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Back up photos from your camera or phone

To upload photos from an SD card, camera, or mobile device, you can save them to Google Drive instead of your Chromebook’s hard drive. When you use Google Drive, you can see and edit your photos on your Chromebook or phone.

Step 1: Connect to your Chromebook

Camera: Insert SD card

  1. Sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Remove the SD card from your camera.
  3. Insert the SD card into the SD card slot on your Chromebook.

Note: If you don't know which slot is the SD card slot, contact your Chromebook's manufacturer. Not all Chromebooks have an SD card slot.

Phone: Plug in using a USB cable

Note: You'll need a USB cable to connect your phone to your Chromebook. A two-pin, "charge-only" USB cable won't work.
  1. Sign in to your Chromebook.
  2. Plug the USB cable in to your Chromebook, then into your phone.

Step 2: Back up photos

  1. On your Chromebook, the Files app will open Files app.
    Note: If it doesn't open automatically, click the Launcher Launcher and then Up arrow Up arrow and then Files Files app. Click the name of your SD card or phone, then open the DCIM folder.
  2.  Click Import Import.
  3. Your Chromebook will automatically find photos that you haven’t saved to Google Drive. Sometimes, this scan will take a while.
  4. In the window that appears, click Back up.
  5. When your Chromebook is done backing up your photos, you'll see Import done Cloud import done.

Find your photos

After you back up your photos, you can find them in two places:

Photos added to Google Drive can be used with Google Photos, including in animations and albums. Because these photos are added to Google Drive, they’ll use storage quota, unlike photos uploaded to Google Photos. Learn how Google Drive and Google Photos work together.

Casey is a Chromebook expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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