You will learn how to access settings on Android phones and tablets using search.
You will learn how to access settings on your Apple iOS device using search.
You will learn how to magnify the screen on your smartphone.
You will learn how to create and view Emergency Contacts on your smartphone lock screen.
You will learn how to transfer photos from a camera to your smartphone.
Open the Google Photos app
That’s it! That’s step 1. You need to open the app in order for it to do its job. The Google Photos app on a smartphone is designed to copy all the photos from your phone to your Google account in the cloud. If you never open the app, it can’t do its job.
The very first time you open the app, you will need to set it up with your Google account, and whether you want your photos uploaded in Original Size, or Storage Saver size. We recommend Storage Saver. You should then see a message about the number of photos that are being backed up.
When you open the app, it will start uploading all your photos. But, if you never open it again, it will go dormant. I have a friend who lamented that she hadn’t been “organizing” her photos since the last time she saw me! That was several years ago. I told her to open the Google Photos app and she saw the message, 5,074 photos to upload.
What does it mean to “organize” your photos?
Organizing your photos means different things to different people. I call it the “IPO” scale. Your Inner Photo Organizer. At the low end of the scale are the people who don’t care that much, they’re lazy when it comes to their photos. They like to take photos occasionally, not all the time. They would like to know how to see them again, but they’re not interested in doing any work to make that happen. As you go up the scale, you may be willing to do a little tagging, or adding specific photos to albums and sharing those albums with friends and family. I’m a 3. I’m willing to put in a little work to mark my best photos and put them into albums by month, but I don’t worry about deleting the ones that are left behind, and I don’t have any system for naming photos.
If you are all the way on the Ambitious end of the scale, you’ve been passionate for years about organizing your photos. You look at each one, delete the ones you don’t need, rename your keepers, tag every one and keep them in organized folders or albums. You do this on a regular basis for all your photos.
Google Photos is great for people who are 1, 2, or 3 on this scale. If you are a 4 or a 5, you will need more tools than Google Photos offers. For example, you cannot rename a file using Google Photos.
Step 1 is the same for everyone
I’ve read books on photo organizing. I’ve attended seminars on photo organizing. I’ve helped many people organize their photos. The first step is agreed by all – gather all your photos in one place. If you take all your photos with your phone, and you use Google Photos, Step 1 is handled automatically.
IF you open the Google Photos app!
Slide Deck for the intro to the class
- 0:00 Begin
- 5:36 How to delete photos from my Android without deleting them from Google Photos
- 11:25 How to share a Google Photos album in Facebook
- 13:15 Why partner photos aren’t showing
- 16:30 When is the trashcan the right way to delete photos?
- 17:24 How to transfer photos from my iPhone to my Computer
- 23:06 How to find albums when you’re adding photos
- 26:22 How to delete photos when they’re in an album
- 27:32 How to share multiple albums at once
- 34:30 How do I find the “memories” that Google shows me
- 37:32 What happened to Picasa
- 39:11 How to manually back up a photo
- 40:34 How to delete (not remove) a photo in an album
- 42:21 Transferring Picasa photos from one computer to another
- 44:00 How do you use a photo to go to google maps at that location
- 45:58 Does the live book feature work on the Kindle App on iPad
- 46:36 Using the multiple-albums-on-a-web-page will viewers also see comments?
- 47:58 Any easy way to transfer photos to Microsoft cloud?
- 49:09 Can Windows photos display my Google Photos
- 50:09 Explain comments/notes
- 51:04 Where is Partner Sharing
- 51:46 How to get the Kindle version of Learn Google Photos book
- 52:45 Does partner sharing count against the 15GB free storage?
- 54:20 article about What happens to my Google Photos if I don’t pay for storage?
- 55:46 Sorting albums
- 57:57 What happens to your photos when you die?
- 58:53 How to identify duplicates
- 1:00:22 How to focus a fuzzy photo
You will learn how to install a widget on your smartphone that shows multiple time zones.
If you think of your Google Account Storage like a real world storage unit, these concepts will be easier. Let’s say you had a small storage unit that would hold 15 boxes of stuff. Once it gets full, what happens? You can’t store any more stuff! If you take out some of the old boxes, you can put in new ones, but you’re limited to 15 boxes total.
3 Choices when your storage is full
It’s the same with your Google Account Storage. Google gives everyone 15GB of storage for free. Once you fill that up, you have 3 choices:
- Do nothing
- Get rid of some stuff
- Pay for a bigger storage amount
If you choose #1, you won’t be able to add any more photos to your Google Photos but you will be able to access what is already there. That may be acceptable but there’s a catch. You also won’t be able to send or receive any new emails to your Google (gmail) address. Why? Because the Google storage allotment is shared by Google Photos, Gmail, and Google Drive.
If you choose #3, go to Google One to see the prices for bigger storage allotments. The current (November 2021) prices are:
- 15GB = Free
- 100GB = $1.99/mo or $19.99/yr
- 200GB = $2.99/mo or $29.99/yr
- 2Terrabytes = $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr
How many GB do you need for photos and videos?
People always ask, how many photos can I fit into 1Gigabyte? Well, it depends on several factors, your camera, how many videos you take, whether you use Original size or Storage saver. A rough estimate is between 500 and 1,000 photos per Gigabyte. If you know how many photos and how many videos you have, and you know their average file size, here’s a calculator you can use to find out how many Gibabytes you need.
To get a number directly from Google Photos, I uploaded 7200 photos and videos to a fresh account (Alice) after June 1 using Storage Saver size. Her storage shows 9.66 GB used by Google Photos (which works out to 750 photos/GB). If I had used Original size, I believe it would have taken at least twice the storage.
What happens if I stop paying?
Let’s say you filled up your 15GB of free storage so you started paying $2/mo for the 100 GB. You kept adding photos, email, and Drive files and are now using 40GB of storage. If you stop paying then your account’s storage allotment reverts to the 15GB Free plan. You are now 25GB over your allotment. You will not be able to add any more photos, send or receive emails, or add new Drive files. You will get warnings from Google telling you to either delete content until you are within your allotment, or pay for more storage. If you ignore them and do nothing, Google will keep bugging you but they won’t delete any of your content until you have ignored them for 2 years, after 2 years they may delete your content or even delete your account. See the official help page for Managing your Google Storage.
What is Google One?
If you pay for storage from Google, that makes you a premium “member” of Google One. When you are a premium member, you get additional perks like one-on-one support via phone call, chat, or email. Google One members will also see premium editing features in Google Photos like Dynamic, HDR, and Portrait. If you don’t pay for storage, you are still part of Google One, but you’re on the Free plan. You still visit One.Google.com to see storage statistics for your account.
But wait – I thought Google Photos was free and unlimited?!
Google Photos used to be free and unlimited but that all changed on June 1, 2021. For more detail, see the article I wrote before the June 1 change to Google Photos storage plans: Google Photos free unlimited storage is ending – here’s everything you need to know. Any more questions, you can use the comments below.
You will learn how to create a webpage to show off your best photo albums.