Millions of people are Amazon Prime subscribers, but many of them don’t realize that in addition to free shipping and Prime Instant Video, they also get unlimited photo storage for all their computers and mobile devices.
We’ve been encouraging people to get more out of their Amazon account by taking advantage of all the extra features—and unlimited photo storage is definitely a feature that Prime subscribers should take advantage of. Even if you already have a total PC backup system in place, or you’re taking advantage of another type of backup service for your photos like iCloud, we’d still encourage you to take advantage of Prime Photo storage—after all, you’ve already paid for it, and you can never have your irreplaceable photos backed up in too many places.
Thanks to a combination of manual upload through the Prime Photos site, the Amazon Drive + Photos app for Windows and Mac computers, and mobile apps for iOS and Android, it’s absolutely trivial to get your photos into Prime Photo and keep them up to date. Let’s take a look at each method, starting with the no-software-needed manual way.
Manual Upload: Drag, Drop, and Done
Manual upload is a great place to start, because to get there, you have to log into our Amazon Prime Photos control panel and become familiar with the service. To do so, simply visit amazon.com/photos and log in with your Amazon credentials.
If this is your first time every using the service, you’ll see a blank slate like the one seen below.
You can select the “Upload Photos” button to use your operating system’s file explore to select photos or, more conveniently, simply drag and drop photos right onto the browser pane.
Either way, you’ll see an upload meter in the lower left corner. Once it wraps up, you’re free to browse your photos.
In addition to the noting the upload is complete, also note the “People” tag in the sidebar, as well as the “Things” tags above it. Amazon’s Photo service has improved significantly since their clunky offerings in years past, now with sophisticated face recognition and the ability to recognize object patterns in photos. Thanks to the automatically generated tags, you can easily search for combinations of tags—like checking the tag for your kid in the “People” category and “Lawn” to show just photos of him outside in the yard or on the soccer field.
Be prepared to be shocked at how uncannily accurate the recognition algorithms are. In a series of photos we uploaded of some neighborhood dogs at play, the algorithm tagged all dog photos as “Dog”, including photos of puppies as “Puppy”.
The Desktop App: Because Nobody’s Drag ‘n Dropping 40,000 Photos
If you have a lot of photos to upload and you’re not interested in the hassle of manually uploading them, the desktop app is the path to happiness for you. The app also allows you convert the names of the folders into album names, which is especially handy.
Visit the Prime Photos splash page and download the appropriate version for your operating system. Run the app to install it and then log into your Amazon account.
After signing in, you’ll be prompted to confirm which folder you wish to use as the syncing folder. By default the app creates a brand new folder in your user directory called “Amazon Drive” as seen below. We recommend you leave this as the default for now. This will give you an opportunity to play around with the file syncing by adding a few folders to the directory before you unleash the syncing process and all your photos at once. (It’s far better to find out with a sample directory or two, for example, that your naming structure isn’t going to be…