How to download all your photos and videos from Flickr before it's too late

Save your snaps

Flickr photostream on laptop

Flickr has cut the storage allowance for free accounts to just 1,000 photos – and if you haven't downloaded your photos by February 5, they'll be gone for good. Your older photos will be first on the chopping block, and these are the ones you're least likely to have extra copies of

Upgrading to a Pro account gives you unlimited storage and offers extra features like automatic uploads and live viewing stats, but with prices starting at $49.99 (about £40, AU$70) per year, it's not cheap.

How to download your files

Once upon a time, you would have had to select and download each of your photos individually, but thankfully, the introduction of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) made things much easier.

Online businesses that operate within the EU are required by law to make it straightforward for their users to download all the personal information that is held on them (including photos and videos). 

To download your pictures, log in and click your profile icon at the top right, then scroll down to 'Request my Flickr data'. Clicking this button will begin the process of preparing two ZIP files for you to download: one containing your photos and videos, and another with your personal data.

Download Flickr data

Request your Flickr data, and after a few hours it'll be ready to download

Once the archive is ready (Flickr will email you once it's done), return to your profile settings, scroll down again and click 'Download zip file' under 'Photos and videos'. The link will remain active for three weeks after you request your data.

The ZIP file will contain all your images, at full resolution and with their original filenames (with some numbers appended on the end). If you'd like to quickly rename them as a batch, you can do this easily using free image viewer Irfranview.

Downloaded photos from Flickr

Your photos and videos will be downloaded at the original resolution

Where to move your photos

Now that you've saved your photos and videos, you'll probably be looking for a new place to upload them. Flickr's old free account, with 1TB free storage, was very generous, and no other cloud service offers so much real estate gratis.

Your best storage option may be a hard drive. It won't be free, of course, but there are some great drives available for less than a year of Flickr Pro, and you'll have total control over your data.

If you have a PC with a spare bay, the Seagate Barracuda is a great choice, striking a nice balance between speed, capacity and price. The 1TB model can be yours for around the same price as an annual Flickr Pro subscription, and will last years.

There are some excellent external hard drives around too, which offer better value than cloud storage. The Western Digital My Passport 4GB costs a little more, but offers four times the storage of your old Flickr account. Its USB 3.0 connection provides excellent transfer speeds, and there's built-in 256-bit AES encryption to protect your files.

Want to stick with the cloud? We think Google One is the best choice for your snaps. Its 2TB plan comes in at $9.99 per month, which is a fair bit more than Flickr Pro, but gives you a huge amount of storage that you can use for whatever type of files you like.

You can also share that 2TB with your family (without sharing any login details), and you have your photos uploaded automatically from an Android phone.