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Tech

Google changes the way Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Come 10th of July 2019, Google is rolling out some changes in how Google Drive and Google Photos work together, basically separating the two services. See what is going to be different, how to cope with these changes and how will they affect Koofr in our blog post.

What can you expect and what will actually be different once the changes come into effect?

First things first:

1. Google Photos folder in Google Drive

You can set this up in Google Drive settings.

Currently, you have a Google Photos folder in your Google Drive account. That is if you turned this feature on. You can check if you have this folder here. Click on Settings in the top right corner and see if you turned on “Create a Google Photos folder”.

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If it is turned on, you are syncing your Google Photos library to Google Drive. If it is turned off, Google recommends you leave it turned off due to the upcoming changes.

So, what does syncing mean and what will change come July?

2. Automatic sync between Google Drive and Google Photos

You set this up in settings of Google Photos.

Currently, you can turn on automatic sync between Google Drive and Google Photos. You can check if you did this here under Google Drive tab. What does this mean? If sync is turned on and you add or delete files in Photos, they are automatically added or deleted in Drive. If you add a photo to Google Drive, it will be added to Photos (if you do not add it to the Google Photos folder in which case it will not be added to Photos!).

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But, from July on new photos and videos from Drive will not automatically show in Photos. Also, new photos and videos from Photos will not be added to the Google Photos folder in Drive.

From that moment on, photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos and items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. Basically, Google Drive and Google Photos will not be “connected” anymore and any changes you make in Drive will only apply to Drive. Any changes you make in Photos will only apply to Photos, meaning that if you upload a photo to Google Drive, it will not upload to Google Photos unless you upload it separately.

3. A new “Upload from Drive” feature in Google Photos

Google is bringing a new feature called “Upload from Drive”, which will let you manually choose photos and videos from Drive, including “Shared with Me” items and import them into Google Photos. You will also be able to copy your photos and videos from Google Drive to Google Photos – essentially creating duplicates. Items copied between Google Drive and Google Photos in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos. Once you import them, these items are not connected between Google Drive and Google Photos and deleting photos in one service will not delete them in the other, possibly creating a bit of a mess for your storage space usage. So, there will probably be an option to choose between upload from Drive in Original Quality and upload from Drive in High Quality.

4. What happens to existing photos and videos in Google Drive and Google Photos?

The photos and videos that are already in Google Photos or Google Drive will safely stay there. Nothing will be automatically deleted from anywhere. If you have a Google Photos folder in Drive it will remain there but it will no longer update automatically.

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5. Backup and Sync for Windows and Mac

You will still be able to use Backup and Sync on Windows and Mac to upload your items in High or Original Quality to either Drive or to Photos. Items uploaded in High Quality will not count against your storage quota, and items uploaded in Original Quality to both services – Google Drive and Photos, will be uploaded to both services but they will not take up duplicate storage. But, if you delete one copy, the other will continue to take up storage space until you delete it. If you remove a photo or video from your computer it won't be removed from Google Photos. If you remove a photo or video from Google Photos it won't be removed from your computer. At this moment it is not explicitly stated what is going to happen to downloading photos and videos to your computer.

6. Mobile Google Photos app

The Google Photos app for Android and iPhone will still automatically upload photos, but only to Google Photos. You will no longer be able to automatically upload photos/videos and have them placed in Google Drive—at least not with Google’s own applications.

7. Downloading all your photos from Google Photos

If you want to download all your items from Google Photos (or any other Google service), you can use the Download your data page.

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What will you lose when these changes come into effect? An automated option to sync photos/videos from a mobile device to Google Drive and from there to a desktop computer for one.

How will these changes affect your Google Drive experience in Koofr?

Until now you were able to see your Google Photos in Koofr through the Google Photos folder in Drive. You will still be able to see this folder, but it will no longer be automatically updated. So effectively when this automatic update is gone, you will not be able to see the updated version of your photos in Koofr anymore. The updated version of your photos will now only be stored in Google Photos. You will only be able to see the updated content of your Google Drive in your Koofr account.

What you can do to bypass this? Go into your Koofr mobile app and turn on the Backup photos and videos option in Auto camera upload in your Koofr mobile app Settings. This will automatically upload photos and videos from your phone's Gallery to Koofr effectively creating a back up of your Gallery in Koofr.

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