There are lots of ways to back up your phone or tablet’s camera roll, regardless of whether you have an iPhone or Android. Apps from Google, Microsoft, Dropbox and others can automatically make copies of each photo you take so they’re safely backed up. Google Photos has lots of advantages - it's a great app for managing your photo library, but not everyone wants all their photos and videos automatically uploaded to Google's servers. So here’s how to stop Google Photos from backing up your stuff.

It’s easy to turn off backup and sync. Simply launch the Google Photos app on your phone or tablet. Then, tap on the menu icon in the top-left corner (three horizontal bars) and then tap on the Settings icon (the cog).

How to stop Google Photos backing up your images

You should see Back up & sync at the top of the list. Tap on it and then tap the toggle to disable the service.

That’s all you need to do, but there are other options which you might prefer to choose before disabling backup completely. If the problem is that Google Photos is using up all your mobile data, use the toggles further down (highlighted in the far right image above) to stop it from uploading photos and / or videos via 3G or 4G.

If the problem is that you’re running out of space in Google Drive, you can change the Upload size from ‘Original’ to ‘High quality’ since the latter doesn’t count against your Google storage and lets you back up all your photos and videos for free, albeit at a slightly reduced quality.

Back on the main Settings screen (the middle image) you can disable the Assistant cards which suggests animations and automatically edited photos and movies.

There’s also an option here to prevent location information being shared when you send a photo’s link to someone. This stops them from seeing where the photo was taken. By default this option is turned off.

If you use an iPhone or iPad, you can read our comparison of Google Photos vs Apple iCloud Photo Library

We're also looking at how to download all your photos and videos from Google Photos here.