Having all your photos and videos stored safely in the cloud is convenient. And it hardly gets better than Google Photos. Of course, it’s far from ideal if you get stuck during the upload with the Getting ready to backup in Google Photos. If you’re affected by this exact or similar problem (slow uploading, failing to upload certain files, etc.) make sure to check the steps we listed below.
Why does Google Photos backup take so long?
The first things that come to mind are slow bandwidth while uploading a large possibly 4K video in Original quality and other network-related issues. If you’re certain that’s not what’s causing the problem, resetting Google Photos and disabling re-enabling Back up & sync should get you over this hurdle.
If you still have issues, consider clearing the local data or reinstalling Google Photos from your device.
1. Check the network
The first thing to do is to check the network connection. Restart your device and ensure that it’s connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. If you run into any issues, restart the router, forget the network on your phone, and reconnect again or, as the last resort, reset network settings.
If you want to use mobile data to upload photos, make sure to enable this option in the Photos settings. To do so, follow these steps:
- Open Google Photos.
- Tap on your account photo at the top right corner and open Photos settings.
- Open Back up & sync.
- Select Cell data usage.
- Select Unlimited and toggle ON the Back up videos over data option.
If the backup works as intended for other categories (e.g. Apps, Calls, SMS messages…) but gets stuck only with photos and videos, make sure to disable and re-enable the Back up & sync option in Google Photos and try again. To do so, open Google Photos > Account/profile photo > Photos settings > Back up & sync and disable Back up & sync. Re-enable it and check for improvements.
This might help if the problem is solely related to Google Photos and it usually fixes the problem. Unless there are other causes at play causing the halt at Getting ready to backup to Google Photos message.
2. Clear data from Google Photos or reinstall the app
Data corruption is not a common thing on Android but it can happen, especially after a major system update. In those instances, many bugs show up with their ugly heads. Luckily, all you need to do to fix this is simply clear all local data from Google Photos or reinstall the app (uninstall app updates).
Here’s how to clear local data from Google Photos on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Apps.
- Open Photos.
- Tap Storage.
- Tap Manage storage.
- Clear all data.
- Restart your phone and open Google Photos. After you set up everything, check if it’s still stuck preparing to back up photos/videos or if everything works as intended.
If that didn’t help, you can reinstall the app, or, in case Google Photos come as a system app, you can uninstall its updates. Either way, you should navigate to the Play Store, locate Google Photos, and tap Uninstall. After you reinstall the app, sign in, and configure it, check if the Ready to backup glitch still appears. If it does, move to the next step on this list.
3. Delete unsupported files
Another thing you should consider is deleting unsupported video files. Some users suggested this because, with some files, Google Photos might fall into a neverending upload loop where the video can’t be processed and uploaded if its format is unsupported or the file is corrupted.
Either way, try deleting or moving old videos to a different folder (from the DCIM folder) or delete them if they won’t back up. Usually, there are visual indications of what photos or videos are uploaded in the app so you can easily identify the one causing the problem during the backup process.
4. Disable and re-enable Google Backup
Finally, if you can’t finish a system backup because you get stuck at the Getting ready to backup Google Photos prompt, make sure to try disabling and re-enabling Google Backup.
Also, and this can be quite annoying, we recommend disabling all security measures including fingerprint unlocks and PIN/password/pattern before doing the first backup. For some reason, Google Backup stops before completion on some devices unless the backup is made when the device is without security measures.
Of course, after you create the backup, you should restore your security measures and enroll fingerprints/your face once again and both manual and automatic backups should work without problems. Here’s how to disable and re-enable Google Backup on any Android phone:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Google.
- Select Backup.
- Disable Backup by Google One.
- Restart your phone and re-enable the backup.
- Tap Back up now to test it.
And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading what was, hopefully, an informative and helpful article. Are you still stuck with Getting ready to back up prompt in Google Photos? Do you have any alternative solutions to offer? Make sure to share them with us in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in March 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.