their images after they were lost unexpectedly. Either they misplaced their camera, their computer crashed or another unforeseen misfortune occurred.
Don’t wait – back up your images now. Then, be sure to regularly back up your images so that you’ll always be able to look at them.
Alexis Caffrey is a freelance writer with a focus on technology, new media, and design (who has saved many photos in her lifetime!). In a former life she was a graphic designer based out of New York, NY. You can reach Alex via her email.