Find missing photos & videos

When you turn on Back up and Sync, your photos will be stored in

Learn other ways to find your photos.

Step 1: Check your account

Some photos can look like they disappeared because you’re in a different account.

  1. On your computer, open
  2. Sign in to your Google Account. 
  3. At the top right, click the profile picture.
  4. Check that you’re signed in to the account that you backed up photos to.

Step 2: Search for photos that disappeared after some time

If you suddenly lose your photos, they might have a different date. If a photo is added from a device with different date and time settings, the timestamp may be wrong. Learn how to change timestamps on photos.

  1. On your computer, open Check your recent photos.
  2. If it’s not there, search for the photo using the right dates or keywords. At the top, type what you want to find, like “dogs”, “New York City”, or if you’ve labeled your photos, someone’s name .
  3. If your search came up empty, try other keywords or search again in 3—5 days. It can take time for photos to be searchable.

Try other ways to find your photos

If your photos and videos are still missing from the Google Photos app, each situation below is listed in the order of how likely it may be the cause.

Check if back up is on

Add photos & videos from Google Drive to Google Photos

On your computer, go to 

  1. At the top right, click Upload photos upload and then Google Drive. 
  2. Find and select your photos. 
  3. Click Upload.

Learn more.

Upload items to Google Photos from your browser

  1. On your computer, open
  2. At the top right, click Upload photos upload and then Computer.
  3. Find and select your photos.
  4. Click Open.

You can also drag photos from your computer to the album to upload them to Google Photos. If you drag a photo to a specific album, the photo will upload to that album.

Learn more.

You can also download and install Backup and sync.

Back up from your phone

  1. On your device, make sure you’re signed in the right account.
  2. At the top, you’ll see your backup status.

If backup is on

  • It might still be backing up. If you see “Waiting to back up” or a number on your phone, some photos haven’t been backed up yet.
  • It might have been skipped. Make sure the file sizes of your photos or videos can be backed up. Learn more about file sizes.

If backup is off

If you deleted a photo from your device, Google Photos might not have backed it up yet. If so, you might not be able to recover it.

Make sure your photos and videos have been backed up before deleting a photo from your device. Learn how to turn on back up.

Find photos from other apps, like Facebook or Instagram

It might be in your device folders. You can only see your device folders on your phone.

  1. On your device, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the bottom, tap Library and then Albums.
  3. Under "Photos on device", check your device folders.
If you back up device folders, you’ll see photos from other apps on Learn how to back up your device folders.

Check if photo was deleted

  • It might still be in trash. You may still be able to get it back. Learn how to restore a deleted photo.
  • It might have been permanently deleted. If the photo has been in trash for more than 60 days, the photo might be gone.
  • It may have been deleted from another app. If you use another photo gallery, and deleted photos there, it may have been deleted before Google Photos was able to back it up.

Find an archived photo

If you’re looking for a screenshot or a photo you don’t usually look at, you might have moved it to your archive. Learn about your archive.

  1. On your computer, open
  2. On the left, tap Archive.
Search for a photo or video

Check that you’re using the right dates or keywords to search for a lost photo or video. Sometimes, when a photo is scanned or downloaded from a device with the wrong date and time settings, the timestamp may be different. Learn how to change timestamps on photos

To find a recently added photo or video: 

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. Browse your recently added items to find your missing photo or video. 

Important: If your Google Photos account is inactive for 2 years or you're over your storage limit, your content may be impacted. Learn more about this.

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