How Google Drive works with Google Photos

You can choose to upload or back up photos and videos from both Google Drive and Google Photos but here are some ways we recommend using each:

You can use Google Photos to:

  • Edit and share photos and videos.
  • Organize with albums.
  • Search by date, place, or people.
  • Back up photos and videos.

Learn more about Google Photos.

You can use Google Drive to:

  • Organize photos and videos into folders.
  • Keep all your files in one place.
  • Share or insert photos into Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Upload or sync files to view them anywhere.

Back up photos & videos

Learn more

You can back up your photos using Google Photos or Google Drive. To avoid storing duplicates, we recommend backing up using one app:

OPTION 1: Use Google Photos on your mobile device or computer.

OPTION 2: Use Google Drive on your iPhone or iPad. Learn more

Deleting photos & videos

If you delete using Google Photos
If you delete a photo or video using Google Photos, it will also be removed from Google Drive.
If you delete using Google Drive

From the Google Photos section in the menu on the left in Drive:

It will be removed from Google Photos.

From the Google Photos folder in My Drive:

  • If you delete individual photos or videos, they will be removed from Google Photos.
  • If you delete folders (including the Google Photos folder), those photos and videos will still be in Google Photos. 
    (This is to prevent unintentionally deleting all your photos and videos.)

View & edit photos stored in Google Drive using Google Photos

Instructions

If you have photos in Google Drive that you want to view or edit using Google Photos, you can turn on this setting in Google Photos.

  1. In Google Photos, tap or click Menu .
  2. Tap or click Settings > "Show Google Drive photos & videos in your Photos library."

Notes:

  • If you edit photos in Google Photos, those changes will not show in Google Drive.
  • If your account is through work, school, or other groups, you won't be able to turn this setting on.

Organize photos & videos using Google Drive

Instructions

You can rename and organize Google Photos files into Google Drive folders by creating a Google Photos folder in your My Drive:

  1. Using a computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the top right, click Settings  > Settings.
  3. Next to "Create a Google Photos folder," check the box.
  4. Click Done.

To see the folder:

  1. From the menu on the left, click the dropdown menu next to My Drive
  2. Click the Google Photos folder . You'll see your photos and videos organized by date.

Note: If you move photos or videos into folders using Google Drive, those folders will not become albums in Google Photos.

Storage & cost

Learn more

Photos use space in your Google Account

Your photos and videos are stored using your Google Account's storage space. You have 15 GB of free storage, but you can buy more.

Space used depends on your storage setting and which product you use

  • Items uploaded via Google Drive count against your storage quota, regardless of size.
  • Items uploaded via Google Photos:
    • Don't use quota if they're stored in "High quality."
    • Do use quota if they're stored in "Original quality."

Learn how to change your storage settings.

Privacy

Photos and videos backed up from your device are private unless you decide to share them.

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

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