Amazon Drive has been an excellent solution for off-site on-line photo backup and storage. It’s part of the Amazon Prime package that also includes free deliver, movie streaming, music etc. At 50-60€ per year for unlimited photo storage it has been a very good deal, a very affordable online storage for your pictures.

That is now over. Amazon Drive is now dead as a photo backup solution.

By the end of 2022, December 31, Amazon is shutting down Amazon Drive. That does not mean that the photos stored with Amazon will disappear. It just means that Drive will not be available as a browser or app access to the photos. Instead you can access the photos through Amazon Photos.

However, Amazon Photos is – in my opinion – useless as a photo backup solution.

Here’s the main difference:

On Amazon Drive you store photos in a folder structure (hierarchy) that you define yourself. On Drive I have exactly the same folder structure as I have on my hard drive at home so it is easy to check that all is okay, that all photos are on drive. (It used to be possible to do that automatically with a tool called Expandrive that connected Amazon Drive to your local computer with a “normal drive letter, but Amazon shut down the API to do that a couple of years ago.)

On Amazon Photos there’s no organisation, no folders, no structure. All your pictures are just stored in a big pile. There’s no way of knowing if what you have on Amazon Photos is a correct and complete copy of what you have at home. There’s no way to verify if your backup (the copy on Amazon Photos) is correct.

(By the way, if you have photos on Drive you don’t need to do anything to have them accessible on Amazon Photos. They are automatically accessible at Amazon Photos. Most importantly, if you want to have them accessible on Amazon Photo, do not delete them from Amazon Drive. If you delete them from Drive they will be deleted from Photos.)

A backup that can’t be verified is a useless backup. Is not a backup at all.

Maybe that’s the point for Amazon? They wanted to get those people who used Amazon Drive as simply a backup off their system?

So now you have to find another online backup provider, if you used to use Amazon Drive for that.

I use Photoshelter as a second online backup provider. It is not cheap (some $500/year) but it does offer unlimited photo storage. I use the service for other purposes too so I’m paying that anyway.

Otherwise you’ll have to go find something else.

BackBlaze is often mentioned. is something I discovered more recently and maybe interesting.

But there are plenty of others.

What other suggestions do you have for online photo backup storage, affordable and practical?

Amazon Drive shut-down FAQ.

Wine bottles in storage in boxes in a wine cellar

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