Your iPhone photos may be permanently deleted on July 26 How to save them

An old saying goes that the best camera is the one you have with you. These days, this adage certainly applies to the smartphones we have in our pockets, always close at hand whenever we need to take a few shots. But if you’re concerned about keeping your special digital memories intact, you might want to take note Apple just announced that some of your iPhone photos may be permanently deleted on July 26 if you’re not careful. Read on to learn how you can save them from being trashed.

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Your digital image archives have the inherent advantage of always being at hand when you want to show or examine them. But according to Apple, a series of upcoming changes could mean that some of your iPhone photos could be deleted in a matter of weeks if you’re not careful.

The tech giant recently announced that on July 26 it would permanently shut down the My Photo Stream feature, which has been offered as a free form of cloud storage for photos taken on Apple devices since 2011. The temporary storage space was intended to make it easy to for users to access photos taken on their devices through other gadgets, such as iPads, laptops, desktop computers and Apple TVs by storing up to 1,000 image files for 30 days, according to Mashable.

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While there’s still time to act, Apple has already started the process of squeezing out the free service. The company says it already stopped uploading new images to My Photo Stream on June 26 as part of the transition. This means that anyone who hasn’t backed up their image library elsewhere after deleting them from their iPhone, or perhaps has recently switched devices and not updated their settings, could encounter the error.

“All photos previously uploaded to the service [June 26] they will remain in iCloud for 30 days from the upload date and will be available on all your devices that currently have My Photo Stream enabled,” Apple wrote in its notice. “By July 26, 2023, there will be no more photos in My Photo Stream and the service will be deactivated.”

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Fortunately, the upcoming changes won’t erase any of your pictures from your phone or other devices, even if they haven’t been backed up elsewhere.

“The photos in My Photo Stream are already stored on at least one of your devices, so as long as you have the device with your originals, you won’t lose any photos as part of this process,” Apple explains in its service notice. “If a photo you want isn’t already in your library on a particular iPhone, iPad, or Mac, make sure you save it to your library on that device.”

To check which iPhone photos are in your stream and save images that are in danger of disappearing, open the Photos app and tap the “Album” button. From there, tap “My Photo Stream” and then the “Select” option before choosing which images you want to save before hitting the “Share” button and selecting “Save Image” to hide them on your device.

A young woman uses her iPhone as she cycles through the city
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Of course, users who have already backed up their device images using Apple’s iCloud digital storage service won’t need to worry about safeguarding their photos. The company said users with the popular feature enabled “don’t have to do anything else” as their images are already stored remotely, calling it “the best way to keep the photos and videos you take up-to-date across all your devices and stored safely” moving forward.

Anyone who wants to turn on iCloud storage on their devices can do so by going to Settings, clicking their name, and then tapping iCloud to see if the feature is “turned on” next to photos on their devices. Users get five gigabytes of storage space for their pictures and can then choose to upgrade it for a fee, reports 9to5Mac.

While the changes may seem inconvenient for some users looking to reclaim valuable hard drive space on their iPhone or iPad, switching to iCloud has some known benefits. According to 9to5Mac, My Photo Stream never saved full-resolution, high-quality photo versions and only worked with certain file formats.

If you’re both on a budget and low on digital storage space, experts also point out that there are other options for hiding your images. Services like Amazon provide unlimited free photo storage to Prime members, while Google offers 15 gigabytes of space for free, according to TikTok user Sara AdecolaFor The New York Post.

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