Most people purchase Amazon Prime for free shipping but did you know your subscription also gives you free unlimited storage for backing up smartphone photos? With Amazon’s Prime Photos App you can have your smartphone automatically back up your pictures, freeing up space on your device.

Prime Photos App from Amazon

Amazon Prime Photo AppMost people purchase Amazon Prime for free shipping but did you know your subscription also gives you free storage space for backing up smartphone photos?  With Amazon’s Prime Photos mobile app you can have your smartphone automatically back up your pictures, freeing up space on your device.

You can view the back up copies of your images via your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.  Using any web browser go to to view, edit, share and even print photo books and other photo products. Log in using your Amazon account.  Prime Photo storage is part of your Amazon’s cloud drive service and you get unlimited photo storage for being an Amazon Prime Member.

Once your photos are backed up you can delete them from your phone to free up space.

Auto Back Up

In the Prime Photos app go to Settings > Uploads and turn on auto-save.  This will automatically back up all of your photos.  If you phone gets damaged or lost you know you have a copy of your images.

Good to know

  • Make sure to specify in the auto-save setting if you want the app to “Back up photos using cellular data”.  If you have an unlimited data plan there is no harm in selecting this. If you don’t have unlimited data, I suggest keeping this turned off.
  • Backing up consumes battery power.  If you are out traveling, taking lots of pictures and don’t have access to power, you may want to turn off auto back up until you can plug into a power source.
  • Backing up videos is not included in the free storage option.  With the service you are offered 10 GB of free video and file storage.  Once you exceed 10 GB the video and file back up will stop.  You can purchase additional storage for videos and files.  Unlimited back up for videos and files is currently $59.00/year.

Manual Back up

If your don’t want to back up “bad” pictures you may want to delete unwanted photos first, then back up manually instead.  If your child plays with your phone and takes pictures of critters and other things that you don’t want keep, you will need to delete those photos then back up manually, otherwise you will have to delete them from two locations – your phone and the Amazon cloud backup.

To back up manually, turn off Auto-Save (Amazon Prime Photos App > Tap More Icon > Settings > Uploads).  After tapping the More Icon, top Upload Photos and Videos.  Select the images or Albums you wish to back up.

Can I use Amazon Prime Photos if I am not a Prime Member?

Amazon Prime Photo Storage Options
Unlimited Photo Storage with Amazon Prime Membership and 10 GB free Video & File Storage.

Yes.  As a non-Prime member you can still use the app as a viewer and search feature for photos on your phone.  You can also choose to back up photos and/or videos up to 10 GB of free storage.  However, once you reach that limit the app will no longer back up your images and you are given the option to purchase additional storage space

Video Storage

Video storage is not free for Prime or non-Prime members.  If you select the option to back up videos (Amazon Photos App > tap menu > Settings > Uploads > Videos) this is counted against your available Prime Cloud Storage quota. Unlimited storage can be added for $59.00/year.  This may be an easy way to back up your videos and keep them with your photos.

Stored Cache

Even if you delete the photos off of your phone after they have been backed up, your photos stored in Amazon Prime Photo will still take up some space on your phone.  A smaller thumbnail of each image is cached on your phone so that you can more quickly view and search images using the app.  What is stored on your smartphone takes up less space than the original image but as your library of images grows, so does the amount of used storage (cache) on your phone.  You can manage this setting at Amazon Photos App > tap More icon > Settings > Mange Cache.  You can set your desired value here or choose Clear Cache.  Clearing Cache will make browsing your photos through Amazon Photos app slower.

What if I drop my Amazon Prime Membership?

I recommend using Amazon Prime Photos as one form of backup.  It is flexible and easy to use.  However, I suggest keeping copies of your photos and videos on some other back up drive as well – either an external hard drive or another cloud service such as Dropbox.  Amazon Prime is excellent but if for some reason you decide not to have the service downloading thousands of photos can be cumbersome.  Consider some of the other options I have presented for making copies of your pictures.