Author Archives: MrsGeek

Traveling the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. We present seminars at RV rallies and computer clubs all over the country and run this website.

175. Google Photos – questions answered

Episode 175 was live on YouTube Sunday 9/8 at 2pm Eastern
Be sure to Subscribe and click the little bell to be notified whenever we’re live.

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Swipe email messages in gmail
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: Google Photos – Questions answered
  3. App of the Day: Zoom

Download .pdf (you’ll see a dropbox login, but you can just close it – no Dropbox account is needed)

The ability to swipe emails off the screen to delete them is extremely handy. It makes it easy to get rid of all the junk anytime you have a minute and have your phone handy.

Open the gmail app on your phone and tap the 3-line menu, Settings, (General Settings) Swipe actions. For each direction you have the choice of Archive, Trash, Mark as read/unread, Snooze, Move to:, or None. Chris sets hers to swipe left = delete, swipe right = snooze.

Backstage Pass: we will use the same meeting ID for the rest of the year, so just copy this link somewhere you can easily find it. Like google Keep?! You can click the link, or open a zoom app and join meeting ID: 631 569 619

Chris has the credentials to answer Google Photos questions!

The sound cuts out several times during this demo. If you turn on cc (closed caption) you will see some manual descriptions. Meanwhile – here’s what we demo’d.

A photo on an SD card. Insert the SD card into the computer and you can go to, click the Upload button and find the photo on the SD card that you want to upload to Google Photos. Success. Now, when that same photo is copied to the computer’s hard drive in the \Pictures folder, what will happen if we try to upload that?

Go to and click the Upload button, find the same photo in the \Pictures folder and Open. You will see a dialog box that says, “1 item uploaded” but did you notice how fast that appeared? It is lying to us. All it did was check to see that the particular photo already existed and it did not upload it again. Look at your library and that photo will only be there once. It did not upload the duplicate. Even in a different folder, Google photos recognizes that it is a duplicate. If you changed the name of the file, it would still be identified as a duplicate. BUT, if you edited the photo in any way, color correct, crop, or resize, then Google Photos will see it as a different picture and it will be uploaded.

2. If you add a photo to an album a second time will the album show it twice?

No. If you add a photo to an album, then sometime later you forget that it was in the album and you add it again, it just does nothing. You will see a little message that says, “0 items added”

3. If I use the trashcan to delete photos then later change my mind, can I get them back?

Yes, if it’s less than 60 days and you haven’t manually emptied trash. Just open trash – (3-line menu, Trash) – select the photos, then click the restore button. On phones, it says “Restore” in lower right, on computer it’s a button that looks like clock in the upper right. If you restore a photo that had been in an album, it will be restored to the album as well as to the library.

Can I download albums to my computer?

Yes! And, we think you should. If you use albums like we do – your best photos are in the albums. Downloading albums to your computer means you have all your best photos stored offline. Here’s the video: 574.GP-Download from Google Photos to Computer

Open the album and tap the 3-dot menu at top right, choose Download All. This will download all photos in the album to your computer in a .zip file. Depending on your browser settings, you should have the ability to specify what folder to download to. If yours doesn’t ask you for a location, it probably put it into the Downloads folder.

The .zip file is a great way to store your backup of your photos. If you want to see all the individual photos, you need to unzip the file. On windows, right-click and extract all. On Mac, just double click to unzip.

If you don’t have albums you want to download you can search for all photos from a month, or a date range, then select all and download them.

How do I add text to a photo?

Google Photos does not have the ability to add text on a photo. You can add a description by going into the info of a picture. On a mobile device, just swipe up on the photo to see the description. When viewing a photo on a computer you will see the description at the bottom left.

The native photo/gallery app that comes with iPhones or Android’s both have the ability to add text to photos. If you use that technique to add text, Google Photos will see the resulting photo and add it to your library. You can also use Snapseed to add text.

A “burst” photo is when you hold down on the shutter button and it takes several photos. When you open a burst shot, you’ll see the extra tool at the bottom. Tap that burst tool and you’ll get three options, Set as main photo, Keep this photo only, or Create animation. If you don’t see these 3 options, just wait

If you choose to Keep this photo only, the rest will be moved to the trash.

7. Can I sort by filenames?

NO. Sorry, Google Photos just pays no attention to file names. You cannot even edit a filename using Google Photos.

Sorting by filenames is an often-requested feature. If you want to add your name to the list – use the Send Feedback option on the Google Photos menu. They will see it, but they probably need a million or more folks to be on the list before anything happens.

See video: 459.SM-New Phone? Don’t Lose Your Pictures!

Check the Backup and Sync setting on your old phone. Make sure you know the username and password that is being used to backup the photos from that phone.

How to change the date of a photo

Easily done, but only on computer or iOS. Not available on Android.

Here’s the video: 477.GP-How to edit a photo’s date

When you use your phone to snap photos of old photo prints, it will show up on the date you snapped with your phone. You want the date – at least approximately – that the original photo was actually taken. On a computer, open the photo, click the i, then you’ll see a pencil next to the date. Click the pencil and you’ll be able to change the date to anything you like. If you select multiple photos you can click the 3-dot menu and change the date on all of them at once.

Once the date is changed, the photos will show up in your library in order by the new date. However, if you download that photo to a computer, the new date is lost. That edited date is just Google Photos database.

With so many videos, articles, and other learning resources on our website, it can be difficult to find everything you want to learn. So, Chris is hard at work making courses to guide you thru the learning process. The first one is for Beginners on Google Photos: 12 steps to success. Here is the link to the course. The price is $20, if you use the coupon code: ButtonShow you will get a 100% discount. is a website which handles video conferencing. To join a video conference with your phone, you need the app. It’s free for Apple iOS, or for Android.

To set up a zoom conference call is super simple. Just open the app or go to the website and Host a meeting. The meeting will get a number that others use to Join. You don’t need an account like with other systems such as Skype. It’s what we use for our backstage pass – With the app, you can even do screenshare from your phone.

2020 Camp Reboot! Smartphone Photography and Google Photos

Why settle for pictures that look like these:

Take better photos with your smartphone

When they could look like these?

How to take better photos with your smartphone

“Camp Reboot” has come to mean the technology workshop alternative to “RVers Boot Camp” at the Escapees events. If your partner is registering for the RVers Boot Camp, but you would prefer to learn about technology, we are offering two sessions of a special pre-rally workshop at the 2020 Escapade in Rock Springs, WY.  Hands on with your smartphone or tablet, exploring the camera-related features.

9-noon Camp Reboot! Hands-On smartphone photography classSmartphone Photography and Google Photos

For people with iPhones/iPads or Android phones and tablets – from beginners to advanced, everyone learns something in this class. If you’ve never taken a selfie, or figured out how turn your flash on or off – not to worry, that’s where we’ll start. The class is hands on. You need to bring your phone or tablet as we will have you exploring and experimenting with all its camera-related features. Like learning to swim by jumping into the deep end, you will have assignments and you will need to discover the way your device works to accomplish them. The workshop will be held over 2 mornings (iPhone) or 2 afternoons (Android) and you will have homework assignments in between!


imageIn your pocket you have one of the most sophisticated cameras ever developed, it can do things that Ansel Adams never even dreamed of! Just a tap on the HDR button produces results that took hours of preparation in Ansel’s day. Don’t know what HDR is? We’ll teach you! Want to show that masterpiece to friends and family around the world? It’s a simple click on the Share button.

Google Photos provides unlimited cloud storage for your lifetime of photos all for free. Automatically backup all your pictures for safekeeping by using the free Google Photos app. Never worry about losing your phone again. We will also explore the photo editing capabilities of Google Photos and make a shared photo album for the class.

The camera in your phone also does more than take photographs – it can file receipts and save them for Tax day, it can scan QR codes, and deposit checks.

This is a 6 hour workshop, limited to 16 participants. Bring your iPhone/iPad or your Android phone or tablet fully charged, and also bring your charger because 3 hours of constant use can drain the battery quickly. Pre-registration is required including a fee of $59, call Kim at the Escapees office: 888-757-2582.

 2-5pm: Android – Repeat of Smartphone Photography

This is a 6 hour workshop, limited to 16 participants. Same description as above. Pre-registration is required including a fee of $59, call Kim at the Escapees office: 888-757-2582.

September 2019 Newsletter: Share your location, Google Keep and Geeks on YouTube

How to share your Live Location using Google Maps

Using either iPhone or Android device , it’s easy to share your live location with someone for a few hours, or indefinitely. It’s great for letting friends know when you’ll arrive. No need to call, they can see when you’re getting close and roll out the welcome mat! This is especially useful if you have a lot of guests, or run a B&B – no need to wait around for hours, tell your guests to watch this video and share their location with you for a few hours.

YouTube Milestone: Geeks on Tour Channel surpasses 5,000 subscribers

10 years ago we uploaded our first tutorial video to YouTube. (Geotagging Photos with Picasa 3.5.) Before that, we were using Techsmith’s Now we’ve uploaded over 400 videos to YouTube and just surpassed 5,000 subscribers.When you upload videos to your channel on YouTube, you are considered a “creator” and YouTube gives certain perks to creators as they get more popular. We don’t get any perks for 5,000 – we’re still tiny in the YouTube universe, but it feels like we’re on our way!If you’ve never uploaded a video to YouTube and you would like to know how – here’s a video for you: 568. YouTube – upload video from computer or Google Photos

Take a note using Keep on your smartphone

I love to write things down. If I don’t write it down, it’s bound to be forgotten. What do you use when you need to write it down? Post it notes? A spiral notebook? The back of a business card? A napkin?
That’s the problem isn’t it? When you use whatever is handy, good luck ever finding that note again. How about using my phone for notes, it’s always handy. But what app to use? I’ve tried a bunch of them, Evernote, Samsung notes, Apple notes, and even sending emails to myself, but I haven’t been able to stick to just one. This leaves me back with the same problem of not being able to find them. Enter Google Keep

Instant Notes

Put your Keep icon on your main home page, then you can longpress that icon and see the options to take a quick note:

  • writing text
  • taking a photo
  • automatic checkbox list
  • record an audio

It just couldn’t be easier to take a note on your phone.

Color Coding

When you’ve created a note, you can change its color. Either at the bottom of the note, or by tapping the 3-dot menu at the bottom, depending on the device you’re using, you’ll see dots of color. Just tap the color you want. I like using yellow to indicate that a note is something important, probably something I need to do. Green means personal notes and ideas. Orange is my color for business ideas and notes. Purple is my color for temporary notes – something I needed to jot down today but I don’t really need to keep it. You can come up with whatever works for you.

This makes it so easy to scroll thru your notes and find the appropriate note. If you want to see all your business notes, just tap the search box at top and scroll down to see the colors. Tap on Orange and it filters all your notes. You will only see the orange ones. I find this so handy.

As with most any Google product, you can also search for specific words, and it will find notes with those words anywhere in the note.


This is my favorite feature of Keep. Each paragraph gets a checkbox. When you check it the item gets crossed off and moved down to a completed items section. You can easily re-prioritize items by simply dragging them up or down in the list. As I wrote in this previous article, I think Google Keep is the perfect ToDo list.

Unlimited Notes for Free on any device

The Keep app is available for both Android and iOS. Your notes are in the cloud so you can see them anytime at using a web browser on any connected computer. Your notes are completely private to your Google Account, yet it is extremely easy to share a note with someone. For example, you may have a shopping list shared between you and your spouse. When you add an item, they’ll see it and when they add an item you will see it.

Google Keep is completely free, you won’t even see any ads when using it. Storage of your notes does not count against your Google account (Drive) storage allotment which means it is essentially unlimited.

Learn more by watching Episode 173 of What Does this Button Do?

Do you use Google Keep? Do you use any other software for keeping your notes? Let us know in the comments below.

174. Making movies on your smartphone with FilmoraGO

Episode 174 was live on YouTube Sunday 8/25 at 2pm Eastern
Be sure to Subscribe and click the little bell to be notified when we’re live.

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: LongPress for App shortcuts
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: Making Movies with Filmora Go
Continue reading →

173. Google Keep for note-taking and more


Show Notes for Members below

Everyone can view all the episodes for free. Just click on the play button above.

A great benefit of membership is access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up every week. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. Tip of the Day: Seeing your camera screen in bright sunlight
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: Guest Michael Daniels teaches Google Keep for note taking

Continue reading →

August 2019 Newsletter: Google Photos Reveal, Smartphone volume, Google Drive no longer syncs with Google Photos