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Deleting photo from a desktop folder synced with Drive Backup and Sync deletes from Google Photos?! 1 Recommended Answer 25 Replies 22 Upvotes
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Last edited 1/20/19
EDIT: I changed the title of the issue as we've gotten closer through troubleshooting. See posts further down for more/better information.

I downloaded several photos from an album in the Google Photos web interface. I unzipped the file and copied the photos somewhere and then deleted that unzipped folder. When I go back to the album on Google Photos, all those pictures are gone.

I originally thought that downloading them means you are taking them out of Google Photos forever. But that seems weird and unreasonable, especially if they don't tell us.

My only theory is that I unzipped the download to a folder I have backed-up on Google Drive (NOT my photos folder on Google Drive), which then saw that I deleted the files and deleted them from everywhere on Google. 

Seems pretty weird. Actually it seems awful. If I download some of my photos to use them and then delete the files when I'm done, they should still remain on Google Photos forever.

Does anyone know what's happening here? I can't have been the only person this happens to. And it has happened more than once (and I worry about how many times it has happened and I have no idea until months later when I can't find a photo I could swear I had taken).
All Replies (25)
Sorry to hear Andrew, but what you are telling is completely abnormal. 

Downloading does not mean Take-out but copying from the web to your computer and that copy is independant from the web, so it maybe deleted without deleting anything on the web. 

That copy is packed in a zip-folder because that is the only format available when downloading more then one file only. And that the zip can be deleted after unpacking into a normal folder also is normal and should not damage anything on the web. 

So I only can imagine that you are deleting files that still were synced to the web in some way you did not tell us. Maybe you have Backup & Sync installed and not set to "Don't delete everywhere?
Last edited 1/18/19
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Hi there I tried downloading my pictures from my old device and And ended up getting few of them basically all my personal ones didn't download could you help with that
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Let's run a controlled test and see what happens:

1. I go to an album in the Google Photos web interface, select two photos, and download them to my desktop.
2. The Photos.zip file is on my desktop. I reopen Google Photos and the photos are still in the album.
3. I unzip the Photos.zip file to my desktop and wait until they synchronize. (I have my desktop backed-up through Google Backup and Sync.)
4. I then delete the photos from my desktop and let that propagate with Google Backup and Sync.
5. I go back to the album on Google Photos and those two photos are gone.

We know that Google Photos and Google Drive can be tied together. I do not have that link enabled right now. But Google still seems to delete a photo EVERYWHERE, including Google Photos, even if I just delete the file off my synced desktop because I don't need it right there anymore.
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Thanks for feedback, but were the chosen pictures from phone or from desktop? 

And what is your idea behind having them synced back to Drive and Photos?
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