How to Use Google Photos

Use Google Photos, it's free, it provides unlimited amount of storage for all your photos and you'll feel great knowing that you'll never again lose your digital photos.

Imagine This:

You sit down at your desk to get the photos that your web designer needs, and when you turn on your computer, nothing happens! Your hard drive has crashed, and you’ve lost everything that was on it, including your business photos.

It’s happened to many of us, but the good news is, if you do a couple of things now, you’ll sleep well knowing that you’ll always have a backup in place to protect your photos.

Google Photos is a Great Tool

  • Google Photos is free to anyone that has a gmail account. 
  • You can store an unlimited number of photos.
  • However, they do slightly compress your photos to make the file size smaller.  You probably won’t notice the difference, and the compression still allows for printing a photo up to 8×10 size.  
  • You can also backup videos. They will be compressed to 1080p. 
  • You can edit and share your photos with ease.
  • There are so many other features of Google Photos!

Backing up the Photos on Your Phone

  • This works for Android Phones and iPhones. 
  • Start by downloading the Google Photos app from your app store to your mobile phone.
  • Setup Google Photos for automatic backup. That way, you never have to remember to backup your photos.
  • Log in to your Google Account. (you may have more than one Google Account, so just pick the one you want to use.)
  • Settings, Backup and Sync, when you take a photo (or video) on your phone, Goggle Photos will automatically upload it. 
  • Should you allow Google Photos to use cellular data for backups?  I do, because what if your phone gets lost or damaged before you reconnect with your wifi at home?
  • The first time you set it up, it will take a while – maybe a few days for all your photos to be copied to the Google Photos Cloud.
  • Open the Google Photos app on your phone occasionally to make sure they are syncing. 

Backing up the Photos on your Computer

If you prefer to use your digital camera, transfer your photos to your computer.

  • In your browser, open:  Make sure you’re logged in to the correct google account (or gmail account) if you have more than one (upper right)
  • Open your photos on your computer, select the ones you want, and drag and drop them anywhere in the Google Photos window.
  • If you want automatic backups, click on “upload”, then “download and sync” 
  • Tell Google which files to backup.  Photos, for sure, but go ahead and backup your documents folder as well! Set it and forget it.

Sharing your photos

One of the first things a new client asks me, is how should they get their photos to me?

  • In Google Photos:
  • Click on Albums, Create Album.
  • Drag the photos (those needed for your website) into the new album.
  • This copies the photos, but does not move them.
  • Share the folder and input my email address or email the link to me.


  • Click on each photo, rename it.  Use the project name.
  • Edit it.  “Auto Correct”, or manual corrections (light or color).
  • Straighten it.
  • Crop it, only if necessary, using the same aspect ratio every time. Usually 16:9.
  • Google will automatically keep the original, in case you want to remove the edits.


This is a quick guide to getting started with Google Photos.  However, Google Photos should not be your only backup for your photos.  A good practice is to have your photos stored in multiple places.  

  1. Mobile Phone
  2. Computer
  3. External Hard Drive (Seagate Portable 2GB is a good one!) connected to your computer with automatic or manual backups
  4. Google Photos
  5. A second cloud location: Drop Box, Shutterfly, etc.

Bonus 2

But what about Google Drive? Read this article posted by Zapier:  Google Drive vs Google Photos: What’s the Difference

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