How to back up online images to iPhoto – Tutorial

Create a comforting physical backup of photos from your favourite social media sites


Over the past few years, the internet seems to have filled itself with plenty of sites set up especially to store, organise and share your favourite photos – whether it’s a tool like Pinterest or simple online storage like Flickr. While these sites might be great, they all rely on cloud computing and situations like Pinterest’s recent outage show how quickly you could lose all of your precious photos if you don’t have a backup.

Fortunately for us, iPhoto comes to the rescue with its little- known Subscribe to Photo Feed tool – allowing you to instantly and automatically back up your images from the social sites you use every day. Getting started with this is incredibly easy, so follow the next few steps (substituting our examples for your favourite sites) and you’ll be backed up in no time.

1: Find your feed

For each site that you want to back up, you’ll need to find an RSS feed or similar stream to point iPhoto to. You may need to do some searching for this.

2: In the menu

Once you’ve got a feed address, double-check it works in Safari, fire up iPhoto and find the Subscribe to Photo Feed option. It can be found under the File menu.

3: Enter and subscribe

In the dialog box that appears, you’ll be prompted to enter your photo feed’s address that you found earlier. Enter this in full carefully and then hit Subscribe.

4: Give it time

iPhoto may take a little time to chew through the feed address you’ve given it and find all of the photos to download. This may take a while so be patient.

5: Seeking approval

iPhoto does a pretty good job at protecting privacy. Where a photo feed isn’t made public online, it will ask you to enter some login credentials for the site it’s from.

6: Getting rid of it

If you don’t wish to continue backing up an online photo feed you’ve set up, right-click on its name in iPhoto’s sidebar and simply hit Delete.

7: Keep or trash

Before the full delete takes place, iPhoto will ask whether you want to keep the current photos it has downloaded or not. To do so, just tick the checkbox.

8: Get collaborative

Photo feeds aren’t just restricted to sites like Flickr and Pinterest though. Sites like Dropmark also work, letting you select others to remotely add pics to your library.

9: Get friendly with Facebook

If you want to back up your Facebook photos, you’ll have to use a slightly different method. Connect to your Facebook account in Preferences>Accounts.

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