Free Cloud Storage on FamilySearch.org for Saving Your Most Important Family Photographs

February 11, 2021  - by 
Children smiling, a photo one would want to save in cloud storage.

Holidays, special events, and daily life can create some of the best memories of being with family and participating in fun traditions. Using your phone to snap pictures of everything that happens has become very natural. True, the phone part can sometimes be a little bit aggravating. But, really, photo opportunities just aren’t complete if the family hasn’t been rounded up and threatened to hold still as the camera operator gets to the photo app on the phone.

After you have captured your precious memories on your phone, you need a good place to store your favorites so your loved ones can enjoy them for years, even generations. Good thing FamilySearch has free cloud storage for you to take advantage of! By using FamilySearch Memories, you can safeguard your most prized photographs for free!

You read that right. If you have an account with FamilySearch (which is free to everyone and always will be), you have access to free cloud storage for your most cherished family photographs, historical records, and other heirloom family documents. This isn’t the place to keep ALL your photos (such as the ones your kids take when they steal your phone and get 53 pictures of their stuffed animals); we want you to store only your best and most impactful memories.

a boy rides a bike, a memory to save in familysearch memory cloud storage

How to Use FamilySearch’s Free Cloud Storage

With FamilySearch’s free cloud storage, it’s possible to upload photos from your device or take them with your phone. Both methods take only a few seconds. Let’s take a closer look at how it works. You might be surprised how easy it is to start building your family history.

Uploading a Photograph to FamilySearch’s Free Cloud Storage that is Already Saved to Your Device

Let’s say you took a picture a week ago, and now you want to upload it to FamilySearch.org—so you’ll always have it and know where it is and family members 50 years from now can enjoy it. Follow the instructions below. (If you’re a FamilySearch pro, you might have other steps for accomplishing this task. The steps presented here will get you to the same place!)

From a laptop or desktop computer

  1. Go to FamilySearch.org, and sign in to your account.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click Memories.
  3. In the drop-down menu, click Gallery.
  4. Near the top of the screen, in the center of the page, click the green add icon (+).
  5. Click Choose Files.
  6. Select the file you want to upload. We’ll talk about tagging and giving the photograph a title in a moment.
how to upload your memories to familysearch cloud storage

Uploading an Existing Photograph or One You’re about to Take with Your Phone

how to add a memory to FamilySearch cloud storage from your phone.

You can upload photos already on your phone at any time, or if you’re about to take a really great photograph of a really important moment, you can take it within the app and upload right away. Here’s how you do both:

From your phone

  1. Open the FamilySearch Family Tree or Memories app.
  2. Find the green add icon (+), and tap it. If you are using the Family Tree app, open the menu, and tap Memories, and then tap the green add icon (+). You can also add a memory to a specific ancestor by going to the person’s page, selecting the Memories tab, and tapping the green add icon (+).
  3. Tap Add Photo.
  4. Existing photos: Tap Camera Roll, and select your desired photo; tap Add, and then tap Save.
  5. New photo: Tap Take Photo, say “cheese,” and capture the moment.
    1. To upload the picture to FamilySearch.org, tap Use Photo.
    1. To take a different picture, tap Retake.
  6. You can crop or rotate, and then tap Save.

Tagging and Giving the Picture a Title

Once the photograph has been saved to your FamilySearch Memories page, you can do multiple things to make it a more meaningful piece of your family’s history.

  • To begin with, you can give the picture a title. A title adds context, let’s people know what they’re looking at, and helps when you try to search for it in the future.
  • You can tag the people who are in the photo so people 100 years from now will know who is who.
  • You can give the picture a topic tag, and the picture will show up when other people search for that topic. (To make the picture invisible to searches, go to the Memories gallery on the FamilySearch website. Click the drop-down menu next to Public, and change the setting to Private.)
  • You can add audio—a recording of yourself or others talking.
  • You can create a slideshow of your memories to share on social media or at an event such as a birthday party, wedding, or family reunion.

Then again, maybe this is all more than you wanted to know. These options aren’t meant to overwhelm you. Their only purpose is to help you and those you love discover joy and inspiration from your family history. Use them as you think best!

Three children sit with their arms around each other.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Often when we think of family history, we think of long manuscripts, books with chapters in them, and detailed autobiographies. A picture, though, can be just as inspiring, just as insightful. The best part is, it only takes a moment or two to add one to your Memories gallery.

One by one, these pictures add up. Your family history begins to take shape. Where once you thought you would never have time to create a meaningful, comprehensive family history, now you have entire albums cataloging your family’s adventures—as well as the assurance that what you’ve created will be preserved for many, many future generations to enjoy.

This is what FamilySearch’s free cloud storage is all about. We hope you’ll take advantage of it.

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Comments

  1. This is great information! But I’m still not sure if you are saying that all our photos in Memories on FamilySearch.org are “automatically” stored in the cloud. Is that true?

    1. Hi Carol! Thank you for your question. When you upload a photo to FamilySearch you are able to access that photo anywhere you have a device that can access the internet.

  2. Thanks so much. I will teach that to other consultants and patrons as soon as possible and try it myself till then.

  3. So what’s new? What’s changed? What if I tag only living people in these “new” photos (not me), and then I die before anybody else dies? Will the photo be deleted along with my account?

      1. Thanks for the link Amy, but that didn’t mention one word about what happens to my memories tagged with living people after I die. It only said:

        “If a tag is attached to a living person in Family Tree, the tag is shown only to users who can see that living person in Family Tree. If, however, the tag contains the name of a living person, but the tag is not attached to that living person in Family Tree, then the tag is visible to everyone who sees the memory.”

        Which sounded a bit strange, because currently the only person who can “see” that living person’s record, is me! — the person who “created” that living person record. Right?

        1. I was under the impression that any memories not tagged with deceased people after i die will be deleted.
          So is it now only memories not tagged at all will be deleted?

          1. Hi Jon! “What happens to my FamilySearch memories when I die?”
            The answer is nothing. They remain and are still findable, provided you have added enough detail (title, description) to find memories that are not attached to the tree. There is an ongoing discussion at FamilySearch to address this issue and provide a way to bequeath or share your memories after you are gone. This is still in the discussion phase and we don’t have any more specifics at this time. If you want to make sure your memories are findable, add titles and descriptions that will make them findable. Also, the distinction between showing a tag or not showing a tag for a living person is determined by if you attach it to the tree. If you want to make your memories findable and have all your living tags visible publicly, do not attach tags for living people to the tree. Attach your tags to living people in the tree if you want to hide them from the general public.

        2. Hi Jon! Thank you for your feedback. In that same Help Center article at the top it states: “Before you share any memories about living people, you should understand that all memories—even those with living people in them—are publicly viewable by default and potentially findable:”
          FamilySearch does not delete any images automatically after a user dies—not untagged images, not living images, not private memories, etc. Preservation is one of the core value propositions. This is spelled out in the terms of use (8. How long to we retain personal data). Memories are counted as content that FamilySearch keeps: “personal information retained as part of a permanent genealogical, membership, or Church historical record.” A user can delete Memories they have uploaded. FamilySearch only deletes memories if they violate the upload guidelines and policies.
          When you tag a memory, it is possible to create a tag that contains a person’s name as a string that is not connected to a person in Family Tree. Some people may not realize this is possible. Without that connection to tree, the system doesn’t know that the string “John Doe” is the name of a person who is living.

    1. Won’t the photos stay in “Memories” ? You’ll still be listed, but you’ll be all public then.
      The photos I have shared are from family who have passed away, or pix of me with them. When I added a photo of my Uncle this morning, I tagged both of us. I figure, the more stuff attached all over the place, the better possibility family or friends can find them.

      This might go off topic, but can we designate offspring or a sibling to have care of our accounts, and thereby photos, after we die?

  4. This is wonderful! Thank you so much! Just last night I was wondering about getting some kind of “cloud” backup for photos, especially the ones I would like to share here. I’m so glad I checked the What’s New section.

    I’m so excited about this! It will be a great help, and I’m more motivated to figure out how to hook up my scanner and share photos of family. Hopefully it’s not just pix from our phones :0) Mine is full of cat pics and interior design ideas.
    I’m so grateful for this site. It has been a huge blessing to me. Thank you so very much!!

  5. This is splendid. Just loaded a few as an experiment. Works well, if a little slowly. Is there a personal limit on storage space? Other commercial sites have a tier system – so many MBs for free and then paid options – is this likely to happen if people get very enthusiastic? Asking because I have a LOT of high resolution archival images – many gigabytes in total.

      1. Thanks but that’s not really helpful. Are there going to be storage limits or not? You really need to be specific about file size, not “numbers of memories”. There’s a vast difference between uploading 5000 jpg files v uploading 5000 archived .tiff files or 5000 high definition video files. It would be a serious waste of effort to start a project here without knowing whether or not it can be completed. Sorry to sound negative, this is a very good system, but you need to be clear about what you will allow users to accomplish.

  6. It is a special opportunity to share photos in MEMORIES in FamilySearch.org. Some that have not been seen before and sharing is very meaningful to me.

    1. Hi Mary Ann! Thank you for your question. You are welcome to share the link to the article in your newsletter.