Categories
Device

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

AirDrop is arguably one of Apple’s most useful inventions. The feature allows users to transfer files and photos between nearby Apple devices, even when you don’t have service.

But AirDrop can also lead to uninvited requests, if you don’t have your iPhone’s settings properly configured.

To avoid receiving AirDrop requests from people you don’t know, you’ll want to turn off AirDrop while in public spaces, or limit who can see your device to only your contacts.

Here’s how to do it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy)

How to turn off AirDrop on an iPhone via Settings

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Tap “General.”

3. Tap “AirDrop.”

4. Tap “Receiving Off” so that no one can see your device.

You have three options to choose from in AirDrop settings. “Receiving Off” makes your iPhone undetectable, “Contacts Only” limits it to just the individuals saved in your contacts, and “Everyone” allows any Apple device nearby to request a transfer.

How to turn off AirDrop on an iPhone via the Control Center

1. On an iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen to open the Control Center. On an iPhone 8 Plus or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

2. Press firmly on the network settings square in the top right corner of the screen to expand it.

3. Once the square has expanded, you’ll see “AirDrop” and its respective icon in the bottom left. Tap on the icon.

4. Tap on “Receiving Off,” so that no one will see your device when using AirDrop.

Use AirDrop to share and receive photos, documents, and more with other Apple devices that are nearby.

Before you begin

  • Make sure that the person you’re sending to is nearby and within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range.
  • Check that you and the person you’re sending to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. If either of you have Personal Hotspot on, turn it off.
  • Check if the person you’re sending to has their AirDrop set to receive from Contacts Only. If they do, and you’re in their Contacts, they need to have your Apple ID’s email address or mobile number in your contact card for AirDrop to work.
  • If you’re not in their Contacts, have them set their AirDrop receiving setting to Everyone in order to receive the file.

You can put your AirDrop receiving setting to Contacts Only or Receiving Off at any time to control who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop.

How to use AirDrop

Follow the steps for your device.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

On your iPhone 11 or later

  1. Open an app, then tap Share or the Share button . If you share a photo from the Photos app, you can swipe left or right and select multiple photos.
  2. Tap the AirDrop button.
  3. If the person that you want to share with also has an iPhone 11 model or iPhone 12 model, point your iPhone in the direction of the other iPhone.
  4. Tap the profile picture of its user at the top of the screen. Or you can use AirDrop between your own Apple devices. If you see a red numbered badge on the AirDrop button, there are multiple devices nearby that you can share with. Tap the AirDrop button, then tap the user that you want to share with. Learn what to do if you don’t see the AirDrop user or your other device.

If the person you’re sharing content with is in your Contacts, you’ll see an image with their name. If they’re not in your Contacts, you’ll see just their name without an image.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

On your iPhone XS or earlier, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open an app, then tap Share or the Share button . If you share a photo from the Photos app, you can swipe left or right and select multiple photos.
  2. Tap the AirDrop button.
  3. Tap the AirDrop user that you want to share with. Or you can use AirDrop between your own Apple devices. If you see a red numbered badge on the AirDrop button, there are multiple devices nearby that you can share with. Tap the AirDrop button, then tap the user that you want to share with. Learn what to do if you don’t see the AirDrop user or your other device.

If the person you’re sharing content with is in your Contacts, you’ll see an image with their name. If they’re not in your Contacts, you’ll see just their name without an image.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

How to accept AirDrop

When someone shares something with you using AirDrop, you see an alert with a preview. You can tap Accept or Decline.

If you tap Accept, the AirDrop will come through within the same app it was sent from. For example, photos appear in the Photos app and websites open in Safari. App links open in the App Store so you can download or purchase the app.

If you AirDrop something to yourself, like a photo from your iPhone to your Mac, you won’t see an option to Accept or Decline — it’ll automatically get sent to your device. Just make sure that both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID.

How to adjust AirDrop settings

To choose who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop:

  1. Go to Settings, tap General.
  2. Tap AirDrop, then choose an option.

You can also set your AirDrop options in Control Center. Here’s how:

  1. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. Or follow the same motion to open Control Center on your iPad with iOS 12 or later or iPadOS. On your iPhone 8 or earlier or iPod touch, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Press firmly or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper-left corner.
  3. Touch and hold the AirDrop button , then choose one of these options:
    • Receiving Off: You won’t receive AirDrop requests.
    • Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device.
    • Everyone: All nearby Apple devices using AirDrop can see your device.

If you see Receiving Off and can’t tap to change it:

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  3. Tap Allowed Apps and make sure that AirDrop is turned on.

The Contacts Only option is available on devices that support iOS 10 and later, iPadOS, or macOS Sierra 10.12 and later. If AirDrop is set to Contacts Only on your device with an earlier software version, you’ll need to adjust AirDrop settings to the Everyone option in Settings or from Control Center. You can select the Everyone option while using AirDrop and disable it when not in use.

Use AirDrop to share and receive photos, documents, and more with other Apple devices that are nearby.

Before you begin

  • Make sure that the person you’re sending to is nearby and within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range.
  • Check that you and the person you’re sending to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. If either of you have Personal Hotspot on, turn it off.
  • Check if the person you’re sending to has their AirDrop set to receive from Contacts Only. If they do, and you’re in their Contacts, they need to have your Apple ID’s email address or mobile number in your contact card for AirDrop to work.
  • If you’re not in their Contacts, have them set their AirDrop receiving setting to Everyone in order to receive the file.

You can put your AirDrop receiving setting to Contacts Only or Receiving Off at any time to control who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop.

How to use AirDrop

Follow the steps for your device.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

On your iPhone 11 or later

  1. Open an app, then tap Share or the Share button . If you share a photo from the Photos app, you can swipe left or right and select multiple photos.
  2. Tap the AirDrop button.
  3. If the person that you want to share with also has an iPhone 11 model or iPhone 12 model, point your iPhone in the direction of the other iPhone.
  4. Tap the profile picture of its user at the top of the screen. Or you can use AirDrop between your own Apple devices. If you see a red numbered badge on the AirDrop button, there are multiple devices nearby that you can share with. Tap the AirDrop button, then tap the user that you want to share with. Learn what to do if you don’t see the AirDrop user or your other device.

If the person you’re sharing content with is in your Contacts, you’ll see an image with their name. If they’re not in your Contacts, you’ll see just their name without an image.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

On your iPhone XS or earlier, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open an app, then tap Share or the Share button . If you share a photo from the Photos app, you can swipe left or right and select multiple photos.
  2. Tap the AirDrop button.
  3. Tap the AirDrop user that you want to share with. Or you can use AirDrop between your own Apple devices. If you see a red numbered badge on the AirDrop button, there are multiple devices nearby that you can share with. Tap the AirDrop button, then tap the user that you want to share with. Learn what to do if you don’t see the AirDrop user or your other device.

If the person you’re sharing content with is in your Contacts, you’ll see an image with their name. If they’re not in your Contacts, you’ll see just their name without an image.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

How to accept AirDrop

When someone shares something with you using AirDrop, you see an alert with a preview. You can tap Accept or Decline.

If you tap Accept, the AirDrop will come through within the same app it was sent from. For example, photos appear in the Photos app and websites open in Safari. App links open in the App Store so you can download or purchase the app.

If you AirDrop something to yourself, like a photo from your iPhone to your Mac, you won’t see an option to Accept or Decline — it’ll automatically get sent to your device. Just make sure that both devices are signed in with the same Apple ID.

How to adjust AirDrop settings

To choose who can see your device and send you content in AirDrop:

  1. Go to Settings, tap General.
  2. Tap AirDrop, then choose an option.

You can also set your AirDrop options in Control Center. Here’s how:

  1. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to open Control Center. Or follow the same motion to open Control Center on your iPad with iOS 12 or later or iPadOS. On your iPhone 8 or earlier or iPod touch, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Press firmly or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper-left corner.
  3. Touch and hold the AirDrop button , then choose one of these options:
    • Receiving Off: You won’t receive AirDrop requests.
    • Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device.
    • Everyone: All nearby Apple devices using AirDrop can see your device.

If you see Receiving Off and can’t tap to change it:

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  3. Tap Allowed Apps and make sure that AirDrop is turned on.

The Contacts Only option is available on devices that support iOS 10 and later, iPadOS, or macOS Sierra 10.12 and later. If AirDrop is set to Contacts Only on your device with an earlier software version, you’ll need to adjust AirDrop settings to the Everyone option in Settings or from Control Center. You can select the Everyone option while using AirDrop and disable it when not in use.

It’s not always a good idea to share the geotagged location data with your photos. Here’s how to remove it.

Most of the time, your iPhone’s ability to save locations alongside the photos you take is a great feature—you can search by cities and countries, create Memories in the Photos app, and more.

But you might not want to include that location data when you’re sharing your photos via iMessage or posting them to social media. Here’s how to remove geotags before you share.

Don’t Let Photos Reveal Your Location

When you bring up the share sheet for one or more photos in the Photos app, you’ll see all of the sharing destinations available on your iPhone: AirDrop, iMessage contacts, social media apps, and more.

Unless you tell it not to, the Photos app will send location data along with any photos and videos that contain it. You might want to share geotagged photos with a family member who’s in them, but you probably don’t want to broadcast that kind of information to all your social media followers.

You can manage the location settings on your iPhone so the Camera app can’t add geotags to future photos. But that also takes away the features that are available when your iPhone has that data—like iPhone Memories slideshows and search.

Instead, use the share sheet to remove the location from each photo as you share it.

How to Remove a Photo’s Location Data From the iPhone Share Sheet

At the top of the share sheet, find the bold text showing the number of photos and videos selected. Right beneath it, if the item you’re sharing contains location data, you’ll see one of the following labels displayed next to the Options button:

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

Nothing feels more futuristic and Star Trek than using AirDrop to instantly beam pictures and videos to others while you’re out and about. There’s no file size limit, no setup, no software to install, and no password to memorize. And since AirDrop uses Bluetooth, you don’t even need an Internet connection or a Wi-Fi network to make it work, though you can use a Wi-Fi network if you want. That means you can use AirDrop to fling files to and fro in places that you normally can’t—airplanes, cruise ships, and camping trips, to mention a few. In this column, you’ll learn how to use AirDrop inside Apple’s Photos app, plus get some ideas for using AirDrop in other apps.

AirDrop system requirements

To AirDrop pictures and videos between iOS devices, you need an iPhone 5 (or newer), an iPad (fourth generation or newer), an iPad mini, or an iPod touch (fifth generation or newer), running at least iOS 7. To AirDrop files between an iOS device and a Mac (or vice versa), your Mac has to be made in 2012 (or later) and it must be running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later.

To AirDrop files between two Macs, they both need OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later. Technically speaking, if you want to transfer files between two Macs using an AirDrop window in the Finder, instead of the Photos app, you don’t need the latest and greatest hardware or OS—both Macs simply need OS X 10.7 Lion or later.

Setting up your devices for AirDrop

To get the AirDrop party started between iOS devices running iOS 8 (or later), launch the Control Center by swiping upward from the bottom edge of the display. (In iOS 7, use the Settings app instead.)

Tap the AirDrop icon to the left of the AirPlay icon (if you don’t see it, your iOS or the device itself is too old). In the resulting menu, pick who you want to share files with: Contacts Only or Everyone. Tap Contacts Only and just the people in your Contacts app can see your device via AirDrop. Tap Everyone and anyone using AirDrop within about 30 feet of you can see your device. If you’re trying to share images with someone who isn’t in your Contacts app, it’s quicker to set AirDrop to Everyone than it is to add them to your Contacts app.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

IDG

Tap the AirDrop icon circled here (left) and the next menu lets you pick who to share files with (center). Tap Contacts Only or Everyone and the AirDrop icon turns white. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also automatically enabled if they weren’t already.

To use AirDrop between an iOS device and a Mac, or between two Macs, make sure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on. Your Mac doesn’t need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network—Wi-Fi simply needs to be turned on.

Using Photos for iOS

To AirDrop pictures and videos between iOS devices, fire up Photos for iOS. Find the images in your Camera Roll or in an album, and then tap the Select button at the upper-right. Tap the thumbnails you want to send, and Photos marks them with a checkmark. To deselect an item, tap the thumbnail again.

If you want to send all (or most) of the images in a single moment, you can select them all at once and save some time. First tap the Photos button at the bottom of your screen to enter Photos view, which splits your images into “moments” based on time and location. Then tap the Select button at the upper-right corner of the screen, which makes a smaller Select button to the right of each moment’s name and location. Tap that to select every image at once, and then tap any you’d like to deselect, or tap Deselect to deselect the whole moment.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

IDG

In Photos view, tap Select in the upper-right corner (left). Then tap Select next to a moment (right). Now you’re ready to tap Share (right).

Once you’ve selected some thumbnails, tap the Share icon at the lower-left corner. You’ll see several options for sharing, with the icons of nearby AirDrop users at the top. Simply tap the person you want to send the file(s) to. On the recipient’s iOS device, a message appears asking them to decline or accept the transfer—tapping Accept adds the files to their Photos library. If, however, you send the file to another device registered with the same iCloud account, Apple assumes you own both devices and the files are transferred without the need for approval.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

IDG

AirDrop-enabled devices show up as icons at the top of share screen (left). If your recipient is on an iOS device, they can choose to Accept or Decline the files (right).

If the recipient is on a Mac, they need to open an AirDrop window in the Finder (choose Go > AirDrop, press Shift-Command-R, or just look for AirDrop in your Finder window’s sidebar), or else you won’t see their AirDrop icon. In the AirDrop window on the receiving Mac, a message appears that lets them decline, save, or save and open the files. The resulting files land in the Mac’s Downloads folder.

Using Photos for Mac

The process for using AirDrop in Photos for Mac is just as easy. Simply select some thumbnails by Shift- or Command-clicking them and then click the Share icon in Photos’ toolbar (or the Share icon that appears when you point your cursor to a moment in Photos view). In the resulting menu, click AirDrop.

A message appears in the middle of the Photos window that contains tiny thumbnails of the image(s) you selected along with the icons of nearby AirDrop-enabled devices. If you don’t see the icon of your intended recipient, try opening an AirDrop window yourself to jumpstart the process.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

IDG

After selecting some images, click the Share icon circled here (top) and you see the AirDrop icons of those nearby (bottom).

While there are other options for using Photos to share pictures and videos—say, shared albums and Family Sharing, AirDrop is a quick and instant way to get it done without Internet access.

Other uses for AirDrop

AirDrop is available anywhere you see a Share icon—in iOS apps, some OS X apps, and in your Mac’s Finder. You can use it to share websites in Safari, attachments in Mail (Control-click the attachment and choose Share from the shortcut menu that appears), or any file in your Mac’s Finder (open an AirDrop window and then drop the file onto your recipient’s icon). You can also AirDrop a location from the Maps app, a contact from the Contacts app, an open document in Preview or other Apple apps, and so on. Until next time, may the creative force be with you all!

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

iPhone позволяет снимать качественные фото и видео, которые отражают Ваше чувство стиля и раскрывают творческий потенциал. От повседневных фото до видео с киноэффектом — все это можно снимать на камеру Вашего iPhone.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

Поддержка связи

Используйте iPhone для обмена впечатлениями и новых способов общения.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

Оставайтесь в фокусе

С помощью функций «Фокусирование» и «Экранное время» ограничивайте отвлекающие факторы, планируйте свое время и проживайте каждое мгновение.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

Следите за здоровьем

Здоровье на iPhone — это удобное приложение для просмотра сведений о Вашем здоровье и управления ими.

Для перехода к Руководству пользователя iPhone нажмите «Оглавление» вверху страницы или введите слово или фразу в поле поиска. Также можно загрузить это руководство из Apple Books (в тех странах и регионах, где этот сервис доступен).

В приложении «Сообщения» можно блокировать нежелательные сообщения, отфильтровывать сообщения от неизвестных отправителей и отправлять жалобы на сообщения спамеров.

Блокировка сообщений от определенного отправителя или номера

Коснитесь имени или номера в верхней части окна разговора в приложении «Сообщения».

Прокрутите вниз, затем коснитесь «Заблокировать абонента».

Чтобы просмотреть или изменить список заблокированных контактов и номеров телефонов, выберите «Настройки» > «Сообщения» > «Заблокированные контакты». См. статью службы поддержки Apple Блокировка номеров телефона, контактов и адресов электронной почты на iPhone, iPad и iPod touch.

Фильтрация сообщений iMessage от неизвестных отправителей

Если настроить фильтрацию сообщений от неизвестных отправителей, уведомления о сообщениях iMessage от пользователей, которых нет в Вашем списке контактов, будут отключены, и такие сообщения будут помещаться на вкладку «Неизвестные отправители» в списке сообщений.

Откройте «Настройки» > «Сообщения».

Включите функцию «Фильтрация по отправителю».

Примечание. Ссылки, полученные в сообщениях от неизвестных отправителей, нельзя открыть, пока отправитель не будет добавлен в список контактов или пока Вы не ответите на сообщение.

Отправка жалоб на сообщения спамеров

Когда Вы используете iMessage, при получении сообщения от человека, которого нет в списке Ваших контактов, оно может быть отмечено как возможный спам. Об таких сообщениях можно сообщать в Apple.

Когда сообщение открыто, коснитесь «Сообщить о спаме», затем — «Удалить и сообщить о спаме».

Информация об отправителе будет отправлена в Apple, а сообщение будет безвозвратно удалено с Вашего устройства.

Примечание. Сообщение о спаме не означает, что данный отправитель больше не сможет отправлять Вам сообщения. Если Вы не хотите получать сообщения от этого отправителя, можно заблокировать его номер телефона.

Чтобы сообщить о спаме, который Вы получаете в виде сообщений SMS или MMS, обратитесь к оператору сотовой связи.

While there are many awesome features in iOS 12, there’s one that has got the best of me and my patience. Sending photos and videos in a text or iMessage. Yes, there are a few ways the process remains the same, but if you select pics and vids right from within the Message app, be prepared to be annoyed . highly annoyed.

Before I get a ton of responses about how this hasn’t changed at all, let me say that nothing is different when you’re in the Photos app; Select a pic or video, tap the share icon, then “Message” in the share sheet. It will do the same thing as always, opening up a compose message screen with the media embedded. All it needs from you is a recipient and, if you want, a written message to go with it.

What I’m talking about is sending your photos and videos from within the Messages app directly. Before, you’d tap the camera button next to the text input field, then choose “Photo Library” to select what you want from your Photos app.

  • Don’t Miss: 100+ Cool New iOS 12 Features You Didn’t Know About for iPhone

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

Well, Apple has made this whole process different, so tapping the camera icon next to the input field in a thread no longer gives you the option to choose from your Photos library. I’ve been running iOS 12 since the very first developer beta in June, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, habit gets the best of me. I tap the camera icon, which just opens the camera with all its new effects (which the Photos app can’t use).

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if choosing photos and videos within a Messages thread hadn’t been the exact same process since MMS became supported on iPhones back in iPhone OS 3. Yes, it was that far back, before iOS was even called iOS, that you would just tap the camera icon to select from your Photos library.

Now, be prepared to tap more times than you did before. You’re likely to keep tapping that camera icon for months, at least, then closing out of the camera you didn’t want to select the Photos app icon in the App Drawer for Messages, which is now the location in iOS 12’s Messages app that houses your already-taken media.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos) alt=”Sending Photos in Messages Just Got Way More Annoying in iOS 12″ width=”532″ height=”532″ />

Maybe one day my brain will be retrained to tap the Photos icon instead of the camera icon, but it’s been almost three months, and it hasn’t yet. It’s even more frustrating when you like to hide the App Drawer. Sigh.

Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions, increase security when browsing on public networks, and more.

Are your photos trapped on your phone? Here's how to get them onto your PC and the internet for storing, editing, and sharing.

How to turn off airdrop on your iphone (so you don’t get unsolicited photos)

The cameras in modern smartphones evolved beyond shooting grainy, blurred shots a long time ago. In fact, many phones today have built-in sensors that rival that of standalone digital cameras and have almost completely destroyed the market for cameras.

There’s a good reason for that: Nary does a moment in life go by lately without a photo or video to match. In virtually all of those moments, our phones are there for us. They make it easy to take the shot, and smartphone apps for editing pics and footage are legion. But what happens when you want to get that masterpiece of a shot off the small screen for some photo editing on the computer? It’s simple, if you know how. Here’s a quick guide to help you get those precious memories off your phone and onto your hard drive.

Direct Connection

The fastest method for transferring a lot of pics to a PC is to attach your smartphone to your computer via the data cable. That’s a Lightning connector for modern iPhones, or the mini-USB or USB-C for others. Plug the other end into the supported port on the PC.

For iPhones connecting to a Windows 10 PC, make sure that the iTunes software is not running on your desktop. When you plug in, your operating system should recognize the handset as a digital camera. More specifically, the computer will see that the phone has a DCIM, or Digital Camera Images folder. It’s the default folder system all digital cameras use to organize pictures.

In Windows, for instance, it will show up as a new drive under the “This PC” section. Click on the drive, open the folder (mine was called “Internal Storage”), and you’ll have access to all your images and videos. If it says the folder is empty, plug it in again with the iPhone unlocked; you may have to click a dialog box saying you trust the PC. I had to plug and re-plug an iPhone XS several times before the DCIM finally showed up.

This method should work even if the software you’d typically use for syncing with a phone—such as iTunes—isn’t running or even installed. Copy all the images to your hard drive (or move them if you need the space on the smartphone). The folders and names used by the phone likely won’t make any sense; sort those all out later.

The same basic moves work on Android. You may have to go into Settings > Bluetooth and Device Connection > USB > File Transfer and toggle it on. Your Android smartphone should appear in Windows Explorer. Open it and again look for the DCIM folder full of images, but it could be in another folder. You may have to search.

Backup and Sync Services

Several of the major online backup services offer automated backup of photos and videos on your phone or tablet. For instance, you can go into Microsoft OneDrive settings and turn on “Camera Upload” in Settings to auto-upload images and video to your OneDrive account, which you can then access on your PC.

Likewise, an automatic photo upload for Dropbox pulls images instantly and adds them to your Dropbox in the Camera Uploads folder, which you can access on Dropbox.com or your hard drive once it syncs. Storage limits depend on your account tier.

At the moment, Google Photos is the ultimate backup app for your photos. And will be until June 1, 2021, when it kills off unlimited photo and video uploads. Nothing you upload before June 1 will count against your free 15GB storage limit on Google, so if you have a trove of photos you’ve been meaning to digitize, get a move on. Backed-up images are accessible via the web and can be downloaded to your PC as needed.

Amazon offers unlimited image backup via Amazon Photos, plus 5GB for videos, assuming you have an Amazon Prime account. It does so with the hope that you’ll use the images to buy personalized prints and stuff like photo cards, photobooks, blankets, mugs, mousepads, and more. Adding 100GB of storage costs $1.99 per month. Once you have images stored on Amazon Photos, its easy to share or download them.

All of the above are available for iOS or Android. Apple’s iCloud is iPhone-only, of course, and provides 5GB of photo and video storage for free via the iCloud Photo Library. For more, you have to pay $0.99 per month for 50GB up to $9.99 per month for a 2TB. iCloud makes your images and videos available across all your iOS and macOS devices, as well as the web.

Removable Memory

Memory slots on a smartphone go in and out of style. That’s mostly because they’re very useful. When not available, customers complain so manufacturers bring them back. The cloud makes their absence less of an issue, but if you have a card slot, it’s a fast way to get your pictures off a smartphone. You’ll simply need a reader for your computer.

Memory cards are never an option on the iPhone, but there are a few Android devices with microSD card slots. That includes the Samsung Galaxy S20 (but not the new S21).

Even if you’ve got a card reader on your computer, you may need to purchase a microSD-to-SD card adapter so your computer can accommodate a minuscule microSD card. Once connected to your computer, the card functions like a flash drive; browse, drag, and drop your smartphone photos onto your PC and never lose a bit of image quality. You can buy USB-based adapters for SD/microSD for next to nothing.

If you desperately want to use an SD or microSD card reader on your iPhone or iPad, there are several third-party readers with a Lightning plug. They typically also have a USB-A 3.0 plug to easily connect the card reader to the PC for file transfers. Many can be found on Amazon from companies with suspicious sounding names, but at least one brand you’ve actually heard of (SanDisk) has an option. It may require a special app to see the storage on the reader.

Ignore Apple’s own $29 Lightning-to-SD Card Camera Reader. While it looks like it should be external storage, it’s not. You can only use it for viewing pictures you have on an SD card on your iOS device. You can’t copy from iOS to the SD card.