Google will disconnect Photos and Drive. Here's how to keep your photos synced – CNET


Angela Lang/CNET

On July 10, Google will delink Google Photos from Google Drive, and the two Google storage services will stop automatically keeping each other’s photos in sync. That’s bad news if you’re used to finding all your photos in Google Photos and in Google Drive automatically synced in both services, because photos you’ve uploaded to one location will not reliably show up in the other place after July 10. The same goes for changes you make to a photo in one service.

Google says it’s making the change because some people found the relationship confusing. But if you like having your photos synced, we’ve found a workaround that can help you keep Google Drive and Google Photos in lockstep. And more help is on the way: Google will also release a tool in July to give you a hand if you want to keep the two apps in sync.

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Google’s Backup and Sync app

Google’s Backup and Sync app for Windows or Mac will back up photos from your computer, camera or SD card to Google Drive and Photos, and the app will upload a copy to both Google services for you. Here’s how you set it up.

1. If you haven’t already, download Backup and Sync to your PC or Mac.

2. Follow the instructions to install it, and then sign in.

3. If it asks, grant the app permission to access your photos.

4. The app will install a folder on your computer called Google Drive, and you can drag photos and documents onto the folder to sync its contents with Google Drive on Google’s servers.

5. To sync other folders on your computer with Drive, open Backup and Sync preferences and select the folders you’d like to sync, such as Documents or Pictures.


You can set other folders to sync with your Google Drive.


How to sync photos from Google Drive to Google Photos

Another option is to move photos and videos from Drive over to Photos. Google says it will release a tool called Share with Me to transfer your photos in July. 

Google’s new tool won’t sync these duplicate files, however, so changes you make in one spot won’t ripple through to the other spot. 

And note: If you save your photos using the Original full-resolution setting, those duplicate files will count twice toward your Drive storage cap, instead of once, like it does now.


You can choose between storing your photos at their original size or in high quality, which compresses images using a high-quality setting.


How to sync your photos with the Google Photos app to Google Drive

You can also check that your Google Photos app is syncing with your Google Photos library on Google’s servers.

1. In the Google Photos app, tap the hamburger menu and then tap Settings.

2. Tap Back up & Sync and then check you’ve toggled on Back up & sync and you’re backing up to the correct account.

3. While you are here, in Device Folders, you can set other folders on your phone to sync with your Google Photos library.


In the Google Photos app, you can sync images from other folders.


Published June 14, 2019. Update, June 18 at 6 a.m. PT: Edited for clarity.