Recent changes to Google Photos & Google Drive

What’s happening?

Starting July 10, 2019, Google Photos and Google Drive will no longer automatically sync. We’re making this change to simplify how things work between the two services. You can read more about the changes in our blog post

  • When you upload or delete photos in Google Drive or Google Photos, changes  won’t reflect in the other product.
  • On photos.google.com, you can use a new feature called “Upload from Drive”, which lets you manually choose photos and videos from Drive to copy into Photos. This feature may not be available for everyone until the end of July 2019. 
  • Once items are copied into Photos, items are not connected between the two products.
  • If you copy Original quality items from Drive into Photos, they will count towards your storage in both products. Learn more.
  • These changes are for all devices and platforms, like iOS and Android. 
  • Your existing photos and videos are still in Google Photos and Google Drive. Google Photos backup will continue to work as before. 

Not sure what settings you have?

Confirm 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 see the “Google Drive” section.

    • If you don’t see this, you didn’t sync photos and videos from Google Drive to Google Photos. 

    • If you do see this, you used to sync photos and videos from Google Drive to Google Photos. 

What you need to know

Starting July 10, 2019, Drive and Photos will no longer sync with each other.

  • 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.

Confirm if you used 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. Check if you have a “Google Photos’ folder in My Drive.

If you have a “Google Photos” folder with subfolders for years and months, you used to sync 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 starting July 10, 2019, 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.

Confirm 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, in Original Quality, 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. 

Related resources

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