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Freeing Storage on IPhone
April 13, 2017
1:21 pm

Using the “Learn Google Photos” handout from one of your recent in-person presentations, I have made progress in establishing Google photos on my pc and now want to free up IPhone storage. When tapping “free up space”, I get a reassuring message:  Remove 1,295 items? These photos & videos have already been safely backed up to your Google Photos library at the quality you’ve selected. You’ll still be able to view them there at any time.  I click on “Remove (1,295).  Then I see …. “processing 1,295”.  

Then this comes up … “Allow “GooglePhotos” to delete 1,509 items? Delete 236 photos from 2 bursts, and 1,273 other items? These items will be deleted from iCloud Photo Library on all your devices. 

Not only are the numbers different, but it also sounds like they will not be in GooglePhotos anywhere afterwards, that they will in fact just be deleted everywhere. 

First question: What do I do, please??

Second question: I have back-up cd’s of pictures from pc’s that are no longer in use. I want to load them to current pc and to Google Photos. Forgive such basic question, but can you list steps and file names to use in getting them where they need to go. Please … 

and Thank you for your help! 

April 13, 2017
11:00 pm
Forum Posts: 2965
Member Since:
July 2, 2010
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online


I’m glad you’re getting started with Google Photos!

I think the message that concerns you most is “These items will be deleted from iCloud Photo Library on all your devices.”  iCloud Photo Library is not Google Photos – it is Apple’s version of cloud backup for your photos. And, yes, when you use “Free Up Space” it deleted the photos from your device which deletes them from iCloud Photo Library.  What to do??

  1. Visit on a computer, log in with the same google account: do some spot-checking and satisfy yourself that all your photos and videos are there
  2. on your phone, turn off iCloud Photo Library – Settings, iCloud, Photos, Photo Library. If you had “optimize storage” checked, then turning off iCloud Photo Library will remove all photos from your phone. All iCloud Photo Library photos will remain in iCloud online, as well as any other devices using your AppleID.
  3. Now check in with your Google Photos app and see if you can Free Up Space. If your iCloud Photo Library had been set to keep original size photos on the phone, then yes, they will still be there

My recommendation comes straight from the “Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos” – you can download the whole book here.


page 17

iCloud issue:  

If you are using an Apple iOS device, you may have iCloud settings turned on. Since iCloud performs much the same function as Google Photos, there can be some conflict.  

  • Settings, iCloud, Photos 
  • Look at iCloud Photo Library. If it’s Off, leave it off. 
  • If iCloud Photo Library is On, leave it on until all your photos are successfully uploaded to Google Photos. When you turn iCloud Photo Library Off it removes all photos 
  • Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Sharing don’t matter, they can be either on or off 

If you have iCloud Photo Library turned on,  leave it on until all your photos are successfully uploaded to Google Photos, then you can turn it off to free up space. If you have plenty of space, you can use both iCloud and Google Photos – they perform essentially the same service. DO NOT delete images with Google Photos (including use of the Free Up Space command) while iCloud Photo Library is on, unless you also want those images deleted from iCloud – because that is what will happen. 


Second question, old photos on CD

1. You can copy them from CD to a folder being watched by the desktop uploader and they will be uploaded automatically

2. you can manually upload from the cd or after copying to hard drive. Here is video 

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