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Guide: Removing Photos from Google Drive but Not from Google Photos: Guide
Google Drive and Photos are two similar but different products for storing photos and videos. Google offers a native option to sync files in both, while you can also add images and videos. It looks useful, but is a bit complicated.
Once you’ve connected Drive and Photos, it’s not easy to delete synced images from both. If you delete a synced image from one platform, Google will erase it from both.
Yes, you read that right. So in this post we will take up the scenario where you can only delete photos and videos from Google Drive without deleting the same files from Google Photos.
Case 1: Photos uploaded from the Google Drive app
If you upload photos and videos to the Drive app, Google will count them towards your total Google Drive storage. Unless you sync them with Google Photos by turning on the ‘Sync photos and videos from Google Drive’ setting in the app, the images and videos will not be displayed up There.
When you do that, it becomes difficult to delete those synced photos. As noted earlier, deleting an image from one platform will delete it from the other platform as well.
If you just want to delete photos from Drive without removing them from Google Photos, you need to add those photos to a Google Photo Album (steps below). Once you do that, Google will consider those images as part of Photos. You can then safely delete it from Google Drive without worrying about their presence in Google Photos.back to menu ↑
Add photos to albums
Follow these steps to add a photo to the Google Photos album:
Step 1: Launch the Photos app and under the Photos tab, open the synced photo from Google Drive.
Step 2: Tap the three dots icon in the top right corner and select Add to album from the menu.
Step 3: Create a new album by tapping New album or add it to an existing album.
Step 4: Open the newly created album from the Albums tab.
Or tap New album under Albums and add multiple photos.
To recap, here’s what’s happening:
- Delete Photos from Drive: Deletes from everywhere.
- Remove from Google Photos – Removed everywhere.
- Add photos to Google Photo Album and remove them from Drive – Will only be removed from Google Drive.
- Add photos to Google Photo Album and remove them from Photos – Deleted everywhere.
Case 2: Photos uploaded from the Google Photos app
When adding photos and videos to Google Photos using the Back button up & sync enabled, they won’t show up in Google Drive. But if you’re an avid Google Drive user who wants to see files from Photos in Drive, a feature called Auto Add exists for that. Enabling this will create a new folder known as Google Photos in Google Drive.
If you’ve unknowingly turned on the Auto Add setting, all images from Google Photos will be visible in Drive. It’s not just photos from the Google Photos tool, but every photo from Google products like Blogger, Google Maps, Google+, etc. associated with your account will be listed there.
When you turn off the setting, all the photos before that point will continue to appear in Google Drive, but the new photos taken after you turned off the setting will not be visible.
If you’ve unknowingly turned on the Auto Add setting, all images from Google Photos will be visible in Drive.
But what about the existing Google Photos files now in Drive? How do you delete them while keeping Google Photos? Are you removing it directly from the Google Photos folder on Drive? No. Doing so will also remove them from Google Photos. If you move photos to another folder on Google Drive and then delete them, you will get the same result: Google will delete them from both platforms.
Turning it off feature doesn’t help either. If you delete photos from Drive after turning it off, they will still be deleted from Google Photos as reported by Google.
So what’s the fix? Basically, you have to delete the Google Photos folder in Google Drive. As mentioned on the Google support page, deleting the entire Google Photos folder on Drive does not delete the contents from Photos.
Here are the steps for the same.back to menu ↑
1. Turn off the Auto Add setting
On Android devices, open the Google Drive settings and turn off Auto-add.
On iOS devices, open the Drive app, go to the three-bar menu, tap the gear-shaped settings icons and tap Photos. Then turn off the Google Photos option.back to menu ↑
2. Delete the Google Photos folder
Once disabled, force quit the Google Photos and Drive apps. Then open the Drive app and tap the three-dot icon next to the Google Photos folder. Select Delete from the menu. The folder will be immediately deleted from the Drive without affecting anything in Google Photos.
For me, the horrible folder has been deleted from Drive keeping my images in Google Photos. Unfortunately, deleting the album resulted in the deletion of images from Google Photos for some users. If that happens to you, restore the folder from the trash in Google Drive.back to menu ↑
Be careful what you sync!
Honestly, I would suggest keeping Google Drive and Photos files separate. Because adding images to photos in high quality creates an unlimited backupup offers with the ability to access them on different platforms, you won’t miss a thing if you use them individually. You can use the album feature of photos to organize your snaps. Use Drive for other types of files, such as ZIP, PDF, audio files, and so on, that are not supported in Photos.
What do you think about linking Drive and Photos? Let us know in the comments below.
The next up: Looking for alternatives to Google Photos for saving images? Check out how OneDrive differs from Google Photos.back to menu ↑
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