I’m an avid user of Instagram and if you’re anything like me you will have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos posted to there. I have Dropbox backing up my photos but it’s the free account which is limited on space. So, I clear that down by importing into my photo collection folder structure on my PC. Photos are then backed up to a NAS (network attached storage) keeping them safe. However, I like robustness in such matters and started to look at what else I could do.
So how do I do it?
The solution is to have your Instagram photos automatically saved to a Google Photos account. Any Google account automatically has Google Photos and you can store unlimited photos on there in high quality (up to 16 megapixels) which is perfectly OK.
To save your Instagram photos to Google Photos automatically you are going to need:
- an Insta gram account (obviously)
- a Google account
- an IFTTT (if this then that) account. IFTT is basically an intermediate service that links web services together to allow cross-posting.
Within your IFTTT account, you can setup applets that do “something” – for example, I use it to post to my Tumblr page each time I upload a YouTube video. So for photos, you would look for the applet called “Save your new Instagram Photos to Google Photos”. IFTT will walk you through the process of linking to your Instagram account and your Google account. One of the cool features of this applet is that you can make it put the photos into a particular album on Google Photos, so I first created one called “Instagram”.
What about all your existing Instagram photos?
This solution covers all your new Instagram photos from now on* – brilliant. But what about the hundreds or thousands of photos you’ve already got on Instagram? Well after a bit of digging I came across a free tool (providing you only want to link to one Instagram account) called “4k Stogram”. This is a Windows app you can download from here. Install it, run it and tell it your Instagram name and it will start to download ALL your Instagram photos into one folder.
Once you’ve downloaded your photos from Instagram to your PC you can then upload them to your Google Photos album. I found it best to do it in chunks of about 300 at a time, but you do whatever works for you.
So now you are covered, every new photo you post will automatically be backed up. Best of all it’s all for free and hasn’t cost you anything but a little time.
With a Google accounts you get 15Gb of free storage** so it is really worth trying. The search facility is also fantastic, search for “dog” and it finds all my photos with a dog in!
If you have any other cool suggestions or questions about this then please do ask in the comments,
Thanks for reading.
*I have discovered that it doesn’t work for multiple posts (the carousel feature where you can post 10 photos together). A slight annoyance but not a feature I regularly use.
**All the Google services (Gmail, Drive, Docs, Photos etc) share the 15GB storage
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