Fewer photos on your smartphone

Photos on your smartphone. Detail of artwork with dots.

Too many photos on your smartphone … Maybe another ten photos will be added every day, either taken by yourself or from WhatsApp from others. Another message that the memory is full, or uncertainty about whether the photos are stored anywhere. Are your photos already in the ‘cloud’? Perhaps you want to share them with others, or have access to them wherever you are. Remember that the ‘cloud’ is always ‘on’ on your smartphone or computer. There is continuous contact and your photos will be enlarged or compressed depending on the capacity of your smartphone. If it is not necessary for you to have access to your photos wherever you are, don’t use the cloud – that is better for the environment. Use your telephone as a photo album and your computer as an archive (see Tip 6).


It is time to organise and protect your photos. Choose the tips that appeal to you.

  1. Turn off the facility whereby photos that are sent via Whatsapp are automatically copied to your Photo Album on your telephone. You do this by opening Whatsapp – select Settings, and then turn off: ‘Save to camera roll’. If you want to save a particular photo you can do this by clicking on the photo in Whatsapp and selecting ‘Save’.
  2. Take fewer photos. Think about what you are going to do with them. Are they photos that you are taking for others, or are you using them as a memory jogger? What do you do with them in the end? Do you upload them onto Facebook. If so, they do not need to stay in your telephone memory. It is however a fact that Facebook and Instagram are not good archives, because the photos are compressed (and thereby lose detail). Save in your computer the nicest, best photos that you have taken and use.
  3. Clean up your photo collection if you need to wait somewhere, or are sitting in a train. You can achieve a lot in ten minutes. Be critical – which photos are worth keeping on your telephone or worth transferring to your computer archive. If you have very many photos, start with the oldest because those are the easiest to decide about.
  4. Or … delete ten photos every day, in the same way. Many photos represent ‘conversations’ that can easily be deleted as they are no longer of interest.
  5. In order to give you a better overview of the photos on your telephone, organise them by creating folders. For example ‘Family’, ‘Work’, ‘Advertisements’ or whatever. Putting photos in folders, and taking the time to do it (important), gives you the opportunity to see whether the photos are worth keeping.
  6. Once a week transfer to the computer the photos that you want to keep (or want to use to make a photo album). Delete these photos from the telephone, except a few that you want to have handy as a mini album.
  7. Once a month or quarter back up the photos on your computer onto an external hard disk. That is the most reliable back up that you can have.
  8. If you take very many photos in a short time, for example if you are travelling, then your memory may become full. If you are not using a ‘cloud’ then a photostick may offer a temporary solution. The stick takes the photos from your smartphone or tablet so that you can continue taking photographs. Then you can connect the stick to your computer and transfer to it those photos that you want to use or save. Be critical with the transfer process. Don’t fill your archive with photos that are not good (not entertaining or artistic or sharp), or which are duplicates. The photostick is not yet on the Dutch market, so if you order one online, take care because there are different versions for Apple or Android operating systems, and for small and large devices.