How to Manage Your Online Photo Library With iDrive Photos

Google Photos users were thrown for a loop last year when the company announced that it would no longer offer free, unlimited storage for photos and videos. You now get up to 15GB of total storage for free from Google. Grabbing more space requires a Google One subscription that starts at $ 1.99 per month.

For anyone looking for an alternative, one site worth considering is iDrive Photos, available from the folks behind the iDrive online backup site. Currently starting at $ 4.95 per year (and just 99 cents for the first year), iDrive Photos provides unlimited, full-resolution storage space for your photos and videos.

Through mobile apps for iOS and Android, you upload the photos from your mobile device to your iDrive storage space, either automatically or manually. From there, you can organize them into albums, restore them to a different device, and share them with other people.

The big caveat is that the $ 4.95-per-year plan limits you to uploading photos and video just from your mobile device. To upload from your computer, you’ll have to spring for a 5TB desktop plan to the tune of $ 79.50 per year. Here’s how to use iDrive Photos as your online photo manager.


Back Up Photos to iDrive

idrive sign up

Browse to the iDrive Photos website and click Sign Up Now. You can choose to sign up for a free, 7-day trial account that includes 1TB of space. This requires your name, email address, and a password for your account but no payment details. Alternatively, go for the Unlimited Photo Backup Plan, which asks for your contact details and your credit card payment information.

idrive app

Your next step is to download and install the iDrive Photo Backup app on your iOS or Android device. At the initial screen, sign in to your iDrive account and grant iDrive Photos access to your photos and videos, if you want to upload photos from your library.

Choose All Photos to give unlimited access, or Select Photos to choose only certain photos. You can then opt to allow or not allow notifications from the app.

iphone photo backup

The app will automatically start uploading photos from your library. To check on the progress of the upload, tap the Settings gear icon in the upper-left corner. The Settings screen shows how many items are left to upload. On an iPhone, tap the option for Start Supercharged Backup to see more details on the progress.

At this point, the app recommends that you plug in your iPhone or iPad to make sure it will not power off due to a weak battery charge. Tap Exit Supercharged Backup to return to the Settings screen. After the upload has finished, the status indicates that the backup is complete.

android photo backup

On an Android phone, there is no option for Supercharged Backup. Instead, the section for Upload in progress displays the status of the upload. After the upload is done, the status indicates that the backup has completed.

app settings

After the initial upload, you may want to tweak some of the settings in the app, which you can do at the Settings screen. If you’d rather not have new photos and videos automatically backed up to iDrive, turn off the switch for Auto Upload. You can always turn it back on, and any photos or videos not yet uploaded will then be sent to iDrive.

Under the More section, you can opt to use cellular data to upload your photos and videos. Just keep in mind that any large or long videos will chew up some of your cellular data. On an Android device, you can switch the visual theme of the app between light and dark. You can also change your password and set up a passcode to further secure your photos.


Restore Photos From iDrive

iphone restore

One of the major benefits of backing up your photos and videos online is that you can restore them to your mobile device. You might do this if you lose any photos or videos on your current device, move to a new device, or have multiple devices.

To restore all the items from iDrive Photos on an iPhone or iPad, open the Settings screen and select Start Supercharged Restore. The status will indicate that a restore is in progress, showing the number of items left to restore. Stay on this screen while the process is underway.

When it’s finished, the app will switch back to the Settings screen, indicating that all the items have been restored. Tapping the option for Start Supercharged Restore displays a message telling you that there are no new files for restore.

android restore

On an Android device, open the Settings screen and tap Restore All. The status indicates the progress of the restore, telling you how many items have been restored out of a certain total. After the process completes, the countdown stops. Tapping the option again tells you that all files have already been restored.

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Download, Share, Favorite, Delete Photos From iDrive

download photos

If you need to download, share, delete, or tag an image, tap the three-dot icon in the upper right and select Edit. Select any photos you wish to use. Tap the Download icon to save the photos on your device. This command works only if the photo you choose is not already stored on your device.

favorite, share, delete

Tap the heart-shaped Favorite icon to add the images to your favorites. You can tap the Share icon to send photos to others from the iOS share pane. Tap the trashcan icon to delete any selected files.

view photos

You can also perform these actions from individual photos. Tap a specific photo to view it. From this screen, you can download the file, tag it as a favorite, share it, or delete it. Swipe to the left or right to view your other images. Tap the Info icon for a photo to see its full name and date.

shared, favorites

You can view photos designated as Favorites or those previously shared with others. Tap the three-dot icon and select Shared Files to see a list of files that you’ve shared with other people. Tap Favorites to see ones you tagged as favorites.

filter, search

Tap the Filter icon in the upper-right corner of the app and you can opt to see only photos or only videos. You can also search for files by name.


View Photos From the iDrive Website

idrive website

If you prefer to view and manage your photos from a computer, you can sign into the iDrive Photos website. Select the Photos category in the left pane to see all your saved photos. From this window you can also share or download items from the top of the page.

idrive photos

Click a photo to view it up close. From here, you can share, rotate, download, or print the photo. You can also view it in full screen and see additional information.

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