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Save a Copy vs Save
December 2, 2023
9:22 am
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MrsGeek
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Forum Posts: 3404
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July 2, 2010
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Q: After I edit a photo using Google Photos, my only option is to Save a Copy. I used to be able to Save over the original without needing to make a copy. What gives?

A: The main change is the addition of the premium editing features – like Magic Eraser, Portrait light, HDR. The ones with the Google one logo next to them (a multi-colored 1) If you use any of those when you edit your photo you are forced to save a copy. If you don’t use any of those – you stick to the old/free editing tools Crop, Adjustments, Pop etc. You will still see the Save button and you can choose to Save over the original or Save a Copy. Unless the photo is in HEIC format OR you’re on an Android and you have backup turned off. 

To summarize – Google Photos forces you to Save a Copy if:

  1.  You use any premium editing feature
  2.  Your photo is not a .jpg
  3.  Android only: you have Backup turned off
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