Change “Back up & sync” settings

Change how and when your photos and videos are saved to your Google Account.

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select SettingsBack up & sync.
  4. If "Back up & sync" is on, you can change the settings below:

Choose what backs up

Choose a Google Account

To change the Google Account you're saving your photos and videos to:

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select SettingsBack up & sync.
  4. Touch the account name to change it.

Storage size

Choose between 2 storage sizes:

High quality

  • Unlimited free storage
  • Regular cameras: Recommended for phones or point-and-shoot cameras that are 16 megapixels (MP) or less.
  • Uses: Good for typical printing and sharing.
  • Size: Save high-quality photos and videos while reducing size.

Original

  • Limited free storage: Uses storage in your Google Account, regardless of photo or video size. Check my storage
  • DSLR cameras: Recommended if you take photos with a DSLR camera and want to maintain the exact original quality.
  • Uses: Recommended for printing large banners or to store your original files.
  • Size: Store your photos and videos exactly as you captured them.

Change this setting

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select SettingsBack up & sync.
  4. Touch Upload size.

Choose folders to back up... (Android only)

Choose which folders on your phone or tablet to back up. This can include photos you've downloaded, screenshots you've taken, or photos saved by other apps.

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. Touch "Choose folders to back up..." and select the folders you want to back up.

Choose when things back up

"Back up photos" or "Photos back up using cellular data"

Choose whether you want to back up your photos using your mobile network (rather than just Wi-Fi).

Change this setting

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select SettingsBack up & sync.
  4. Touch "Back up photos" or "Photos back up using cellular data."
  5. Charges from your service provider may apply if you upload using your mobile network.

"Back up videos" or "Videos back up using cellular data"

Choose whether you want to back up your videos using your mobile network (rather than just WI-Fi).

Change this setting

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. Touch "Back up videos" or "Videos back up using cellular data."
  5. Charges from your service provider may apply if you upload using your mobile network.

Roaming (Android only)

Roaming allows photos and videos to upload while you're roaming on a mobile data network.

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. Turn Roaming on or off.
    Charges from your service provider may apply if you turn this on.

While charging only (Android only)

On

  • Your photos and videos will only be uploaded when your device is connected to an external power source.
  • Can help manage your device's battery life.

Off

  • Your photos and videos will be uploaded when your device is not being charged.

Change this setting

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. Turn While charging only on or off. 

Back up all (Android only)

Touch "Back up all" to upload your photos and videos according to the preferences you've set.

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device .
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon .
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. Touch Back up all.
    Keep in mind that if you have "Back up photos" set to run only when you're connected to Wi-Fi, your photos will begin backing up only when your device is connected to Wi-Fi.

Andrea is a Google Photos expert and wrote this page. Help her improve it by leaving feedback below.

Was this article helpful?