Tomorrow Flickr will delete your photos: how to save them

From February 5, Flickr will become pay-as-you-go for those who have more than 1000 images on their profile: here's how to download them

If you've been a web user for a few years, chances are you have a Flickr account, the first successful cloud-based photo storage and sharing platform. Launched back in the very distant year of 2004 by Ludicorp, Flickr then went to Yahoo before being acquired many years later, in April 2018, by SmugMug. Now SmugMug has decided to delete photos from free accounts, to push users to pay $50 a year for a Pro account, and the fateful date is February 5. But how to save Flickr photos before they are deleted?

First of all, one thing must be clarified: not all photos uploaded to Flickr will be deleted as of February 5 by SmugMug. The company has in fact imposed a limit of 1,000 photos that can be uploaded online with the free account and only those beyond this limit will be deleted. The first thing to do, then, is to log into your Flickr account and check how many photos you have uploaded over the years. If they exceed the limit of a thousand shots, here's how to save them if you don't want to pay for the Pro account.

How to download photos from Flickr

To download your photos from Flickr you'll need to sign in with your username and password, then you'll need to go into your user profile and click on Settings. Here, at the bottom of the page, you'll need to click on "Request my Flickr details". At this point Flickr will begin compressing your photos into a Zip file, which will be sent to you via email when the compression is complete. The time needed to create the archive can vary from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the number of photos on your Flickr account. But be careful: Flickr will send the photos to the email address with which you registered, maybe many years ago. You will have to make sure that this email address is still active and that you remember your password, otherwise you will not be able to receive the link to download your Flickr photos.

Where to save your Flickr photos

If you have successfully downloaded your Flickr photos, then you will have to choose whether to keep them on your hard disk or to transfer them to another photo hosting service. The easiest choice is to upload them all to Google Photos, which if you don't need very advanced features is probably the best choice. Also because Google Photos still offers unlimited space, if you don't upload the photos in original size but settle for the "High Quality" option, which, at the moment, equals 16 MP maximum photos. Otherwise, if you just want to store them so they don't take up local disk space, you can choose DropBox, iCloud, OneDrive or any other cloud hosting space.