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Syncing Google Photos to desktop and sorting into folders - without altering anything in the cloud 1 Recommended Answer 12 Replies 42 Upvotes
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Last edited 8/8/18
I have this workflow that I'm trying to sort out, which is creating a combined catalogue for both mobile and camera shots.

I'm having the hardest time figuring out how to get my mobile photos synced to my local drive.  I want to keep my google photos intact and don't want to upload my camera phones to google photos.  I just want to view combined assets in lightroom or whatever, essentially just combined into a local folder - keeping google photos for all the goodness it has, untouched.  The purely copying portion is easy if I weren't sorting the photos outside of the folder it copies too.  I just don't want to keep downloading copies that have already been sorted...

I've drawn a workflow, for which to me makes sense, but perhaps I'm doing everything wrong.  I hope this makes sense.

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The Google Photos library is organised by dates only and even assuming that you have deleted the "useless ones", it still will stay an ever growing monster and there is no "show in drive option". But there is an option in Drive to create a Google Photos folder and that automatically will get filled by Google gradually and splitted-up in year and month subfolders (or year-folders only, that is not clear to me). On Google Photos nothing is changed. 

And that GP-folder can be downsynced to your computer by the second half of the Google Backup & Sync app (the first half is for uploading your normal camera pictures, but you don't need to activate that part. 
So there you are, but i am totally unsure if the Google Photos folder will get filled from starting date of your mobile pictures on Google Photos or just from the date that you activate that option - but you can try - it will do no harm because the GP-pictures shown on Drive will take no additional storage. 

Good luck / Rinus
Last edited 8/8/18
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Hi Rinus,

Thanks for the quick reply.  So I tried downloading - I didn't know there were 2 parts to the app.
There are 2 problems I faced trying this method:

1 - The moment I take the file away from the folder, the photos disappear from google photos.  I'd like to keep google photos intact and unaltered.  I just want a local copy to file away into respective folders.
2 - I can mitigate this problem by copying, but then I'd have 2 of the same files on my computer and is not economical.  Plus I'm not quite sure how I can manage a script to copy, file, keep looking for new files only and ignore previously copied over files.
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Good to hear. 
Perhaps Backup & Sync also can syncdown from Drive to your Synology-app directly, but normally I would integrate the phone-pictures with the camera-pictures to create nice (year)folders which are valuable to backup on Synology. 
The whole world is backing-up garbage, so it is wise to do it better because you have prof-software for doing that. 

You only need the second option in the Backup & Sync preferences like shown below (Dutch text, sorry): 

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Did not see your second reply. 
You only should sync down using the Backup & Sync app - no manual operations. Then nothing will change in the Google Photos Folder and not on Google Photos itself either.
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