The best Google Photos alternatives in 2022

Bird's eye view of woman using laptop to access the best Google Photos alternatives
(Image credit: Mikhail Nilov on Pexels)

Until last year, the best Google Photos alternatives weren't something that a lot of us were looking for. Because not only was Google Photos a great service, but it provided unlimited storage for free. 

Unfortunately, that generous policy ended last June. Now, if you reach your limit of 15GB storage across all your Google services (including Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos), you have to either start deleting photos or start paying for more storage. (For more details, see our guide to Google Photos). 

Of course, there's a third option too: think about moving your image collection to the best Google Photos alternatives instead. And the good news is that there are plenty cloud storage of alternatives out there. 

But with so many to choose from, how do you find the best solution? To help out out, we've picked the best Google Photos alternatives available today, and give you all the information you need to choose between them. 

The best Google Photos alternatives of 2022

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Homepage of iDrive, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing woman using laptop

iDrive offers huge capacities at reasonable prices. (Image credit: iDrive)
The best Google Photos alternative overall.

Specifications

Free storage: 5GB
RAW file storage: Yes
Max storage: 10TB

Reasons to buy

+
Encryption in transit and at rest
+
Cheap 
+
Backup entire devices or specific files

Reasons to avoid

-
Less free storage than others

Although iDrive isn't designed primarily for storing photos and videos, it's still one of the best Google Photos alternatives. If your priority is maximum storage space, then the company's high-capacity, low-cost plans offer a lot of appeal. Especially as Creative Bloq readers can access a special deal that gets you 10TB for your first year, for just $3.98 (opens in new tab).

On a per-GB basis, you won't find any other cloud storage as affordable as this. So if you manage a sizeable image library, this could be your best bet. Photographers shooting in RAW format will find IDrive particularly appealing due to the format's large file sizes. 

IDrive (which, by the way, is nothing to do with Apple) also scores highly for accessibility, with reliable apps available on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Over a rigorous testing period, we found no significant issues with any of iDrive's apps and found all the main features straightforward to use. The iDrive web client is also impressive, making it easy to access your files from any web-enabled device. 

Security is another strength, with comprehensive encryption of data both when it is in transit and when resting on iDrive's servers. Although it isn’t end-to-end encryption (such as that used on Microsoft’s Vault), it still far surpasses the security policies of Google Photos.

In short, if you miss the unlimited storage on Google Photos and are worried about their ambiguous security and privacy policies, then iDrive is your best alternative. Enormous storage capacity with top-quality encryption at low cost makes IDrive the best Google Photos alternative overall.

Homepage of pCloud, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing cartoon of bike website on mobile phone

pCloud’s security options go above and beyond (Image credit: pCloud)
The best Google Photos alternative for security.

Specifications

Free storage: 10GB
RAW file storage: Yes
Max storage: 10TB

Reasons to buy

+
Full end-to-end encryption
+
Lifetime subscription option
+
RAW image thumbnails

Reasons to avoid

-
Annual pricing options are expensive

Worried about the security of your photos? Then rest easy with pCloud, the most secure of all the platforms reviewed on this list. If you want to ensure your photo library is only seen by you and those you choose, you won't find finer. 

Those working in creative industries, where images are part of your livelihood and clients trust you with the privacy of their data, will especially appreciate a cloud storage platform that provides encrypted storage. pCloud provides its premium Crypto customers with end-to-end encryption for all files. This means that no one, not even the pCloud team, can access your images. 

pCloud also differentiates itself by offering a lifetime subscription plan, which can make the platform more affordable than many competitors. Another thing we love is its support for RAW image thumbnails. It's a feature we've not seen on many other platforms, and it makes pCloud one of the best Google Photos alternatives for professional photographers.

Homepage of OneDrive, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing cartoon of website on tablet and mobile phone

Microsoft OneDrive is a good all-rounder (Image credit: Microsoft)
The best Google Photos alternatives for Microsoft users.

Specifications

Free storage: 5GB
RAW file storage: Yes
Max storage: 6TB

Reasons to buy

+
End-to-end encryption in the Vault
+
Affordable Microsoft 365 bundles
+
Dedicated Photos section

Reasons to avoid

-
Not purpose-designed for photo and video storage

If you trust Google to look after your photos, chances are you'll be attracted to a service from a fellow tech giant. In which case, Microsoft OneDrive is worth considering. While it's not specifically designed for storing photos and videos, there are very few areas where Microsoft OneDrive doesn't perform well. It's secure, feature-rich, and has apps for all operating systems, including iOS and macOS, so even if you use Apple Devices, OneDrive is a worthy choice. 

Most versions of the app include a dedicated photos section where users can scroll through their photos in chronological order. Users can also create and organise an unlimited number of albums. 

Security-conscious users will appreciate the Vault, a subfolder that provides end-to-end encryption for your most important files. Images in this folder are inaccessible to anyone other than the user. Premium customers can store an unlimited amount of files in the Vault, whereas customers using the free OneDrive plan can only store five files in the Vault.

You can either pay for a standalone 100GB OneDrive plan, or purchase a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which includes 1TB of OneDrive storage, plus access to apps such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. That all-round package makes OneDrive one of our top Google Photos alternatives.

Homepage of Creative Cloud, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing two flamingos

Adobe Creative Cloud is a great option for designers and photographers (Image credit: Adobe)
The best Google Photos alternative for Adobe users.

Specifications

Free storage: None
Raw file storage: Yes
Max storage capacity: 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Integration with Creative Cloud apps
+
Access fonts and other services

Reasons to avoid

-
Low-capacity storage 
-
Expensive option

Here's another tech giant to bear in mind. If you already use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, you'll already have access to a fair bit of cloud storage, and that could serve as a decent Google Photos alternative that fits in well with your day-to-day workflow. 

We'll be honest, though: Adobe Creative Cloud hasn’t been designed to replace your main cloud storage platform. Rather, it serves as an ancillary platform for storing in-progress Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop projects. That means isn’t the best cloud storage option for photos and videos as a standalone product. But its deep integration with image editing apps such as Lightroom and Photoshop might mean that it's actually more useful to you. 

Files have adequate encryption when your photos are resting on the server. However, using Creative Cloud on a public Wi-Fi network isn't as secure as some other providers due to a lack of encryption when files are in transit. Another downside of the Creative Cloud is the cost: it isn't at all cheap. 

As such, we'd only recommend it for creatives who already have an Adobe subscription. That said, if you haven't subscribed to Adobe yet but are planning to, then see our Adobe Creative Cloud discount page for the best prices.

Homepage of Apple Photos, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing photo of woman on iPad

Apple Photos is one of our top Google Photos alternatives for 2021 (Image credit: Apple)

05. Apple Photos

The best Google Photos alternative for Apple users.

Specifications

Free storage: 5GB
RAW file storage: No
Max storage: 2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Encryption in transit and at rest
+
Seamless syncing across all Apple devices
+
Affordable upgrade plans

Reasons to avoid

-
Pointless for Windows or Android users 
-
Only 5GB free storage

If you're a fan of Apple and do most things within its ecosystem, then it makes sense to check out Apple Photos (opens in new tab). One of the best Google Photos alternatives, it's affordable, feature-rich, and highly secure. Plus it comes pre-installed on Apple devices, meaning there are no cumbersome downloads and no setup required. 

Perhaps the most significant benefit of Apple Photos is deep integration with the entire iCloud ecosystem. iCloud provides seamless cloud storage, backup and syncing solution across iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. Features are intuitive to use, from shared albums to live photos. As long as you're logged in to your iCloud account, all your photos will sync seamlessly across all your Apple devices, making this an excellent choice for all Apple loyalists. 

As part of the broader iCloud ecosystem, all photos are encrypted both in transit and at rest. So no matter whether you're on a public Wi-Fi network in the cafe, in the office, or working from home, you can trust Apple to protect your photos. 

All this, of course, only applies when using an Apple device. There are no specific clients for Apple Photos on Windows or Android operating systems. Photos is included for free on all Apple devices, with 5GB of free storage. Start paying, and you can upgrade your storage capacity to 100GB, 200GB or 2TB (the latter plan can also be shared with family members).

Homepage of Flickr, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing photo of various fruits

Flickr is a social media platform for amateur and professional photographers alike (Image credit: Flickr)
The best Google Photos alternative for social features.

Specifications

Free storage: 1000 photos
RAW file storage: Yes
Max storage: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Design your own photostream 
+
Customize your brand
+
Integrations with third-party apps

Reasons to avoid

-
No private storage
-
Not suitable for entire image library

Flickr's been around for a long time: it launched in 2004, and many people consider it to be synonymous with online photo sharing and storage. Currently owned by Smugmug, this online platform has spent years helping amateur and professional photographers share their best images online. 

Although it's not the best platform for storing your entire image library, Flickr still deserves a spot on our list. Because when used alongside a high-capacity storage provider, Flickr provides best-in-class social features, enabling you to share your portfolio with the world. 

It differentiates itself from many other image storing platforms by enabling visitors to comment on and add tags to your photos. In a sense, this allows your followers to help organise your image library. Flickr also prominently displays information about your images, such as where they were taken, on what device, and which settings were used. From your account page, you can choose which photos are displayed first, enabling you to custom-design your brand. 

A free Flickr account allows you to upload up to 1,000 full-resolution photos. For an ad-free experience, and to enjoy automatic photo upload and unlimited storage space, we'd recommend purchasing Flickr Pro. That also gives you perks such as two months complimentary access to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop.

Homepage of Dropbox, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives

Dropbox is a trusted cloud storage provider with a proven record for protecting user data (Image credit: Dropbox)
Reliable and trusted cloud storage.

Specifications

Free storage: 2GB
RAW file storage: Yes
Max storage: 3TB

Reasons to buy

+
Simple and easy-to-use interface
+
Easily scalable storage plans
+
Encryption both in transit and at rest

Reasons to avoid

-
Only minimal free storage

Dropbox was one of the first cloud storage platforms to emerge in the early 2000s. While it's not specifically organised around photos, it's still one of the best Google Photos alternatives for photographers, designers, and other creatives looking to store a large volume of imagery. 

DropBox's simple but powerful interface, combined with close to best-in-class third-party integrations, is easy to use and glitch-free. It also scores highly on security, with complete encryption of photos both in transit and at rest.

The service offers a two-tier membership model. Dropbox Plus includes 2TB of online storage, as well as automatic syncing, offline file access, and 30-day file recovery. If you need more storage space and in-depth features, Dropbox Professional includes 3TB storage and advanced features such as 180-day file recovery, account insights, and watermarking.

Homepage of 500px, one of the best Google Photos Alternatives, showing mountains under a starry night sky

500px enables users to make money by licensing their images to others (Image credit: 500px)
The Google Photos alternative you can make money with.

Specifications

Free storage: 10GB
RAW file storage: Yes
Max storage: 10TB

Reasons to buy

+
Lets you license images
+
Lets you create a portfolio 
+
Social features

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for personal images 

500px is a global online photo-sharing platform that offers portfolio-building interface and the option to license images to other uses for a small fee. This makes it the only platform in our list that can actually earn you money. 

As such, this is one of the best Google Photos alternatives for photographers and designers. Like Flickr, 500px is part storage solution, part social media platform. There are many ways to interact with other users on the 500px apps and website. You can join groups, explore popular images, and join quests, which are challenges that, according to the company, "help photographers test their skills, get recognised for their work, and win exciting prizes." 

However, it's not really suitable for storing your entire photo library, so can't totally replace Google Photos. Also, all the photos you upload to 500px will be publicly accessible, making it unsuitable for images that need to remain private.

Related articles:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects. 

Topics