How Google Drive works with Google Photos

You can view and manage your photos and videos in both Google Photos and Google Drive. You can also create a Google Photos folder in your "My Drive," to organize your photos and videos into folders. Photos and videos that you can see in both Google Photos and Drive only count once in your Google storage space.

View your Google Drive photos & videos in Google Photos

In Google Photos, you can do things like create collages and GIFs, edit your photos, make movies, and share with people you care about. 

You'll see your Google Drive photos and videos in the "Photos" section of the Google Photos app, but you can also see just your Google Drive photos & videos using the Google Photos app.

Android or iOS app
  1. Open the Google Photos app Photos icon.
  2. At the bottom right, touch the search icon. (If you don't see it, open the menu > touch Photos, then look for it.)
  3. At the bottom right, touch Google Drive.
Computer

Click here to view your Google Drive photos & videos in Google Photos. To navigate there yourself:

  1. Go to photos.google.com/search
  2. At the bottom right, click Google Drive.

 

Note: If you edit a photo in Google Photos, those edits don't show in the Drive version of the photo. To have the edited photo appear in your Drive folder, download the edited photo in Google Photos and upload it to your Drive folder.

View your Google Photos library in Google Drive

Your Google Photos library includes everything that's been backed up or uploaded using Google+ Photos or Google Photos. 

In Google Drive, you can move your photos and videos from your Google Photos library into folders. Note that the folder names and organization you create in Google Drive will not be reflected in Google Photos.

Android app
  1. Open the Drive app .
  2. Touch the menu icon at the top left and then Google Photos.
Computer
  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click Google Photos on the left.
iOS app
  1. Open the Drive app .
  2. Touch the menu icon at the top left and then Google Photos.

You'll see your photos and videos from Google Photos in Google Drive, including those that were automatically backed up if you have Back up & sync turned on. From here, you can print, share, download, and rename them. Learn how

Organize your photos & videos into Google Drive folders

You can copy, move, and edit photos in Google Drive, but those changes will not be reflected in Google Photos.

IMPORTANT

  • When you delete individual photos or videos from Google Drive, they are also deleted from Google Photos. When you delete individual photos or videos from Google Photos, they are also deleted from Google Drive.
  • Your automatically backed up photos and videos are private unless you choose to share them. If you share your Google Photos folder in Drive, the people you shared with can see any new photos and videos that are added to the folder.
Android app
  1. Open the Drive app .
  2. Touch the Google Photos folder.
  3. Touch the grey i button next to the folder or file you want to organize.
  4. Touch Move.
  5. Select the folder you want to move the file or folder to.
  6. Touch Move.
Computer
  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Turn on the setting that creates a Google Photos folder in your "My Drive" folder (if you already turned this setting on, you can skip this step).
    • On the right, click the gear icon  and then Settings.
    • Next to "Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive," check the box and then Done.
  3. Click the arrow next to My Drive on the left.
  4. Select the Google Photos folder. Your photos and videos will be organized into folders that are grouped by year.
  5. Select the photos and videos you'd like to organize.
  6. At the top right, click the options icon  and then Move to. Select the folder you want to move your photos to and then Move.
iOS app
  1. Open the Drive app .
  2. Touch the Google Photos folder.
  3. Touch the grey i button next to the file or folder you want to organize.
  4. Touch Move to.
  5. Select the folder you want to move the file or folder to.
  6. Touch Move here.
Take action on your photos & videos in Drive

From the "Google Photos" section in Drive, you can take a number of different actions on the items that appear.

Android app
  1. Open the Drive app .
  2. Touch the menu icon at the top left and then Google Photos.
  3. Touch the grey i button next to the name of a photo or video.
  4. Choose an action:
    • Share: Share the file with others
    • Share link: Send a link to the file
    • Star: Mark as important
    • Move: Organize into a folder
    • Send file: Send the file from another application
    • Download: Download the file locally onto your device
    • Rename: Change the name of the photo or video
    • Remove: Remove the photo or video from Drive and Google Photos
Computer
  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click Google Photos on the left.
  3. Place your cursor over a photo to:
    • Download : Download the photo to your device
    • Save to Drive : Save a copy of the photo to My Drive. This allows you to organize the photo, and other files, the way you want.
    • Other actions : Choose from a number of options:
      • Open with another application
      • Share
      • Star as important
      • Rename
      • Make a copy
      • Remove from Drive and Google Photos
iOS app
  1. Open the Drive app .
  2. Touch the menu icon at the top left and then Google Photos.
  3. Touch the grey i button next to the name of a photo or video.
  4. Choose an action:
    • Share: Share the file with others
    • Share link: Send a link to the file
    • Star: Mark as important
    • Move: Organize into a folder
    • Send file: Send the file from another application
    • Download: Download the file locally onto your device
    • Rename: Change the name of the photo or video
    • Remove: Remove the photo or video from Drive and Google Photos
Mobile browser
  1. Go to drive.google.com on your mobile device and sign in if prompted.
  2. Touch the grey i next to a file you want to work with.
  3. You can see the details for the file,  including who you shared it with. Touch Activity to see the last actions taken on the file. You can also touch the options icon and take one of the following actions:
    • Preview: Get a preview of the file before opening it
    • Get link: Get a link to the file to share with others by email or chat
    • Download: Download the file to your mobile device
    • Print: Print your file using Google Cloud Print or AirPrint (iPhone or iPad)

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

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