Amazon has sent out a notification to Amazon Drive customers reminding them that Amazon Drive is shutting down in December 2023. The news isn’t new, it was first announced back in July, and Amazon Drive apps for Android and iOS have already been taken down. But the notification serves as a reminder to make sure you’ve got everything downloaded and backed up and that you won’t be able to upload new files soon.
On January 31st 2023, Amazon Drive will no longer allow uploads of new files. You’ll still be able to download files, of course, and you shouldn’t lose any of your photos. The company is also urging people to not delete their photos from Amazon Drive as this will also result in their deletion from Amazon Photos. Photos from Amazon Drive were automatically saved to Amazon Photos a few months ago.
Amazon Photos and Amazon Drive are two separate services. Amazon Drive is going away and Amazon Photos is not. But when it comes to photos and video, the two services essentially share the same storage. If you delete from one, it disappears from them both. Non-photos (and non-videos), though, are all Amazon Drive. These will be gone forever if you haven’t downloaded them and backed them up elsewhere before December 2023.
And even though your photos should be safe when Amazon Drive disappears – as Amazon automatically backed up the photos you have on Amazon Drive to Amazon Photos a few months ago – it’s still a good idea to make sure you’ve got those downloaded and backed up elsewhere, too. In order to get copies of everything locally, Amazon says:
We recommend using the Amazon Drive website to review and download your non-photo and non-video files from Amazon Drive. If you are having trouble downloading your files on the web app due to size limitations, we recommend using the Amazon Photos Desktop app to download and save your files.
Although Amazon Drive is going away, Amazon Photos, as mentioned, is not. But who knows for how much longer that will stick around? And even if it does, what will it continue to offer? We spoke about potential cloud storage options a couple of years ago when Google Photos ditched their unlimited storage and free tier and it might be worth shopping around now to find something that better suits your needs, particularly if photos and videos isn’t all you want to back up.
It’s like you can’t win with these cloud backup services – whether it’s your whole system or just photos. No matter which one you pick, somebody keeps moving the goalposts. New ones are coming up, old ones are disappearing, the quotas keep changing, the apps work in strange ways and it just becomes too much hassle to keep up with it all and keep researching which service is going to give you what you need every time you’re forced to switch from one you’ve been using happily for years to something completely new and unknown.
And while remote storage is part of the whole 3-2-1 backup system, it doesn’t necessarily need to be cloud storage. At least, not one of the commercial solutions that’s just hosted on some random computer somewhere in the world. Personally, I’ve always been inclined to remote store on my own computer at a friend or relative’s house. I back up to that remote location voer the Internet, I know it’s going to be good for as long as I need it to be, I can upgrade it whenever I want for a one-off cost and there’s no annual or monthly subscription service.
And if the worst happens and I lose everything here, I know I can just go over to their place, grab the drives and I’ve instantly got everything ready to copy over to fresh drives. And there are plenty of software options out there now to make this happen. Resilio Sync (free or subscription) and Syncthing (free and open source with commercial support available) are a couple of good places to start.
Whatever you choose to do in the future for your remote storage, though, be sure to download anything you have on Amazon Drive before December 31st, 2023!