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How To Backup iPhone Photos Automatically to NAS (Updated Jan 2021)

One of the best ways to use a Synology NAS is to store photos. If you have an iPhone, a Synology NAS and have been searching how to backup iPhone photos automatically, read below for this very easy solution.

Updated 1/3/21 – As of this update, this new shortcut setup works on iOS 14.2 on an iPhone XR. However, please keep in mind that due to the frequency and type of updates that iOS gets, this functionality may change or break in the future. Also, this setup works great with a wireless charger – I highly recommend one if you have a newer iPhone!

The Synology Moments package is an application that runs on your Synology NAS and allows you to organize and share your photos while keeping them safely stored. You can access Moments through a web browser while connected to your home network or directly through the web over HTTPS if you set up your Synology NAS with an SSL certificate for secure remote access.

Synology has also created a Moments mobile app for iOS so you can manage your photo collection from your Apple device. However, it appears that even though Synology included an auto-backup feature in their app, it doesn’t seem to run unless you open the Moments app yourself. This means you have to remember to open it periodically while on WiFi for your photos to start backing up, which can be a pain.

Now with the introduction of the Shortcuts app in iOS 13, you can create a very simple automation to open the app for you, thus starting the backup and having it truly be automatic.

How To Backup iPhone Photos Automatically – UPDATED January 2021

The guide below assumes you’ve already installed the Moments app on your Apple device and connected it to your NAS also running Moments. You’ll also need to turn on the Photo Backup option within the app.

Find your Shortcuts App and open it. Select the Automation button, tap the plus sign at the top right, and then tap Create Personal Automation.

How To Backup iPhone Photos Automatically

Next, at the bottom of the list, choose “Charger” and then “Is Connected” on the next page, then tap Next.

How To Backup iPhone Photos Automatically with Automation
Back Up iPhone Photos Automatically

Tap “Add Action” and then select Scripting.

iOS Automation Scripting

Select Open App, then choose Moments from the list.

iOS Automation Open App
iOS Automation Synology Moments

Tap Next, then turn off the button “Ask Before Running”. This way the app will open without any input from you.

iOS Automation

Tap Done to complete the setup. Now when you connect your phone to your charger, it will launch Moments and your photos will start backing up.

The only two things to keep in mind are that you’ll need to unlock your phone before placing it on your charging pad or plugging it in and that the app will remain open until you close it. This is not really an issue though, since the phone will be charging anyway.

Also, your screen will eventually time out based on your lock screen preferences, but I have found you can also manually lock the screen while the app is open and it will continue to back up your photos.

If you found this guide useful, please leave a comment and thanks for reading! Also, if you’d like to help support the blog, consider picking up a new quality Anker or Spigen accessory for your iPhone:

Spigen Tempered Glass Screen Protector for iPhone 11 & iPhone XR. (They are one of the easiest to install and really do fit well.)

Yootech USB-C Wireless Charging Pad
Anker Braided USB Cables 6ft (2-Pack)
Anker 30W USB-C / USB Charger
Anker Nano USB-C Charger
Anker Dual Port USB Charger (2-Pack)

Products mentioned are available through affiliate links at no extra cost to you. Using these affiliate links to purchase helps support the blog and allows me to bring you new content. Thank you!

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Emilio

Hi Chris!! Super happy to have crossed paths with your content. Very informative and on point. I would be greatfull if you can give me your insight on the following issue. I have a 2 TB Photos library( the Apple native app) Which is currently saved in an external hard Drive. The backup to another disk is dealt with manually. Im looking to invest in a self hosted environment or a DAS. According to various sources the Photos library cannot be read while on the network and over wifi. Presumably the source must be wired to my Mac… is this… Read more »

Emilio

Appreciate the swift reply Chris!! Thank you 🙂

Martin

Hello, I followed your tutorial, but Moments application will not open automatically 🙁
I have a notification from Shortcuts on my lock screen when I join selected wifi, but I must tap on it and hit run. If i don’t do it, the application will not start. Something I am doing wrong, or it is just the way it is suppose to work… Thanks.

Grant

Thanks for posting this guide, great automation work-around and the key reason I abandoned Moments in the past and just stuck to Drive.

Buzzzzz

Great guide, but… the Moments app is not shown in the list of apps available in the automation. Any idea why this is and how I can add Moments to the list?

Buzzzzzz

Thx, that fixed the problem

dinner

Hi Mate
Just used your instructions. Perfect, Thankyou.
I like your style mate. good onya!