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How to secure your Google Photos

After removing the automatic syncing between Google Photos and Google Drive, how do you ensure your photos and videos are securely backed up?

Actually, it's pretty easy. Your photos can be saved using either the Google Photos mobile app or Google's backup and sync application for Windows and MacOS systems.

First some notes. If you want to remove the photo app from your Android phone, backup and syncing will not be automatically disabled. You should therefore disable it before you remove the app. (This is not the case for iPhones.)

If you upload your photos in a quality Google has designated as "high quality" (in other words, using Google compression), they will not count toward your storage quota. However, if you upload them without compression (in the quality Google calls "original quality"), and upload large photos, you can quickly run out of disk space. If this happens and you do not want to purchase additional storage, you should disable the app.

Backing up photos from a phone

If you're using an Android phone, this is pretty much something you already have on the Google Photos app.

  • If you do not, download it from the Play Store or the App Store and open the app.
  • Tap the three-line menu icon and choose Settings.
  • Tap Save and Sync.
  • Make sure that the Backup and Sync switch is set to On. You can also set a number of other functions here. For example, if videos are also backed up, whether the backup can also be done on your mobile data or just over Wi-Fi and if other folders (except your camera folder) should be backed up to your device.

  Google backup and sync

  Google backup and sync

Backing up photos from a Windows or MacOS system

When you upload photos from a camera to your computer, you can also back up photos with Google a separate app.

  • Visit the Google page with the Backup and Sync app. Download, install and start app.
  • Click Get Started and sign in to your Google Account.
  • Select whether you want to back up only photos and videos or other files. Click on Continue".
  • Here you can choose from which folders you want to save your photos. You can also choose to save your photos in "High Quality" or "Original Quality".
  • If you click "Advanced Settings" at the bottom of the page, you can choose to sync your computer files with your Google Drive. (This is different from automatic syncing, which until recently was used for photos because it is done voluntarily through this app and may include other files in addition to photos.)
  • Click Start. Your photos are saved. When the app is ready, you can go to Google Photos on the web and find them there.

A new icon appears in your top toolbar. Clicking on the icon informs you which files were recently uploaded and which ones were skipped, either because they were already in Google Photos or because they were too big (75 MB or 100 MP for photos, 10 GB for videos). or small (below 256 x 256).

Note the following: If these are important photos for business or personal reasons, consider a full-featured backup utility (backing up your data) to a separate drive) or service (yours Data to the cloud), as these can provide additional tools and more diverse recovery options.

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