Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Use Google Photo To Manage Your Digital Pictures 

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Google Photos is free and has no storage limits. It automatically backs up all your smartphone images with the free Photos app, and with Backup and Sync, will do the same on your computer as well.

When you’re ready to share, Google gives you a link to download, and you just pass it on via an e-mail. Videos, as you know, are big files, and can either clog up an e-mail box or be so big the e-mail provider will reject it altogether.

In the background, Google also does fun stuff with your photos, turning them into animations, making collages, panoramic stitches and the like.

The most significant issue we face when we snap hundreds and hundreds of photos is finding them. Google does a pretty great job on smartphone snapped images, since they contain information about where you shot them and include dates. Finding pictures snapped with the camera aren’t as easy. So make sure to either title your photos with tag, like New Mexico, 2015, or create albums on Google Photos to bring similarly themed images together.

Backup – Computer, Android & IOS phones and tablets.
Free up storage on your Android device by deleting photos and videos on it that are already backed up

Organize – Manage your photos in one place and find pictures you forgot you had. Search for People, Places, and Things.

Edit – Rotate, crop, adjust color and more.

Create – Turn photos into albums, movies, stories, collages, animations, panorama, stylized images, and Rediscover This Day albums.

Share – You can share photos, videos, albums, movies, and stories with anyone, even if they don't use the Google Photos app.


Get started with Google Photos on phone or tablet

Download the app, then take a photo

If you haven't already, download the Google Photos app on your phone or tablet:

iOS iPhone or iPad Google Photos app

Android phone or tablet Google Photos app

After installing the app, take a photo using the mobile device and camera app you usually use. Try taking a picture of yourself or the setting around you.

Back up photos from your computer

Back up photos and videos from your Windows or Mac computer and anytime you connect a phone, camera, or storage card using Google Backup and Sync, it will auto upload photos from your Mac or Windows computer, camera, or storage cards.

Setting it up

When you set up Google Photos Backup on your computer, you can choose to upload photos and videos from a phone, camera, or storage card. After prompting you the first time, every time you connect that phone, camera, or storage card to your computer, the photos, and videos on it will back up automatically (if you set it to do so). 

Google Photo Desktop Settings instructions

Back up photos & videos from a mobile device

Save your device's photos and videos to your Google Photos library. Items saved can include pictures you take with your device's camera and photos downloaded to your phone.

Your device's photos and videos will save to your Google Photos library, including ones you capture in the future.

Privately stored: Photos and videos backed up from your device are private unless you decide to share them.

Syncing: Changes you make to photos and videos, like deleting or editing, will be reflected across all of your synced devices.

Turn back up & sync on or off

Android app

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device. 
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon.
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. At the top, switch it on or off.

Things to keep in mind about this setting: Optional: Check what's backed up! At the top left of the Google Photos app, touch the menu icon. Select Photos. Photos and videos that are not backed up will have the "circle arrow icon."

iOS iPhone and iPad app

  1. Open the Google Photos app.
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Touch Back up & sync.
  5. Switch on or off.

Turning it on
If you see a message asking to allow the app to access your photos:

  1. Open the iOS settings app > touch Privacy > Photos.
  2. Turn on Google Photos.

Optional: Check what's backed up. At the top left of the Google Photos app, touch the menu icon, Select  Photos. Photos and videos that are not backed up will have the cloud icon with a "\" (slash through it).


Google Photos on Android “free up device storage” option

To free up storage on your Android device by deleting photos and videos on it that are already backed up, do the following:

  1. Open the Google Photos application on your device.
  2. Tap on menu, and select Settings
  3. Tap on "free up device storage."
  4. A prompt will display after some scanning that reveals how much storage space you will recover when you proceed.
  5. Select delete, and then delete again.

This process removes the photos and videos from the device. Note that some may still be cached by the Photos application afterward, but that the majority won't show up anymore in the app.


Search your photos

Find people, things, & places in your photos. Search your photos for anything – a wedding you attended last summer, your best friend, or even New York City.

Find & label people. Search for people in your photos by seeing similar faces grouped. Note that this feature is not available in some countries.

Share photos & videos

You can share photos, videos, albums, movies, and stories with anyone, even if they don't use the Google Photos app

Manage photos & videos

Collections: Albums, stories, & movies.  Go to the Collections section of Google Photos to see a mix of things you created or that Google made for you. 

What are collections?

  • Albums are groups of photos and videos.  
  • Stories are visual timelines of photos and videos. 
  • Movies are video montages of photos and videos.

See your collections

  1. Open the Google Photos app or go to photos.google.com.
  2. At the top left, touch or click the menu icon  > Collections.
  3. Optional: Touch or click the drop-down menu to only see one type of collection.

Edit photos, movies, & stories

Edit photos, add filters, crop photos, and more on your mobile device or computer. Tip: If you have back up & sync turned on, your edits will sync to your Google Photos library.

  1. Adjust, crop, or rotate a photo
  2. Undo edits
  3. Change the date & time stamp. You can change the date or time stamp for a photo or video using a computer.

Settings

Change “Back up & sync” settings. Change how and when your photos and videos get saved to your Google Account.

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device.
  2. At the top left, touch the menu icon.
  3. Select Settings > Back up & sync.
  4. If "Back up & sync" is on, you can change the settings below:

Settings on Android & iOS

  • Choose a Google Account
  • Upload size
  • "Back up photos" or "Photos back up using cellular data."
  • "Back up videos" or "Videos back up using cellular data."

Settings only on Android

  • Choose folders to back up
  • Roaming
  • While charging only
  • Back up all

Photo editor apps for Android


The Latest Google Photo Features



Transfer photos

Google Photos is a great way to have all your pics – past and future – in one place, with unlimited private storage and accessible from any internet connected device. There are always lots more choices on Google Play to find the photo app that works perfectly for you.

  1. On your iPhone, download the Google Photos app from the App Store.
  2. Open Google Photos and sign in using your Google account (i.e., your Gmail address and password).
  3. Select "Back up & sync" for your photos by selecting the menu icon, followed by the gear icon at the top right. Now go to "Camera and Photos," touch "Back up & sync" and switch it on.
  4. Sit back as Google saves all your photos to the cloud.
  5. Open the Photos app on your new Android device to see all of your photos from your iPhone or iPad.

For more help with setting up Back up & sync, see here. If you use iPhoto on your Mac, please note that any new photos taken with your Android phone or tablet won’t automatically upload to iPhoto.

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