Wednesday, June 19, 2019

What's happening with Google drive and Google Photos?

Google has announced that they're changing how Google Photos and Google Drive are working together, When Google makes this change - planned for July 10 - there will no longer be a direct relationship - see the diagram at right. One thing to understand is that you may have never had the relationship to begin with because it depended on your turning on a setting.

The settings that are being removed

If you never turned on these settings, then nothing is changing for you. You can check them now:
  1. In Google Photos, 3-line menu, Settings, Google Drive: Sync photos & videos from Google Drive
    is yours on? or off?
  2. In Google Drive, it's the gear icon in the upper right then Settings, Create a Google Photos folder.
    Is yours on? or off?
If you do have them on, then here's what will happen when Google removes them:
  1. The Google Photos folder in my drive will stop getting new photos from Google Photos. What's already in that folder will remain.
  2. New photos added to Google Drive will no longer show up in Google Photos. Any photos already in Google Photos will remain.

The implications of this change

If you depended on the Google Photos folder in Drive to sync your phone's photos down to your computer, you need to find an alternate way to do this. I recommend another cloud storage service such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Amazon Photos.
Before the breakup, it was possible to take pictures on a phone and have them synced to a computer.


If you depended on photos being in Drive so that 3d party programs could access them, they won't be there automatically. You will need to download photos from Google Photos to your computer, then you can upload them to Drive if needed. If you manually upload them to drive, they will take up your Google Drive storage allotment. If you lete Backup and Sync to the uploading, you can select the High Quality setting to access the unlimited storage feature.
If you regularly save images to Google Drive, you will be able to copy any of them to Google Photos with a new manual import tool. 

One more side effect from the breakup is that YouTube will lose its "Import your videos from Google Photos" feature, this is the only thing I will personally miss.

Other Articles

This is a hot topic right now and a lot of articles have been written about it. Many of them have wrong or misleading information in them and serve to prove the point that the relationship between Google Photos and Google Drive has been very confusing. One article besides the official announcement that I can recommend for further detail is PeggyK's article. She is a highly respected Product Expert for several Google products Her article includes what will happen on July 10 and how it will affect your Google Storage quota.

Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983. She is now a Product Expert for the Google Photos Forum, owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog, and author of Mrs. Geek's Guide to Google Photos
She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.