Video Tutorials

Restore Your Photo Backup Stick

If your Photo Backup Stick needs to be restored to factory settings, you can use the Windows restore tool:

  1. Download the Photo Backup Stick Restore Tool
  2. Plug your Photo Backup Stick into your Windows computer
  3. Run the pbs-restore.exe app and click the “Recover” button.
  4. If your Photo Backup Stick is not detected, please contact our support team.


This depends on how large your photos are. The average size of photos from newer iPhones is between 2.5MB and 3MB. The photo storage chart below gives you an estimate on how many photos you can store.
Yes, the Photo Backup Stick keeps photos in their folders as they are on your computer. So, if you have organized your pictures into folders by date, location etc., it will keep this organization structure. You also have the option of not keeping your photos organized. If you choose this, all photos will be backed up into one folder on the stick based on the name of the computer. 

The Photo Backup Stick will only backup photos once. If you do a backup and later do other backups, each new backup will only back up new photos so it won’t back up duplicate photos. 

If you have multiple copies of a photo (either in different locations or backed up from different devices), you can remove duplicates at the push of a button. Only exact duplicates are removed. Photos that are similar but not exact duplicates will not be removed.

Video Tutorial – How to Remove Duplicates

By default, it will back up all JPEG/JPG photos because this is the most common format for photos. You can select to have it back up PNG, GIF, TIFF, RAW, BMP, PDF, EPS, 3FR, ARI, ARW, BAY, CRW, CR2, CR3, CAP, DATA, DCS, DCR, DNG, DRF, EIP, ERF, EFF, GPR, IIQ, K25, KDC, MDC, MEF, MOS, MRW, NEF, NRW, OBM, ORF, PEF, PTX PXN, R3D, RAF, RWL, RW2, RWZ, SR2, SRF, SRW, TIF, and X3F images as well.

For videos, it backs up M4V, MP4, MOV, AVI, 3GP, WEBM, MKV, TS, WMV, FLV, VOB, 3G2, and AVCHD formats.

The Photo Backup Stick Universal supports all iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch (for iPads that have USB-C type data ports, backups must be done through a computer using the computer app). 

It also supports all Android devices that support OTG (devices without OTG support can be backed up using the Windows or Mac apps).

The Photo Backup Stick for Computers does not connect directly to phones and tablets but can still back them up using the computer app.

Video Tutorial – Backing Up Phones & Tablets Using the Windows App

The Photo Backup Stick runs on Windows 7, 8, or 10 as well as Mac OS 10.12 or newer. For direct backups on Android devices, the device must support OTG connections. For direct backups from Apple iOS devices, you must have the Photo Backup Stick Universal version. For iPads with USB-C connections, you must backup by connecting the iPad and stick to a computer.

The Photo Backup Stick Universal version plugs directly into computers, iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, and Android phones or tablets. The Photo Backup Stick for computers plugs into your computer and backs up from phones and tablets that are also plugged into the computer.

The Photo Backup Stick for Computers does not plug directly into your phone or tablet. You can plug your phone or tablet into your computer and use the computer app to back them up.

Video Tutorial – Backing Up Phones & Tablets Using the Windows App

By default, the Photo Backup Stick scans for photos in the Pictures folder on computers. If your pictures are stored somewhere else, you must change where it scans. For phones, if you have cloud backup enabled, the photos may have been removed from your phone and replaced with small thumbnails to save space. You must change your settings to save your photos back to your phone before you can back them up.

Windows Users: Please review page 17 of the manual to see how to change where the stick scans for pictures
Photo Backup Stick Universal Windows Manual v3.0

Mac Users: Please review page 13 of the manual to see how to change where the stick scans for pictures
Photo Backup Quick Start Guide for Mac Photo Backup Stick Mac Manual

iPhone/iPad Users: To turn off iCloud, go to settings and tap on your name. Tap iCloud and then tap Photos. Make sure the option for iCloud Photos is turned off (the switch should be gray and not green).

Android Users: Launch the Google Photos app and tap the menu icon (the three dots … ). Then tap the Settings icon (the cog). Make sure the Backup & sync option is switched off.

Video Tutorial – Scanning Other Locations for Photos

The Photo Backup Stick backs up files from smallest to largest. This means it seems like the backup is slowing down when the actual amount of data being transferred to the stick remains constant. It can really slow down when backing up large video files. Keep in mind that it’s not the number of files being backed up that determines the speed of a backup, it’s the total amount of data being transferred.

If you accidentally delete the PhotoBackupStartup app or other files on your Photo Backup Stick or your computer asked you to reformat your stick, you can restore the drive to factory settings using the Photo Backup Restore app.
Please Note: Restoring your drive to factory settings will wipe any backups from your Photo Backup Stick! Please use the Copy backup from the stick to PC feature to save your backup to your computer before restoring your stick.

To restore your stick to factory settings, follow these directions:

  1. Download the Photo Backup Restore app from:
  2. Plug your Photo Backup Stick into your computer.
  3. Open the pbs-restore.exe app (note, your computer may only show it as pbs-restore).
  4. Check the “PHOTOBACKUP” drive and click the “Recover” button.Please Note: If Windows says your Photo Backup Stick needs to be formatted, please ignore this as the recovery tool will automatically format your stick.
  5. Your Photo Backup Stick will now be restored to factory settings.

Please Note: Only official Photo Backup Sticks can be restored. If you try to restore a normal USB drive, it will not show up in the list. Also, if your Photo Backup Stick has been damaged or is faulty, it will not show up in the list to restore.

The Photo Backup Stick Windows and Android apps support English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese.

Your Mac settings may not allow for external drives to appear. Please follow these instructions to enable External Disks:

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Go to Preferences > General.
  3. Check that the External disks option is enabled.

If this does not fix it so your Photo Backup Stick appears when it is plugged in, you may need to force Mac to see it. After connecting your stick, do the following:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Disk Utility.
  2. Check that the external disk is listed in the left sidebar.
  3. Highlight your stick and select Mount. It should now appear under devices in the Finder.
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