How to Back Up Your Mac’s Photos

So you have a hard drive full of family photos, lovingly curated over years and years. Awesome!

But, uh… what happens if your computer dies?

Personally, I’m paranoid.

There’s a saying when it comes to backups: two is one, and one is none. The idea here is that if you have just a single backup (say, the files live on your primary computer, plus an external hard drive), and something goes wrong, you could be in deep trouble, because (surprise!) that backup drive that you haven’t tried to read from in a year is actually failing.

Redundant backups protect you from unexpected problems compounding on one another.

So, if every backup method is prone to problems of one sort of another, what’s a person to do?

My solution is to use all 3 of:

Hard drives are cheap—at the time of this writing, you can get a pair of external 4 TB drives (enough for a lifetime of photos & videos for most people) for under $200. Cloud Storage is the same—Backblaze charges $6/month. I’d be devastated if I lost any substantial portion of our family photos. I consider this to be trivial pricing for the peace of mind it delivers.

Oh, and one more thing—if you’ve got your own backup plan squared away, check in on your friends & family. There’s a good chance they haven’t thought about this stuff, and you can save them a lot of heartache down the road.

– Tyler

Let me know what you think—find me on Twitter @TylerAYoung or email me at my first name at

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