41 answers

What's the Best Way to Keep Pictures Saved Just in Case Your Computer Crashes???

I have loads of pictures that i've taken of my daughter on my computer. I have them saved to disks but you have to have sooo many disks to save them to. I need suggestions on what to do? thanks everyone in advance.

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wow, thanks for the wonderful responses. I think i am going try a number of different things that were suggested... I appreicate it!
We went and bought an external hard drive, we backed them up on CD's, and i downloaded all my pictures to snapfish. It took forever but its worth it in the end.

Featured Answers

Save them online at a place like kodak.com, creativememories.com, etc.. There are MANY places that you can store them online for free.

Hi, I copy all my digital images to an external hard drive. CDs have a shorter life span than once projected so I see cds as temporary storage.

I have an external hard drive. They aren't that spendy. Especially after you think about all the discs you buy. I had my laptop crash but I had just backed up so I didn't lose anything important. Hope this helps.

More Answers

1) Google has a great picture website called Picasa. You can upload your pictures there. The great thing is that Google backs up their servers constantly.

2) Go ahead and spend a little money on an external hard drive. I found a 750 Gig Maxtor (Maxtor's are really good quality) external drive for $180.

I would use both of these options, just for extra security. Option 2 is very easy. You use a USB cable to plug the external hard drive into your computer. Then, you just copy the information you want from your computer onto the external drive.

Option 1 is more of a backup for your backup. It's the backup you're really praying you never need to rely on, but know it's there just in case both your computer and the external hard drive decide to stop working. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I suggest two options:

1. We have a portable external hard drive. It connects to our PC by a USB port, and when we're not using it, we disconnect it from the PC. We got a Maxtor 120Gig drive, because that's what was on sale when we bought ours. They range from $100 or so up, depending on size of the unit, speed of data transfer, and amount of storage (I saw some for 700+ Gig of storage). So we store all our photos exclusively on this external hard drive, not direclty on the PC. We also use this external hard drive to regularly run back-ups on the rest of our files on the PC. THIS IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE COST, for both photos and backups of everything else!

2. We also upload our pictures on-line using one of the major on-line services. (Snapfish, Kodak Easy Share, Butterfly, etc.) Many of them are free or nearly free. My husband uses a free program called Picassa to sort and organize the files on our end before he uploads them.

Hope this helps!

*S.* SAHM of 4 boys, so we have LOTS of pictures.

I agree with the external harddrive suggestion!! I have one, and download all my pictures on it! That wasy if for some reason we have to evacuate for hurricane, or just need to bring them with us on a trip, we can take just the hard drive. You can get them cheap!

Hi, I copy all my digital images to an external hard drive. CDs have a shorter life span than once projected so I see cds as temporary storage.

I use Snapfish.com (as well as my own computer) to store my photos. I have used them for printing, shared photos w/friends & family, made photo books, and started submitting print orders to local stores for my out of state family. They love that because they can go their local Walgreens and pick up photos I took days ago hundreds of miles away!! But hopefully between their storage and mine I'll be able to hold on to photos for a long time.

Save them on DVD disks, they have WAY more space:) You can also buy those sandisk cards and store them there but that is more expensive:)

Open a shutterfly or snapfish account and upload them to that web site then you never have to worry.

Save them on CDs. When I use to take my pictures to Walmart to get them developed, I would also request them on CD. Now with the digital camera, they are saved on the computer and the disk in the camera and some are even on cds.


my dad got me something called a Wolverine data storage system for Christmas. Not sure how much it costs but it holds thousands of pictures and supposedly I can copy video onto it too... (have to have an extra thing for that). You can also plug it into your TV and see the pictures on the screen.

justa note about snapfish, I use the site but I think yo have to pay to download the pictures back off the site if you ever wanted to. I believe winkflash lets you download them for free.

Save them online at a place like kodak.com, creativememories.com, etc.. There are MANY places that you can store them online for free.

I have an external hard drive just to back-up the pics I have on my regular hard drive, I have some on memory sticks and I've copied what I can to CDs. I know what you mean about CDs though. It takes forever to copy, plus they can go bad or become corrupted just like anything else. I have 2000+ on my computer that I upload to walmart.com a little at a time so that I can have them printed. You can also have them give you a copy of the pictures they print on a CD they prepare for you. They have great quality and good prices, I think. You can edit, add borders, enlarge, etc. and have them delivered to your home for $.12 a print, delivered to the store for pick-up for $.15 a print or upload them and have them printed at the store for $.19 a print. Maybe more information than you wanted, but hopw you get the answers you need.


I use Shutterfly...they offer unlimited storage! I have made numerous of photo albums for gifts for the grandparents as well as Birthday invitations and cards.They have really great quality and fast friendly shipping! Easy to use as well.

Good Luck!

Hi M., I have used a couple of places to keep my photos outside my local computer. I have a free account at www.webshots.com. There I can upload, download and order prints and others can see my albums too. And I also use www.smugmug.com too (but this one has a fee). I believe kodak.com allows free accounts too. I've received invites from others to view their albums there. These are inexpensive electronic "backups" for your precious photos of your little one. :)
C., in Johns Creek, GA

I bought an external hard drive that I have put my pictures on. it is secured with a password and I only connect it to transfer my pictures. I lost some pictures when my desktop died and it was taking me a lot of cds to put them on them. It cost about $100 or so for an external - highly suggest it!

M., being a photographer by trade, I understand your problem all to well. If you have the ability you can store your images as data files on a DVD-R it has 3-or4 times the space than a traditional CD-R.
There are also websites available that you can store your files on for a yearly fee. One such site is X-drive secure.
I belive the Kodak site now offers storage space as well.
The important thing to remember is to save them at a good quality so in the future you can reuse them for printing etc.
You will want to update you storage system as products change over the years. You don't want to be stuck with all your photos on CD's or DVD-s and have no way to access them.
Good Luck
N. Penick Owner Cherin Chancy Studio, McDonough, GA

There are two ways that I know of that on how to back up information including pictures that you have stored on your computer. One is that you can purchase an external hard drive that can back up most of the information that you have stored on your hard drive. It is portable so that you can take it with you wherever you go. The last one is that you can purchase flash drives and load your pictures on to them through your USB connection. The flash drives come in different MB as well as GB. So there will be plenty of room to store those adorable picture and they are also transportable. We have done it and it helped us keep our keepsake pictures from slowing down our computer.

buy an external hard drive....

I have an external hard drive. They aren't that spendy. Especially after you think about all the discs you buy. I had my laptop crash but I had just backed up so I didn't lose anything important. Hope this helps.

I know what you mean! We installed a second hard drive in our computer. They aren't expensive. I have the pics saved on both hard drives, so they are duplicated.


We use an online backup service called Mozy. (www.mozy.com)
It does automatic backups of all our data and pictures - you tell it which folders to back up.

We also have external hard drives as back ups, but we started using Mozy after we had two hard drives crash in a week - one was the backup drive - and we lost a whole bunch of data and pictures.

I also like the fact that the backups are not at our house, in case of a fire.

Go to www.photobucket.com and you can save your pictures there for free and put them private or for others to see. Thats what I do so I don't lose my pictures. Plus you can also use them on other sites if you want cause they give you html and other codes.

Hugs & Blessings,

My friend and I were just discussing this the other night - I have found that downloading to a website like "Snapfish" have been very helpful - that way even if my computer crashes - the website will have all of my pics whenever I want them and I can download them from the site to a new computer if necessary. Good Luck.

I also love taking picture of my children and grand children. I save all of mine to a dvd. I have allot of them! it holds all of my pictures and songs.

Good thing about Piccasa is that you can save pictures on a web album so if computer does crash... and all the cd's you make happen to catch on fire or something... you can still get access to the web album...

Someone stole my laptop... it had all my pictures of my 3 yr old growing up, and the birth of my second child... unfortunatly i didnt save all the pictures but the ones i did save.. i'm thankful for.

Hi M.,
have you tried to save them to a photo CD? They can hold up to 100 or more pictures and are easy to store away.

buy an external hard drive and save them to that.

I have found that saving them to online photo sites is a big help. I am a member of snapfish, shutterfly, kodak and clark labs. They all have my all of my photos even the photos i take will my cell phone camera. The pictures are kept there and they're private and always have great deals and great gift ideas just in case you want to go with the online ordering of your pictures. I hope this helps some:)

Are you saving them to CDR's? If so, try saving them on DVDR's they hold a lot more information so it shouldn't take to many disks.

We store pictures on www.smugmug.com. $40 a year buys us unlimited photograph storage and very reasonably priced photo printing services. You can create some really beautiful 'albums' to share with friends and family online.
-J. C.

External harddrives are the best!!! I got one for that sole purpose. The one that I got is a Maxtor and plugs into the USB port. Once installed it backs your computer up a designated time every night. You don't have to worry about doing it, it does it on it's own. And each day something new is saved to your computer, the harddrive stores it at your scheduled back up time.

I back up on DVDs, they hold tons more photos but your computer has to be able to burn to a DVD - ALSO I save them on an external hard drive. Sams was having a sale on theirs at the time and now I can upload my photos to my computer, copy them to my external hard drive and then when time allows or after I've printed I save them to a DVD. I then keep them in a CD book so that I can quickly access them by flipping pages instead of having lots of the plastic holders - target has some nice looking ones that you can add more to when it is full. Hope that helped some!


One small note about Snapfish. I use them as well. It is free unlimited storage;however, you must log on to your site at least once every 30 days so that your account remains active. If your account goes inactive, they will close it and you will lose all of your pics. Which if you are anything like me, logging on there once a month isn't a problem! haha

We bought an extra hard drive (you can install it in your computer along with the main hard drive). I copy all my files from my regular hard drive (where I store pictures) to the extra drive about once a month.

My husband and I have a very unreliable "craptop" (what we have nicknamed out laptop) and we immediately download our pictures onto a memory stick...smaller than CDs and holds lots of pictures!!

I upload my pictures to shutterfly.com. They offer great deals, the picture quality is good and it is another way to back up your photos and organize them into albums. If you have a dvd burner you can burn a ton more pictures on a dvd rather than a cd. To save space you can store them in a cd album. I take a ton of pictures too, I have been trying to be more discerning about what is worth keeping. If a picture is out of focus or just not great I delete it.

hey we have the same problem. We take pictures of our kids constantly and also at walmart and have also gotten the cds from there portrait studio to put on our computer. My hubby and I have talked and the best way we can do it is to get dvds or cds from walmart or other store and put all of them on there. Now you might need several of them to do it with depending on the amount of pics but it could be a good idea. K.

I like the wolverine idea that Susan presented. Looking at their external hard drives, I'm liking this one for myself ( 250GB-eSATA High Speed Portable External Drive ) because it has T1 speeds which is very fast. And the external hard drive can be taken wherever you go with your laptop for fast presentations or slideshows to show the relatives or to keep important scanned documents stored and placed in a safe deposit box. It's slim and compact and sounds like it travels well. Tax records, photos and many other things can be kept on it.

Flash cards are good, too, but for the money, you'll get a better deal getting an external hard drive instead of 6 or 7 flash drives.

With all my genealogy documents and photos, it's getting to the point that all my data will need to go on an external hard drive (over 5,000 photos and 2 storage rooms filled to the brim with memorabilia. That's 2 complete family estates, my grandmother's estate and my husband's parent's estate. I've been researching for over 20 years so there's a lot to store, for sure!). Once I place them on the hard drive, I'll send the most treasured photos to other family members and the ones I can spare to the historical societies in the areas we're all from. And I'll still have my photos and documents on my hard drive.

There are a few things....
1. you can upload them to an account on Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc.
2. you can get an external hard drive (plugs in mostly via a usb cable) and store all your pictures there.
3. you can get a flash drive (plugs into your usb drive) and store them there.

I store mine on a flash drive, and plan to get an external hard drive for extra safeguard.

you could buy an external hard drive and/or burn copies to dvds instead of cds

Hi M.:
I too have lots of pictures of my little girls on our computer and worried about the same thing. I upload my pictures to snapfish.com. You can set up albums with them and unlike some other places, the pictures can stay there for as long as you want. I order my pictures from them also. I have been very happy with them. It may be worth a try. It is very easy to upload your photos. You can also edit your photos on snapfish.

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