How to Copy Photos from Your Phone or PC to Synology NAS

Once you are done with the setup, now it’s time to back up the photos you have captured on your smartphone to your Synology DS120j (review). There are several ways to backup photos from your phone to the NAS. You can manually copy all the photos or by using the Synology Moments App. Let’s check it out one by one.

Synology Ds120j

Installing Synology Moments App

In the first step, you need to install the app called Synology Moments. This is an official app from Synology to upload, share, and manage your photos. First, you need to install the Moments app on your NAS.

  • Go to Package Center
  • Search for Moments app
  • Click on the Install button

It will take a few seconds to install the app. Once the installation is done, go to Menu (Click on the Menu icon on the top left corner) and click on the Moments app. It will open the app in a new window. No additional setup or configuration is needed for the app.

Download Synology Moments App

Next, you need to install the Synology Moments app from Google Play in case you have an Android Phone or App Store if you use an Apple iPhone. The app is compatible with Android 5.0 or later and iOS 11 or iPadOS 11 or later. Setting up the app will be explained later in the post.

Manually Copy Photos from your phone to the NAS

This is one of the easiest methods of transferring photos or any files from one device to another. It’s just as easy as transferring photos from your laptop to a USB thumb drive. Here, instead of a thumb drive, you’re transferring the photos to your NAS.

In the first step, connect your phone to the computer through a USB cable. You can also connect your phone to the PC wirelessly using an FTP server but the data transfer speeds are considerably slower compared to the wired method. Let’s go with the wired method.

  • Connect your phone to your computer
    • Open the location of the Photos (Usually DCIM folder)
    • Copy all the photos/videos on your computer or laptop
How to Copy Photos from Your Phone to Synology NAS
  • Login to your NAS
  • Open File Station app on the NAS
    • Go to Home -> Drive -> Moments
    • Tap on Create -> Create a new folder. Only photos copied inside the Moments folder will show in the Moments app. So, make sure you’re creating a new folder inside the Moments folder.
    • Enter the Folder name (Ex: Backup_OnePlus_Nord)
    • Click OK to create a new folder
Create a Folder in File Station
  • Open the newly created folder by double-clicking on it.
  • Click on the Upload -> Upload and Skip.
Uploading Photo in File Station App
  • Go to the location where you have copied your phone photos
    • Select all photos or select the files you want to backup.
    • Click on Open.
Select Photos to Upload

Once you click on Open, the selected files start copying to the NAS. You can also check the live status of the file transfer by clicking the upload icon on the taskbar. At the same time, you can also check the already copied photos by opening the Synology Photos app on your smartphone. It doesn’t matter how many folders you create. All the photos inside the Moments folder are sorted based on Date, Month, or Year.

Uploading Photos

Backup photos using Synology Moments app

Once you’re done with copying all photos you captured on your phone to the NAS, now it’s time to automate the backup process. This means, when you take new photos, those photos will be transferred automatically to the NAS. There is no need to copy the photos manually.

  • Open the Synology Photos app on your phone and tap on More.
  • Click on Photo Backup Not Enabled.
  • Tap on Enable Photo Backup.
  • Allow Moments app to access the storage.
  • Click on Choose folder. You can select all folders or selected folder or DCIM folder based on your requirement. If you want to back up all the Photos including WhatsApp and other downloaded photos then, tap on Back up all folders.

Similarly, you need to select the Backup rule. Back up all photos or back up new photos. Back up all photos mean, all the existing photos stored in your photos including the new photos you take in the future will be backed up to the NAS. If you select Back up new photos then, only new photos you take or download from the web from now onwards will be transferred to the NAS. Select the option as per your requirement.

Once you click a new photo on your phone or download a photo from the web, the Synology Photos app detects it and uploads it to the NAS automatically. Once uploaded, you can check the photos on your NAS by opening the Synology Photos app in the NAS or Moments folder in the File Station app.

Uploaded Photos in Synology Moments App

Due to the cross-device synchronization, if you delete a photo from the Synology Moments app on your phone, it will also get deleted automatically from the NAS. Similarly, if you delete a photo from NAS, it will disappear from the Moments app on the phone.

Photo Sharing using Synology Moments

Just like Google Photos, the Synology Moments also support Photo Sharing. You can share a single photo as well as an Album with your friends and family. You can directly share the photo from the Synology app on NAS and also through the Moments app on your phone.

  • Open the Synology Moments app on your phone
  • Open the photo you want to share
  • Click on the share button
  • Tap on the Share link
  • Adjust the privacy settings as per your need and click on the Share button.
  • Select the app you would like to share like Gmail, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Once you share, the recipient will receive the notification and can check the photo by clicking the link you shared.

At any point of time, if you want stop sharing

  • Go to Albums
  • Click on Shared
  • Tap on With Others
  • You’ll get the list of photos you shared. Click on the three-dot-menu in front of the thumbnail and tap on Stop sharing.
  • Click Delete from the popup

Copy all photos from Google Photos to NAS

I have created a dedicated post to copy all your photos stored in Google Photos to your Synology NAS or Synology DS120j. Please find the post here.

That’s a wrap. If you have questions, please do let me know in the comments and I’ll answer those as soon as possible. Do follow GizArena on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

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  1. I am really new to this….when I back up anything to a NAS does it go to the external hard disks? I have over 2 TB of photos that I need to move from apple i cloud to a NAS but I don’t see any NAS with that amount of storage.

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