Learn Google Photos Book – videos and links

The book is alive!

Updated for 2021

This page is intended for people who own the book – it is organized by the chapters in the book. Here is a link to buy the Learn Google Photos book.

Google Photos is changing ALL the time. We try to keep up. Check out the first section below for a chronological listing of what has changed.

This page is a supplement for the book. Under each chapter heading, you will find links to videos, help articles, and other resources for learning Google Photos. We try to keep these resources up to date. If you see anything that is outdated, please use the Contact Us form to let us know.

Updates to Google Photos – What has changed?
Product Experts Photos Resources

A website that is owned and maintained by volunteer Google Product Experts. You will find lots of tips, tricks and info about Google Photos here.

Phone support from Google

If you are a Google One subscriber, you pay for support, contact the 24/7 Google One Support team @https://one.google.com/support – Click here. On that page, scroll down to Contact Us and click the Get Started button. There is no phone number for you to call. You fill out the forms after clicking “Get Started” and they will call you.

Links to Videos and other Resources

Chapter 1: Your Google Account

Updates to Chapter 1

6/1/23 Chapter 1 and 5 Just noticed new information in each picture’s info panel in the mobile app. When you swipe up on the photo, in addition to date, filename and location, it now shows whether the photo is On Device only, or if it is Backed up and how much account storage space it takes up, if any.

3/29/22 Chapter 1 Managing storage in your Google account. On the mobile app, if you tap the Account button (your face or initial in upper right) then tap Account Storage, you will now see a report of how much storage you are using as well as how to delete some unwanted content like large files. This is basically the same information on the web page One.Google.com/storage, including the link to “Free up account storage.”

6/3/21 Chapter 1: A change in terminology. The upload size that was called “High Quality” is now known as “Storage Saver” See full details here.

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Mobile

Updates to Chapter 2

1/12/23 Chapter 2 A change in terminology. No more Backup & Sync, now it’s just backup. Personally, I think this is a bad idea. It’s important that people know that Google Photos is Syncing their photos between cloud and device, not just backing up. But … they didn’t ask me! Here is the official announcement.

Chapter 3: Collecting the rest of your life’s photos and videos

Past “Button” shows on this topic:

Updates to Chapter 3

10/4/21 Chapter 3: The Android version of Google Photos now has the ability to edit dates. For example, if you scanned a photo today, but you want the date of the photo to be sometime in the past, you can now swipe up on the photo and click the pencil icon next to the date. This has been available for iOS and for Web, now it’s on Android as well.

10/1/21 Chapter 3: Backup and Sync is replaced by Google Drive for Desktop. Here’s a video on how to upload photos from your computer to Google Photos using Google Drive for Desktop. See also Episode 220 of our Youtube show.

7/12/21 Chapter 3: Google Backup and Sync is out; Google Drive for Desktop is in. The switch will be phasing in until Backup and Sync no longer works as of Oct. 1. See The Verge article. The only changes in the software affect Google Drive. The procedure for uploading photos from computer to Google Photos remains basically the same. You must check the box to upload new photos to Google Photos from specified folders. It is a one-way process, no syncing involved.

10/4/21 Chapter 3: The Android version of Google Photos now has the ability to edit dates. For example, if you scanned a photo today, but you want the date of the photo to be sometime in the past, you can now swipe up on the photo and click the pencil icon next to the date. This has been available for iOS and for Web, now it’s on Android as well.

10/1/21 Chapter 3: Backup and Sync is replaced by Google Drive for Desktop. Here’s a video on how to upload photos from your computer to Google Photos using Google Drive for Desktop. See also Episode 220 of our Youtube show.

7/12/21 Chapter 3: Google Backup and Sync is out; Google Drive for Desktop is in. The switch will be phasing in until Backup and Sync no longer works as of Oct. 1. See The Verge article. The only changes in the software affect Google Drive. The procedure for uploading photos from computer to Google Photos remains basically the same. You must check the box to upload new photos to Google Photos from specified folders. It is a one-way process, no syncing involved.

3/4/21: Chapter 3 – Apple now has a tool to transfer your iCloud photo library to Google. See this Apple support page for more details: Transfer a copy of your iCloud Photos collection to another service. Or this Android Police article: Apple lets you natively transfer your iCloud media to Google Photos

Review Chapter 1-3 (answers)

Question 1= 2 ; 2= 2 ; 3= True ; 4= go to photos.google.com and sign in with your Google account ; 5= 2 ; 6= True ; 7= False ; 8= View your Google photos from a device other than the phone that took the photos ; 9= b ; 10= False ; 11= d ; 12= a ; 13= c

Chapter 4: Getting Around in Google Photos

Updates to Chapter 4

7/10/22 Chapter 4 On iOS only right now – when viewing a single photo, you will see any text description below the photo. This has always been visible on the Web version (if the info pane is closed). Hopefully it will come to Android soon. (yep, it did. Don’t know when but it’s there now – 6/1/23)

5/19/22 Chapter 4 The mobile app now has an overlay of the date and place on top of the photos when you’re browsing the library view. see this article.

6/15/21 Chapter 4: Change to 4 tabs at bottom of app. On iOS first, then coming to Android – the Sharing button that was at the top left is moved to the bottom row of tabs and in its place is a Print Shop button.

4/15/21: Chapter 4: I just noticed some new options when viewing video on the Web version. There is a settings button (gear icon) in the lower right that includes Playback Speed and Quality setting. 

Chapter 5: How to find the memories you’re looking for

Author’s videos for Chapter 5 (YouTube playlist)

Google Help Center article: Search by People, Things and Places

Updates to Chapter 5

6/1/23 Chapter 5 Just noticed new information in each picture’s info panel in the mobile app. When you swipe up on the photo, in addition to date, filename and location, it now shows whether the photo is On Device only, or if it is Backed up and how much account storage space it takes up, if any.

7/20/22 Chapter 5 New shortcut on the Google Photos app icon. If you longpress the Google Photos icon on your home screen, you will now see an option to view Screenshots.

7/8/22 Chapter 5 & 9 On the mobile app, looking at the photos grid – If you select one or more photos a list of sharing and other choices will pop up at the bottom. Before this change, you needed to tap the 3-dot menu to get these choices. Now there is no more 3-dot menu after selecting. The 3-dot menu still exists on the Web version, and in all versions when you open one photo – as opposed to selecting. 

1/29/22 Chapter 5 Photos that have descriptions entered now show a badge in the web version.Descriptions badge

11/1/21 Chapter 5: The web version of Google Photos is now displaying Memories on the top row of the screen. Control what you see here by clicking on Settings

 then Memories.

9/13/21 Chapter 5: Collages available for certain memory collections. Some of the “Spotlight on …” memories end with a collage that you can save. See Android Police article.

9/1/21 Chapter 5: On the mobile app, when you’re viewing the photo library you will see a “Best of month” highlights reel at the beginning of each month. Tap on it to view a slide show of selected photos/videos from that month. It works just like the memories section at the top. This feature is just now rolling out. If you have it, you can go back to previous years and see the monthly highlights. When you use the scroll button, you will feel a little bump when you get to a month. You may also get other highlight reels within a month if you have lots of photos that can be grouped, e.g. “Trip to the Keys.”

8/25/21 Chapter 5 & Chapter 9: Shared photos are now stripped of location data. If your photo includes a location, that location will no longer be visible to people with whom you share the photos. . If it’s in an album, there is a setting to change this – click the 3-dot menu and choose Options, turn on the Share Photo Location.

8/10/21 Chapter 5: More detail for photos showing in the memory carousel. See Android Police article.

7/15/21 Chapter 5: A photo memories widget for Android. A photo memories widget has been available for iOS for a while now. See article. If you are on Android, this feature has now come to your phone. I had a hard time finding it at first because it is not labeled as a Google Photos widget – it’s called “Memories.”

5/19/21 Chapter 5: More control over what shows up in memories. Announced at Google I/O 5/18 – rolling out later this summer. See announcement on the Google Keyword Blog. The same announcement tells of a new “locked folder” which is a password protected place you can put photos that you don’t want to be accidentally viewed using Google Photos or any other app on your device.

5/2/21 Chapter 9: When sharing photos using iMessage, you now have direct access to Google Photos.

Chapter 6: Keep your memories safe

Updates to Chapter 6

11/15/23 Chapter 4 and 6 – Stacks (only on mobile): When viewing the grid of all photos using the mobile app, you now have the option to ‘stack’ similar photos. Tap the 3-dot menu that is at the top of the grid and select “Stack similar photos” or find it in Settings, Preferences. Once it is turned on you will see one photo where there were 2 or more. The top photo will have a overlapping square icon with a number indicating the number of stacked photos. You can tap on the top photo to see all the others then you can change the top pick. Tap the grid icon to see all the stacked photos in a grid. Once there, you can select one and delete all the rest with the option at the bottom to “Keep 1, delete rest.” See official help screen here

5/25/21 Chapter 6 & 8: Locked Folder announced. Pixel 3+ devices only Coming first to Pixel phones then other Androids. This is a space protected by your device screen lock where you can save your photos and videos separately, so they won’t show up as you scroll through Google Photos or any other apps on your device. Be aware, photos in your locked folder will only be stored on device. Lose the device, lose the photos. You also will lose the photos if you clear data. Full help article here.  Warning – “locked” files will exist on your device only, no cloud copy at all. If you clear cache and data – you will be deleting those on-device images.

5/19/22 Chapter 6 You can now delete a photo from within an album. This has been possible on the web version for quite some time, now it’s available on the mobile app, both iOS and Android. When you tap the 3-dot menu (or swipe up on the photo) you will see the option to “Remove from Album” and now, also “Move to trash.” see this article.

11/2/21 Chapter 6: The Android version of Google Photos will now offer to “Delete from Device”, even for photos that have not yet been backed up. You will see this when you open a photo and swipe up, or when you select several photos and tap the 3-dot menu. In the past, and still part of the iOS version, you could not delete a photo from device unless it had been successfully uploaded to the cloud. Now, when you tap “Delete from Device” it will display a confirmation message:

Chapter 7: Editing to improve your photos

Updates to Chapter 7

7/10/23 Chapter 7 New Video effects available in Editor. Funky effects like paper tear or light leak. Fish Eye is kinda cool, but honestly I don’t think I would ever use any of these. I currently see it only on the iOS version. See the Forbes article here.

6/12/23 Chapter 7 Some of the premium editing features that have been available on the mobile app are coming to the web version of Google Photos. Portrait Light, Background Blur, Sky colors, Color focus, and HDR require a Google One membership and are now available on the Web. See google help article here. Geeks’ article: Google Photos on the web now has some more advanced editing features.

5/10/23 Chapter 7 Magic Editor coming to Pixel in late 2023. Magic Editor will let us move things around in a photo – like moving 2 people closer together – and it will magically fill in the vacated space. That’s just one example. See this official announcement by Google: Magic Editor in Google Photos

4/9/23 Chapter 7  Editing a Live (iOS) or Motion (Android) photo no longer turns off motion on the edited version. Motion is still turned off if you Save Copy. On iOS, you get the choice:

2/23/23 Chapter 7 Magic Eraser, which was originally only available on Pixel phones is now available on Android and iOS (not web.) See announcement here. You must be a Google One subscriber to use this premium feature. That means you must be paying something, minimum $2/mo for Google Account storage – that makes you a Google One subscriber.

1/24/23 Chapter 7 Something that has been broken is now fixed. Using snapseed on Android, the Expand tool did not work, it always worked on iOS. Now it is fixed on Android!  (note: I tested on Samsung phone, it still appears broken on Pixel) See video: 730.SN-Text on Border

11/12/21 Chapter 7: The iOS version of Google Photos will now have access to premium editing tools. See article at 9to5google. You must be a member of Google One to have the premium tools. If you are, you’ll see a multicolor 1 badge on the special features. With these new tools you can do the following:

  • Portrait light: Change the position and brightness of light for photos of people.  
  • Blur : Blur the background on certain photos of people not captured in portrait mode.
  • Color focus : Desaturate the background, while you keep the foreground color for photos of people. 
  • Smart suggestions : Easy to use one-tap edits that adapt to each photo’s content. 
  • HDR : Enhance brightness and contrast across the image.
  • Sky Select from several palettes and adjust the color and contrast in the sky.

6/22/21 Chapter 7: The new editing system that has been on Android for a while comes to iOS, but with a limited feature set. It’s missing Markup, More, and premium editing tools like Dynamic and Portrait.

5/20/21: Chapter 7: Accessing Snapseed from Android app is now done by tapping the Edit button, scroll to More… and choose Snapseed there.

4/23/21: Chapter 7: Denoise and Sharpen on Android only – these are two new editing tools on the Adjustments tab. Denoise is meant to smooth a photo, giving it a slight blur. Sharpen give more definition. These new tools do not require a Google One membership. Article from AndroidPolice.

October 2020 – Google is rolling out a new photo editor on the Android platform. Here is my article and 3 videos all about the changes.

Chapter 8: Organizing with Albums and Favorites

Updates to Chapter 8

9/1/21 Chapter 8: If you open a photo from an album, edit it, then save a copy – the copy will now be included in the album. Before this change, the copy would be in the main library, not in the album, and would be difficult to find.

5/25/21 Chapter 8: Locked Folder announced. Pixel 3+ devices only Coming first to Pixel phones then other Androids. This is a space protected by your device screen lock where you can save your photos and videos separately, so they won’t show up as you scroll through Google Photos or any other apps on your device. Be aware, photos in your locked folder will only be stored on device. Lose the device, lose the photos. You also will lose the photos if you clear data. Full help article here.  Warning – “locked” files will exist on your device only, no cloud copy at all. If you clear cache and data – you will be deleting those on-device images.

Chapter 9: Sharing

Updates to Chapter 9

12/15/22 Chapter 9 Sharing memory highlights: If you click on a memory highlight from the top carousel, or a “Best of Month” memory from the main photo grid, you now have the ability to share the entire memory as opposed to just single photos. Click the share button then choose “Share memory” as opposed to “Share this photo.” I just noticed this recently, not sure when it was rolled out. It’s available on both Android and iOS. It’s also available on Web for the top carousel of memories. The web does not yet have the “Best of Month” memories.

7/8/22 Chapter 9 On the mobile app, looking at the photos grid – If you select one or more photos a list of sharing and other choices will pop up at the bottom. Before this change, you needed to tap the 3-dot menu to get these choices. Now there is no more 3-dot menu after selecting. The 3-dot menu still exists on the Web version, and in all versions when you open one photo – as opposed to selecting. 

8/25/21 Chapter 5 & Chapter 9: Shared photos are now stripped of location data. If your photo includes a location, that location will no longer be visible to people with whom you share the photos. . If it’s in an album, there is a setting to change this – click the 3-dot menu and choose Options, turn on the Share Photo Location.

6/23/21 Chapter 9: Have you ever received a photo attached to an email and wanted to save it directly to Google Photos? Well, any day now, you will be able to do that with Gmail. See article by Verge. Open the photo, click the 3-dot menu and choose Save to Photos.

Review Chapters 4-9 (answers)

Question 1= c ; 2= b ; 3= Shift-click ; 4= b ; 5= False ; 6= a ; 7= True ; 8= d ; 9= 2d icon ; 10= c ; 11= True

Chapter 10: Surrounding Yourself with your memories

Updates to Chapter 10

7/1/23 Chapter 10 Just noticed … if you get a collage made for you in the Memories area, you can now edit it. You should see a little paintbrush icon at the bottom. Click that and you are editing the collage.

5/25/23 Chapter 10 When you save a creation, it used to show up in a special place called “Saved Creations” under the Search/Explore page. Newly saved creations are no longer showing up there, but they are being saved. They’re assigned a date based on the contents and you’ll find them along with all other photos from that date. Since you probably don’t know what that date is, you can use Search, Recently added to see them.

4/27/23 Chapter 10 The MovieMaker in Chromebook’s Android App for Google Photos has a new interface and a couple new features. It can edit photos and videos right in the moviemaker, and it can add pan and zoom motion to photos in the movie. See article by 9-5 Google

1/5/23 Chapter 10 Making movies has been broken on Android for over a year. It looks like it makes it just fine but then it takes hours, days, or never to complete. You would click to play the movie and, instead, it would take you directly to the movie editor. Now it’s working again on Android! It was never broken in iOS.

9/16/22 Chapter 10 Collage Editor: I only see it on my iPhone, but it is supposed to be rolling out to Android as well – no word about web. (Dec update – now on Android) After selecting several photos, click on the + and choose collage. It instantly makes a collage for you just as always, but now there are editing options. You can drag photos to different positions on the collage, you can drag a photo within it’s position to adjust the crop, and you can select fun themes from the row at the bottom. Many of the themes are for Google One subscribers only. Read the announcement here. There are improvements to Memories as well, but I don’t see them yet on any platform.
Apr update: you can now use the Create collage and pick a single photo. then you can pick one of these artistic themes. Short Tutorial video here

7/29/22 Chapter 4 and 10 Chromebook only: new movie-maker with themes and the addition of title cards and photo editing. See official post New video editing and productivity features coming to ChromebookThis feature is not yet available, promised for fall 2022. Meanwhile, the movie maker is available on the mobile app as well as the web. See article here.

4/2/22 Chapter 10 You can now create movies from scratch (not using the themed movies) on the Web version of Google Photos. Select photos and videos, click the + and choose Movie. Then it all works just like the mobile version.

12/12/21 Chapter 10 People and Pets widget for Android home screens. When you add a widget to an Android phone home screen, you’ll see a category for Google Photos. Within that are now: People and Pets and Your memories. For People and Pets, you select up to 10 faces you want. Your memories are automatic. See article here.

9/8/21 Chapter 10: Printing now includes new sizes for canvas prints, and other options. Also, when ordering prints, you have the option to have them shipped to your rather than picking up in the store. See article in Google’s Blog: All the ways to print your photos.

Chapter 11: Troubleshooting
Chapter 12: Apple Photos and iCloud vs Google Photos