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How Google Drive works with Google Photos

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

You can use Google Photos to:

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

Learn more about Google Photos.

You can use Google Drive to:

  • Organise 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

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

Storage & cost

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.

The amount of space that your photos and videos use depends on your storage setting and which product you use. Learn how to change your storage settings.

  • Items uploaded via Google Drive count against your storage quota, regardless of size.
  • Items uploaded via Google Photos:
    • Don't use up the quota if they're stored as "high quality".
    • Do use up the quota if they're stored as "original quality".


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

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), these photos and videos will remain in Google Photos. 
    (This is to prevent unintentionally deleting all your photos and videos.)

View & edit photos stored in Google Drive using Google Photos

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. Open the Google Photos app.
  2. At the top left, tap Menu .
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Turn on the Google Drive setting.


  • If you edit photos in Google Photos, the changes will not be shown in Google Drive.
  • If you have a work, school or other group account, you won't be able to turn this setting on.

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

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