Automate Online Backups with IFTTT

By JeanLuc Gusmao
— Last Updated: 2017-11-07T12:02:32+00:00

We regularly save and transfer hundreds of sensitive and important files on our devices, information that would be devastating to lose. That’s why we at recommend you make regular backups so critical loss is close to impossible, and protect yourself with a VPN to keep your info from prying eyes. As backing up data can be a chore at times, we want to draw your attention to an app that will make your life a little easier, called IFTTT.

IFTTT (pronounced “ift,” an abbreviation of “if this, then that”) uses what are called applets, “recipes” of script that trigger events when certain other events happen. The applets are usually created by IFTTT or affiliated companies, but also support user-created applets. The IFTTT library is pretty big and growing larger by the day, which means that any application you can think of probably has a script for it.

Turn Storage to Backup with IFTTT

Within the applet library there are several that will help you automate all kinds of backups, from text messages to Word documents to full system backups. IFTTT’s applets work with a large variety of apps across all platforms, as well as several different IoT-enabled devices. However, if you want, it will also allow you to any cloud storage service into a backup provider.

There are hundreds of applets available for backing up log data, like what phone calls you make or how much time you spend at work, but in this article we’re going to be covering data backups specifically, like photos, documents and the like. 

Getting Started with IFTTT

If you find yourself reluctant to create another online account, you can sign into IFTTT through a Facebook or Google account. Once you’ve done that, you’re all set to start enabling applets. Just find one you like, select it and flip the switch to enable it. Once you connect the necessary accounts and granted the permissions the applet will be active.

On the IFTTT website, you can select the “my applets” tab to see which you’ve enabled, or select the “activity” tab to see what your enabled applets have been doing. It’s a handy area to determine which applet is sending you those extra emails, or to find if certain applets have been correctly triggered.

When it comes to backing up data, IFTTT has a couple of options, which we’ve broken down into three categories:

  • Device to cloud storage
  • Cloud storage to cloud storage
  • Service to cloud storage

Device to Cloud Storage

This category holds applets that directly interface with your device to backup photos or files to a cloud storage provider. IFTTT has applets for several of our best cloud service solutions, including Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.

Google Drive


  • If you’re looking to upload the photos you take on your iOS device, this applet is your best choice for a quick, automatic backup
  • If Android is more your thing, this applet will save your photos to OneDrive for you


  • Backup your iOS photos through this Dropbox applet
  • If you have an Android device, you can automatically backup new photos from your device with this applet

Cloud Storage to Cloud Storage

This category is reserved for applets that automatically transfer your files from one cloud storage provider to another, providing a quick way to layer your backups.

Google Drive

  • IFTTT has an applet that allows you to automatically sync new Dropbox files added to a specific folder with Google Drive, keeping your files available across platforms
  • You can also sync your notes created in Evernote to Google Drive using this applet
  • Flickr users can set up this applet to automatically backup their photos to Google Drive


  • This applet uploads your iCloud Photos to your OneDrive account


  • Sync your Dropbox photo uploads with Google Drive through this applet for a unified photo library
  • You can also use this applet to sync your new Dropbox files with your Google Drive account
  • For a nice bit of cross-service protection, enable this applet which will backup new Dropbox files to Evernote

Service to Cloud Storage

This category is for applets that work between a service, such as a social media provider or organization service, to backup your data to a cloud storage provider.

Google Drive

  • Save your favorite memories (and embarrassing ones) with this applet that uploads every new Facebook photo that you’re tagged in to Google Drive


  • Through one of IFTTT’s applets, you can automatically save your Instagram photos to OneDrive
  • Flickr users aren’t left out either, as this applet automatically uploads Flickr photos to OneDrive
  • This applet will automatically upload every photo that you upload to Facebook to your OneDrive


  • You can backup your new Google Photos to Dropbox with this applet, which is particularly useful for Android users who have enabled their device to sync their photos to Google Photos
  • Users of 500px can securely backup their photos with this applet, which uploads 500px photos to Dropbox
  • Flickr users who utilize Dropbox can combine the two services through this applet, which saves all uploaded Flickr photos to Dropbox


IFTTT is a fantastic resource for easily automating your cloud storage backups, and using its applets to backup data on services and devices is smooth and efficient.

Bridging the gaps between several services, IFTTT brings connectivity to apps where there was none. Automatically backup your Android’s texts to Google Drive so you never lose a message, or create several iterations of backups between your different cloud storage accounts for those especially important documents. IFTTT makes these tasks automatic and seamless, so you don’t have to remind yourself to do them again.

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Be sure to take a look into how you can make these applets work for you, and if you would like to tell us your experience with them, be sure to leave a comment. Thanks for reading.