iCloud Photo Library stores all of your images and videos online but what if you also want additional backup?

The old saying, when it comes to backups, is one place is no place. With something as precious as your photo and video collection, you want to make sure you don't just have a backup to iCloud Photo Library, but a backup of the backup. "One local, one cloud" is the minimum. "Two local, two cloud" is the recommendation. Luckily, Photos for OS X lets you keep a copy of all your originals, all on your Mac. If you have at least one good-sized hard drive, that makes "one local, one cloud" easy. If you're already backing up that Mac as well, then it makes "two local, two cloud" take care of itself as well.

Note: Since you really do need sufficient drive space to store all your photos or videos, a desktop Mac with a big hard drive is best, or a laptop or desktop with a big external drive that hosts your local Photos library. Before proceeding, make sure you have enough storage to fit your needs.

How to download all your original iCloud Photo Library content to your Mac

  1. Launch Photos for OS X on your Mac
  2. Go to the Photos > Preferences menu (or type Command + ,)
  3. Click on the iCloud tab
  4. Click on Download Originals to this Mac

Once all your photos and videos have finished downloading to your Mac, you'll have a primary local backup.

How to make a local backup of your iCloud Photo Library

If you want a secondary (or even tertiary) local backup, since your complete library is now on your Mac, all you have to do is make sure you're backing up your Mac and your library will be backed up along with it.

How to make an online backup of your iCloud Photo Library

Likewise, if you want additional online backups, all you have to do is make sure you're backing up your Mac online.