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What's with Google Backup
December 17, 2017
12:42 pm
Barb Resnick

Got a surprise from Google photos recently and I still have not quite figured it all out.  Photos from iPad and iPhone seem to get directly to google photos.  Photos I load onto my computer from camera do not always show up in Google Photos.  So I do an upload from Google photos. I’m ok with that.

Every once in a while I get a notification flashing on at the bottom right of the computer that Google Photos is backing up 537 (or any number) of photos.  I guess I was snot sure what was happening there but it did not look bad so I did not question.

Then one day I was using Picasa and wanted to find the location of the picture I was working on and Picasa found the photo in a folder called Google Photos Back Up.  That was the surprise.  Not a folder I was aware of.  So I guess I am asking what is this folder.  

I now began to notice that when I uploaded from media card to computer using Picasa I would fill in the name of a folder in the text box.  But now I began to see that the uploaded pictures appear in two folders – one with the name I entered and one labeled with the date yyy-mm-dd.  Now this folder Google Photos Backup has over 31 gig in over 2000 photos.  

What needs to be done here?   Are these photos that did not get uploaded to Google photos on the Google Drive?  Are these photos and folders in Google Photos Back Up duplicates of photos I have in named folders in My Pictures?  In other words, How do pictures get onto Google Photos on my Google Drive?  And what is it that creates the folders in the folder Google Photos Back Up in My Pictures.

In the Notification I do have an icon (looks just like the Google Photos app on my iPad).  Did I have to add that (and I forgot) of did the  set up of a google account install that?  Or what?  

Now I am not sure what to upload from my computer or what to delete as duplicates from my computer.

Help.  (if this is not too confusing)


I am going to try to attach a snip of my Picasa folder bar.  There are some folders with dates and some with names.  The two marked in red are the same but I only uploaded one (to my knowledge)  Ditto with the ones marked in blue.  the ones marked with green are with dates and I do not use dates for folder names.  So ???????Picasa-folderBar.JPGImage Enlarger


as always, thanks for your help

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December 23, 2017
9:48 am
Forum Posts: 3199
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
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The “Google Photos backup is, indeed a folder created by a setting in the Auto Backup app. I remember it being a setting for when you insert a camera card, or external hard drive. As the Auto Backup uploads the photos from the card to your Google Photos account, it can also copy them to your computer’s hard drive in a folder called Google PHotos Backup. I expect it is a duplicate of photos that you manually have added to named folders in My Pictures … once you verify that, you can delete the entire Google Photos Backup folder.

I don’t have that software to look at any more, as I’ve updated to the new Backup and Sync and it doesn’t seem to have any such checkbox. 

Yes, the google photos logo in your systray/notification bar is the Google Photos AutoBackup software. If it installed with the default settings it is uploading all photos from your computer to Google Photos – I recommend changing the settings to only upload specific desired photos. Or, you could uninstall it altogether as you are perfectly capable of doing your uploads yourself. To me, the only reason to use the Autobackup (now Backup and Sync) is when you first set out to upload your computer’s photos to Google Photos. After that initial upload of thousands of photos, you can handle your own ongoing uploads.

Here are a couple of videos to watch:

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