Now it’s time to get down to the “how to keep my iPhone photos under control” part of this series. What you will learn here is an ongoing system for saving and sharing photos and keeping your iPhone’s photo clutter minimized.
If you followed my steps in Part 3, the worst is over.
These are the guidelines that will help you manage your iPhone photos from now on.
First, set a reminder on your iPhone
- Open Reminders on your iPhone
- Touch the ‘+’ in the top right and then Reminder.
- In the title field, enter “Manage Photos.”
- Turn ON “Remind me on a day.”
- Beside “Alarm,” select a future day of the week and time (i.e. Sunday, 8:00 PM)
- Beside Repeat, select how often you will need to clean up your photos. Every week or 2 weeks will keep you from being overwhelmed.
- Touch Done.
5 Steps when your Reminder goes off
- Delete the bad shots from the Camera Roll.
- Add any favorite photos to your shared Favorites album (if you did not create this, the instructions are in Part 3).
- Create and add photos to other shared albums. (This is also explained in Part 3.)
- Connect your iPhone to your computer to download the photos and videos you want to keep.
- You don’t have to delete every photo and video on your iPhone, but keep no more than 200 pictures and a few videos on an ongoing basis. Remember, always delete from Camera Roll, unless the computer deleted them for you.
Once you’ve completed these steps, open Reminders and touch the circle beside “Manage Photos.” You will be alerted again, depending on your reminder’s settings.
Backup your photos saved on your computer
This is where I get up on my soapbox and plead with you to pleeeeease use some kind of backup system for the pictures and videos that you have stored on your computer.
These are some options:
- Automatically or manually copy them onto flashdrives or external hard drives. Theoretically, these should not be kept in the same building as your computer.
- Automatically or manually upload them to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Photos. Dropbox is not free after 2GB. Google Photos is free for now but does not store full-resolution copies.
- Automatically have all of your photos, videos and other files backed up to a cloud backup service with unlimited storage. Crashplan is my favorite, and here is an older post I wrote about it. It costs approximately $50/year.
Reduce or eliminate paying for iCloud storage
If you had iCloud Photo Library turned ON before you started this iPhone photo management method and you have been paying Apple for extra iCloud storage, you may want to downgrade or eliminate your storage plan because:
- You have saved your best iPhone photos on your Mac or PC.
- You can use Photo Stream to synchronize your recent photos between your devices.
- You have implemented a backup system for the photos and videos on your Mac or PC (as discussed above).
Below is a screenshot from Apple’s support page Get Help with Your iCloud Photo Library. Follow Apple’s instructions to Disable and Delete iCloud Photo Library.
If you have a Mac and it was also connected to your iCloud Photo Library, I recommend that you follow the above instructions for downloading the originals to Photos on your Mac. You may have already done this without realizing it and there won’t be any new photos downloaded.
There’s still another step to downgrade your iCloud Storage plan. Apple explains how with iCloud Storage Upgrades and Downgrades.
You still have 5GB free iCloud storage – use it!
If you have not been backing up your iPhone automatically to iCloud, it’s time to start! iCloud backups will protect your photos in between downloads to your computer, in addition to other data and settings.
If you are unfamiliar about how to turn it on, follow Apple’s easy instructions How to Back up Your Devices Using iCloud or iTunes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning my system for keeping iPhone photos under control. If you have any questions or comments, feel to comment below or send me an email through the Contact link.