Back up photos from any device to Google Photos in Original Quality (for free)

By now, it may be common knowledge that you can use an original c.2016 Google Pixel to back up your photos and videos to Google Photos in Original Quality for free. While there are several posts and tutorials on how to set this up, in practice I found that some notable points were missing from them, namely how to deal with deleting the photos from your primary device once they were backed up from the Pixel. I’m an Android user so this is written primarily from that perspective.

Here’s how to sync/delete the backed up photos from your primary device and the backup pixel [Android]:

1. Install Resilio Sync on both devices. On the Primary device, Create Folder and select your Camera folder, located in /DCIM/Camera

2. On backup Pixel, tap Scan QR and scan the QR code from the primary device Camera folder you just set up to link the two devices

3. On the Primary device, turn off Backup. Take a few photos with the primary device to test the sync.

4. On the backup Pixel, in the Resilo app, you should see the new photos being sync’d

5. Force quit and re-launch Google Photos on the backup Pixel to force Photos to see the new backup directory. Allow it to back up the new sync directory.

And finally, here’s how to deal with removing the backed up photos from your primary device:

6. After the photos are backed up, use a file explorer program such a FX File Explorer to delete the photos from the primary device’s /Camera directory. You can’y use the ‘Free Up Space’ function in google Photos as it doesn’t think you have backed them up. You can also individually select each image and choose ‘Delete from Device’, but that will be pretty time consuming and may be a little confusing. Using a File app is much quicker and easier. On iOS, I believe you can just delete them from the [Apple] Photos app directly

7. On the backup Pixel, you can use the ‘Free Up Space’ function to delete the images that have now been backed up.

Some notes and observations:

– You can quit Resilio Sync on the primary device and start it up as needed to sync to the backup pixel.

– Unless you are taking photos and need to back up constantly, you don’t need to have the backup Pixel plugged in and On at all times. Just boot it up and sync as needed.

– The backup Pixel doesn’t seem to display all of the available directories that contain media for some reason. I have also seen the sync directory disappear on occasion, but once I start a sync and then relaunch Google Photos, it seems to pick it back up again.

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