Get started with Google Photos

Learn how to use Google Photos with this step-by-step guide. Some things you'll learn:

  • How to search your photos
  • How to add filters
  • How to restore deleted photos

Step 1: Download the app, then take a photo

  1. Install the Google Photos app.
  2. After installing the app, take a photo of yourself or the setting around you.

Step 2: Find photos fast

When you open the Google Photos app, you'll see all the photos and videos on your account.

Let's practice finding photos:

Find the photo you just took
  1. Open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the bottom, tap Photos Photos.
  3. You should see the photo you just took at the top. Try scrolling down to see what else is there.
Find a memorable photo from your past

Think of a memorable photo that's on your phone or tablet. Try to remember something in the photo, like a dog, the beach, or where you were.

  1. At the bottom, tap Search .
  2. In the Search bar at the top, type the name of something that's in the photos, like "beach" or "dog."
    • Tip: You can also tap one of the search suggestions on the page.
  3. At the bottom right of the keyboard, tap Done Done. This may vary by device.

Learn how to find people, things, and places in your photos.

Step 3: Edit photos & videos

Let's use the photo or video you just took and add some fun to it.

Step 4: Share your photo with someone

Let's take that photo you just edited and share it with someone.

  1. The photo you just edited should still be on your screen.
  2. At the bottom, tap Share.
  3. Select a contact, or create a new group to send in Google Photos.

Learn more ways to share photos and videos.

Step 5: Delete blurry or unwanted photos

Take another 3 photos with your phone or tablet. Let's choose the best one and delete the rest.

Delete unwanted photos
  1. Open the Google Photos app Photos
  2. At the bottom, tap Photos Photos. You should see the 3 photos you just took.
  3. Open each photo and choose the one you like best. When you're done, go back to the main Photos screen.
  4. Touch and hold a photo that you want to move to trash. Select another photo you want to move to trash.
  5. At the top right, tap Delete Delete.

If you have backup on, things you move to trash will be moved to trash anywhere else you use Google Photos, so you only have to make changes once. Learn more ways to delete photos and videos.

Restore a photo

Imagine you change your mind and you want one of those photos back.

  1. At the bottom, tap Library and then Trash. Everything you see in your trash can be recovered, but items will be permanently deleted after 60 days in the trash.
  2. Touch and hold a photo you just deleted.
  3. At the bottom, tap Restore. This will put the photo back into the Photos section of the app.

Learn more ways to restore photos and videos.

Activity data settings

Further personalize your Photos experience

The activity-based personalization setting allows Google Photos to show you even more personalized memories based on how you interact with features in Photos. To further personalize your memories experience, Photos uses information like the types of memories you view or skip.

This setting is turned on by default, and you can turn it off at any time. If the setting is off, you’ll still have access to all of your photos and videos and will be able to enjoy the benefits of features across Photos, but you won’t experience additional personalization based on your activity.

To turn this setting on or off:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the top, tap your Profile picture or Initial.
  3. Tap Photos settings and then Privacy and then Activity data in Google Photos.
  4. Turn Activity-based personalization on or off.

Tip: If you turn off Activity-based personalization, your activity data that was used to further personalize your experience is deleted. This action doesn’t delete any content like photos or videos or affect your access to existing Google Photos features like memories and creations.

Allow your device's default gallery to integrate with Google Photos

You can allow Google Photos to grant access to your device’s default gallery. Learn more about device default gallery access.

About device default gallery access

When you allow Google Photos to grant access to your device’s default gallery:

  • You give Photos permission to share account information, like email address and Photos auto-backup status, with the gallery app.
  • You can access all photos backed up to Google Photos in your device’s default gallery app.

To use this feature, you must have:

  • Device that supports default gallery access. Supported manufacturers:
    • Xiaomi
    • Oppo, OnePlus, or Realme
  • Latest version of Google Photos app.
  • Android 11 or up.

When you open Photos or your device’s default gallery app, you may get a pop-up request for gallery access.

  1. To manage your device default gallery app’s access to user data in Google Photos, tap Don’t allow or Allow.
  2. To manage access after, you can check Photos settings or your device default gallery app settings.
Turn device default gallery access off

To turn off device default gallery access:

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the top right, tap your Profile picture or Initial.
  4. Tap Google Photos settings Settings and then Apps and devices and then Google Photos access.
  5. Tap the device’s default gallery app name.
  6. Select Remove access.
Turn device default gallery access on

Important: To allow your device’s default gallery app access to user data in Google Photos again, you must use the device’s default gallery app. Your device’s default gallery app may refer to Google Photos access as “cloud-sync” or “cloud-backup.”

If you clear your Photos app data, uninstall Photos, reset your device, or get a new device, you must allow gallery access again. To turn on device default gallery access:

  1. On your Android device, open the device’s default gallery app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. To grant permission for Google Photos to share data with the device default gallery app, follow the on-screen instructions.

Learn about new features in Google Photos

Important: New features are launched on the latest version of the Google Photos app. You can find information about the most recent app version in Google Photos Help Center.

New features are rolled out gradually. If you can’t find a new feature, check back over the coming weeks. If you still don’t find a feature, it may not be available in your country or region at this time.

If you believe a feature is available in your country or region but still can’t find it, try the following:

  1. Upgrade to the latest version of the Google Photos app.
  2. Check Android version requirements.
  3. Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi and have available device storage.
  4. If you can’t find a new editing tool, you may need to download it first.
  5. Close and reopen the app.

Tip: If you still can’t find a new feature or want to let us know what you think about Photos features, you can send us feedback. Unfortunately, we're not able to provide individual responses to feedback. If you have a more serious issue or need to report abuse, learn how to block & report in Google Photos.

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