Upcoming changes to Google Photos & Google Drive

What’s happening?

Starting July 10, 2019, Google Photos and Google Drive will no longer automatically sync. These changes will let you easily choose where photos and videos are stored across products.

  • When you upload or delete photos in Google Drive or Google Photos, changes  won’t reflect in the other service.
  • On photos.google.com, you will be able to copy your photos and videos from Google Drive to Google Photos.
  • Items copied between Google Drive and Google Photos in Original Quality will count towards your storage. Learn more.
  • Your existing photos and videos are still in Google Photos and Google Drive.

What do you need to do?

If you sync photos & videos from Google Drive in Google Photos

Check if you sync photos and videos from Google Drive in Google Photos

  1. On your computer, go to photos.google.com/settings.

  2. Check if you turned on Google Drive.

If it’s turned on, you are syncing photos and videos from My Drive in Google Drive to your Google Photos library. Items will remain synced as long as you don’t turn the setting off.

Note: You may also see a notification in Google Photos that tells you if you are syncing photos and videos.

What you need to know

If you have this turned on, Drive and Photos will no longer sync with each other when these changes take effect.

  • After these changes go into effect, any changes you make in Drive will only apply to Drive. Any changes you make in Photos will only apply to Photos.

    • For example, if you upload a photo to Google Drive, it will not upload to Google Photos unless you upload it separately.

  • Any files and folders you have in Drive will remain.

If you use the Google Photos folder in Google Drive

Check if you use the Google Photos folder

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.

  2. In the top right, click Settings Settingsand thenSettings.

  3. Check if you turned on Create a Google Photos folder.

If it’s turned off, we recommend leaving it turned off. There may be inconsistent behavior for new users as we migrate old users.

If it’s turned on, you are syncing your Google Photos library to Google Drive.

What you need to know

  • Any photos and videos you have in Drive will remain.

  • After these changes go into effect, any changes you make in Drive will only apply to Drive. Any changes you make in Photos will only apply to Photos.

    • For example, if you delete or edit a photo or folder in Google Drive, the change will not happen in Google Photos.

If you upload your photos to Google Photos with Backup & Sync

Check if you use Backup & Sync with Photos 

  1. On your computer, open Backup and Sync .

  2. Click More Preferences.

  3. Check if you turned on Upload newly added photos and videos to Google Photos.

What you need to know

  • If you use Backup & Sync to upload photos and videos to Drive and Photos, it will upload a copy to each service, but it will not take up duplicate storage.

  • If you remove a photo or video from your computer it won't be removed from Google Photos.

  • If you remove a photo or video from Google Photos it won't be removed from your computer.

What else do you need to know?

Storage space

Items synced before July 10,  2019 will not take up extra storage space.

After the change:

  • If you use Backup & Sync to upload photos & videos to Drive and Photos, they will not take up duplicate storage space.

    • If you delete one copy, the other will continue to take up storage space.

  • If you manually upload a photo or video from Drive to photos.google.com, it will take up storage space in both places.

  • Deleting photos in one service will not delete them in the other.

Download your photos & videos

To download all your items from Google Photos, you can use the Download your data page.
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