How to back up your Flickr photos before the free 1TB plan ends


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Flickr is dropping its free 1TB plan and free users will be limited to 1,000 photos. Here's how to download your photos before the January 8, 2019 deadline.

Starting January 8, 2019 if you have a free Flickr account that has more than 1,000 photos, you won't be able to upload new photos.
If you don't upgrade to a paid account, Flickr will start deleting older photos and videos after February 5th 2019, retaining the most recent shots.
The good news is that you won't need a Yahoo account to use Flickr starting in January.

If you want to download your photos from Flickr because of the upcoming deadline or want a copy of your pictures, here are directions for retrieving your photos. Depending on how many images you have, there are two ways to download your pictures from Flickr.
If you have 500 or fewer images, use the Camera Roll method. Larger collections of images are downloaded as an entire album.
If you are downloading albums, you can download up to 5,000 photos in an album. If you want to download more than 5,000 items, you will need to create multiple albums. Downloads require a computer as the download option isn't available in the phone or tablet app.

Download your photos with the Camera Roll:

  • Log in to your Flickr account and navigate to You > Albums
  • Mouse over You | select Camera Roll.
  • Click the items you want to download.
  • Click Download.
  • Click Create zip file.
  • Wait for the FlickrMail notification that your zip file is ready.
  • Open the FlickrMail message and click the hyperlink to download it.

Download an entire album of your photos:

  • Log in to your Flickr account and navigate to You > Albums
  • Mouse over You | select Albums.
  • Mouse over or open an album.
  • Click the Download icon (downward pointing arrow)
  • Click Create zip file.
  • Wait for the FlickrMail notification that your zip file is ready.
  • Open the FlickrMail message and click the hyperlink to download it.

(h/t 9to5Mac)

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I am one of many Flickr members who - as an enthusiastic amateur photographer - enjoyed being part of that community and welcomed the availability of 1TB storage.

The reduction/removal of that free storage, and the limit of 1000 images which will be introduced, will almost certainly result in my leaving Flickr.

I can of course download my photos (and this is a helpful guide). But I would welcome any suggestions or advice on other sites which offer a similar community to Flickr and which provide a decent or generous amount of free storage. I know that Google Photos may be one option. But I believe they "shrink" uploaded images. Perhaps a review of other photo-community or photo-storage sites would be useful to other refugees from Flickr like me?

What does your idea of a decent or generous amount of free storage look like?

I've spent at least a few days looking into alternatives to Flickr's free plan, and there isn't much available and most have a lack of features or limitations. If you're a photographer looking to retain the quality of your images, there are limits on all the free services (such as being able to upload 20 images a week).
If you're looking for place to store photos from your mobile device there are a few more options, but all come with limitations that may or may not be acceptable. Google and imgur are looking like workable alternatives if you can live with the limits on the size of each image and video uploaded.

Google Photos is probably the most viable alternative if you're looking for the largest amount of free space and features, with these caveats:
On the free plan, if a photo is larger than 16MP, it will be resized to 16MP.
4K videos are reduced to Full HD 1080p quality.
As with any Google service, if the user base doesn't meet Google's criteria (Picasa, Reader, etc), it could be shut down at any time.
I think they'll probably keep gmail, as it allows them collect data to serve ads more effectively, so it generates income. Photos take a huge amount of storage and storage is expensive.

Imgur has these limits:
Max image size/storage:
20 MB for all non-animated GIF images and 200 MB for animated GIF images. As far as I can tell, storage is unlimited, as long as images and videos fall into those size categories. EXIF data/metadata is removed on upload, removing the parameters that can used for sorting and search.
This isn't unusual, most social media sites like Facebook and Twitter strip EXIF and metadata on image upload.

With any service, it's good to keep the TOS in mind - if there's anything in your photos that anyone takes offense at, your account can be reported and closed. Imgur is pretty good about not closing accounts as long as images are labeled NSFW.

I don't store personal data online (photos or otherwise) outside of a gmail account I use anywhere I don't want to provide my personal email address or use a temporary address, so I may not be the best person to assess what works and what doesn't on photo storage sites, feature wise. I have no experience assessing things like how well the mobile apps work (if  available), album creation and organization, tagging, sorting, sharing, hot linking, retention or stripping of EXIF data and metadata, image privacy, what file formats are allowed, and so on. A search for image hosting sites or Flickr alternatives will likely yield other servies and their features and limits.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯