Original Poster

Is mass and organized importing of photos possible? If not, will it be?

Hi, I have a question/feature request and I can also submit this somewhere else if that is more helpful, just let me know.

I wanted to know if there is or if there will ever be a proper folder/album structure import functionality that would, for example, import all the photos I have that were organized already into albums, from doing a Google Takeout of my Google Photos account as one example, and have them automatically go directly back into their proper albums that they were imported in, without me needing to manually get involved after import?

Right now my experience with this has been that once I set my desktop uploader to a certain folder with photos in it, it will manually ask me once it is done with the importing to create a new album for it of that folder or ask if I want this batch of photos added to an already created album. So if I want my albums to stay organized as I have set them up before importing to Google Photos, I am required to do one album at a time or else other photos will be added to that album as well. This denies the ability to have mass and organized importing.

This feels extremely help and a necessity for Google Photos, if it is not already possible.

Thank You!
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Krissy - Community Specialist
Krissy - Community Specialist
Hi there,

Thanks for posting to the Google Photos Help Forum. Currently, Google Photos won't recognize any previous organizational structure (unless you're migrating photos over from Picasa). So any folder/album structure will be lost when your photos are uploaded to Google Photos. Everything will be uploaded directly to your main Google Photos library and you will have to manually organize your photos from there.

If you'd like to have this ability in future versions of Google Photos. I suggest leaving a feature request directly for the development team by following these steps:
  1. Open the Google Photos app on a mobile device or go to photos.google.com using a computer .

  2. At the top left, touch or click the menu icon > Help & Feedback.

  3. Touch or click Feedback.

I would like to elaborate Krissy's remark: "unless you're migrating photos over from Picasa".
In my opinion Picasa is the best tool to upload an organised collection from a computer, because it allows "Batch upload" of folders directly to albums.
  1. If you do not have Picasa 3 installed, download it from https://picasa.google.com/ and install (see remark in red below).
    While installing it will ask whether to scan the whole computer or just Pictures etc. DO NOT select whole computer.
    Picasa starts making an inventory of all pictures in these folders. That may take some time.
    You can select which folders need to be scanned in Tools > Folder manager (set them to "Scan always" or "Remove from Picasa").

  2. When Picasa finished scanning for photos, you can upload multiple folders or albums via Tools > Batch upload.  An album will be created in Picasaweb and Google Photos for each folder or album, with the same name.
    • You can upload for free till 2048 pixels 
    • Picasa has not been updated for the new free "High Quality" (16MP) but you can upload in "Original size" and later (when storage gets full) RECOVER STORAGE in https://photos.google.com/settings


  1. Google Photos (like Picasaweb) does not support nested albums. You better give folders/albums unique and searchable names like 2015 Christmas.
  2. Uploading a single folder or album can also be done via the green button "Upload to Google Photos". The result is the same, but "Batch upload" gives more information about available storage.
  3. You can also upload photos from folders or albums by drag & drop from Picasa library to https://photos.google.com/ but then you need to
    • "Save" edits done in Picasa first. See here.
    • Add the uploaded photos to a new or existing album after the upload.
  4. Picasaweb supports max. 1000 photos/album. I have no idea what happens if you have more.
  5. See also https://sites.google.com/site/picasaresources/Home/Picasa-FAQ/google-photos-1/how-to/how-to-upload-photos

    Google decided not to support Picasa anymore, which is really sad, because there is no good alternative. However, Google said that Picasa should continue to work as it does today, including upload and Sync to web. You can still download it from http://filehippo.com/download_picasa

Krissy - Community Specialist
Krissy - Community Specialist
Hi janvb,

This is awesome information for our users! I really appreciate you taking the time to post this workaround, as I think it will help many Google Photos users out there who are facing the issue of uploading photos and maintaining their organizational structures.

Kent Karlsson
Kent Karlsson
Thanks janvb for the confirmation that I'm using the correct tool, Picasa. 

With 80,000+ photos and many hours organizing by year, month/event, and identifying people using face recognition, I'm looking for the best workflow to organize and back up photos to Google for sharing with family. You seem experienced in this matter so let me ask you this... 

There seems to be a large number of my photos, uploaded to Google+ in the past, that are out of order (sorted by upload date) in Google Photos. The "Photo Taken" field was not retained in Google+ from what I can tell. This didn't bother me when sharing on Google+ because I hand picked photos for each post, but sharing photos from the past now using Google Photos would entail scanning through everything as the sort order is way off. I see there's a place to re-file photos by changing the date for each photo but there are just too many of them. Short of deleting everything and re-uploading, this time from Picasa, can you think of anything else to try? 

Any thoughts on transferring face recognition data from Picasa into Google Photos as there seems to be a huge disconnect between the two tools? Again, I've spent hours and hours "training" Picasa so I would rather not start over in Google Photos. They're both Google products so I don't understand why one doesn't talk to the other. My issues other than the fact Google Photos didn't find all the faces I have tagged in Picasa is that it seems you have to go by what Google Photos provides as a complete set of photos for each person, while in fact there are more. Also, what's with the inability to tag people while viewing a photo? You can remove photos from a person but you can't add missed photos. 

Organizing photos by date taken seems like the obvious solution but unfortunately my collection was messed up at some point. 

I would very much appreciate any hints or tricks you may have to share. 

Thanks for the appreciation. Picasa is still the best tool for uploading an already organised collection. I must say that I was highly surprised to learn that Google does not see Picasa as part of their system anymore for the future. It's nowhere mentioned in the help as another uploader. It's no longer updated. I also wondered why no one mentioned it here as a work-around for features that Google Photos misses.

@Kent Karlsson
Glad to be of any help. But my "expertise" is limited to using Google Photos as a "Desktop user". About your questions:

"There seems to be a large number of my photos, that are out of order (sorted by upload date) in Google Photos."
There are several threads about this issue:  https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/photos/rfyB8B2pLYY/2cpHPoTIEwAJ
Honestly, I never view photos in the library https://photos.google.com/ , only in albums. I rename all my photos after reordering in Picasa, ans sort by name in Picasa if needed. Sorting in Picasa is also reflected in Google Photos albums.

"Any thoughts on transferring face recognition data from Picasa into Google Photos"
No. I use face recognition on Picasa only. Never transferred it to Picasaweb. It seems that this is no longer possible in Google Photos anyway. I recommend to search on this forum, and start a new thread if needed.

They're both Google products so I don't understand why one doesn't talk to the other."
See also my comment to Krissy. Obviously a new team started GP from scrap. They did not take Picasa into account at all, did not update Picasa for the new 16MP free format, did not mention it in https://photos.google.com/apps and in the help as alternative uploader, and Google Helpers never mentioned it on this forum. I even feared that they were told not to mention Picasa ... but I doubt. It may be just ignored.

reno domenico
reno domenico
Google should just leave picasa alone - and reintroduce the new product exactly as product works right now.
janvb - thanks for the info about picassa batch upload. i just checked it out. will save me a ton of time;)   !!!
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