Tag Archives: Google Photos

Starting on July 19, 2023, Album Archive will no longer be available.

Starting on July 19, 2023, Album Archive will no longer be available. What should you do?

Did you recently receive a message from Google about something called “Album Archive?” It went like this:

An update to Album Archive

… Starting on July 19, 2023, Album Archive will no longer be available. We recommend that you use Google Takeout to download a copy of your Album Archive data before then. …

What is Album Archive and do you need to do anything?

Short answer: No, you don’t need to do anything. All your Google Photos are safe in Google Photos and all your Blog’s photos are safe in Blogger. It’s just the intermediary interface called Album Archive that is going away. Check out your album archive at Get.Google.AlbumArchive. If you see anything there that you think may be important, you can use Takeout to download a copy of Album Archive just to be doubly safe.

Long answer/Explanation: I’ve been uploading photos to my Google account since 2004. First it was called Picasa Web albums, then it was Google Plus, now it’s Google Photos. I also use the Google Blogging service called Blogger and I have photos there. Blogger has used different methods over the years for accessing photos. No matter what shell Google has used to put my photos under, they’ve always been “in my account” and they’ve continued to show up in Google Photos, and/or my Blog.

Album Archive was an intermediary interface where I could see photos when Picasa Web Albums first went away, but now I see them all in Google Photos. Album Archive was also where I could see the photos for my Blog. Now Blogger has its own media manager and the Album Archive interface is no longer necessary.

There are a few types of images, like ones shared in Google Plus and Hangouts, that have no other place to show up. Those images will be gone when Album Archive goes away. I don’t really care about those few photos, but it can’t hurt to follow the instructions for Google Takeout and have an extra backup of everything.

Downloading your Album Archive using Google Takeout

If you want to, you can download the contents of your Album Archive to your computer using Google Takeout. Just click the link shown to “Go to Takeout”, click “Next Step” and “Create export.” In a while (usually an hour or 2) you will receive an email with a link to download the results. All the contents of your Album Archive will be in a .zip file that you download to your computer’s hard drive.

To “Unzip” the .zip file:

  • Windows: right-click the file and choose “Extract All”
  • Mac: double-click the .zip file
  • In both cases, it then creates a folder with the same name as the .zip file with all the contents

Here’s a video to show you the details

April 2023 News: AI/ChatGPT, Editing w Google Photos, Google Calendar reminders, RVillage

  April 2023 / Issue 188  / Archives
This Geeks on Tour monthly newsletter will always be free, but we also have a premium membership with perks like private Zoom meetings, eBooks, tutorial videos, and complete classes. Our premium members support us, making everything we do possible. It’s $58 yearly or $68 for one year only.
What’s up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks

The waterway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

At the beginning of March, we were still traveling in Indonesia. The photo above comes from Bali. It’s called Garuda Wisnu Kencana. Wisnu is the god, sitting on his eagle-like steed called Garuda. Imagine the statue of Liberty, now make it a third bigger! You can see this statue from the plane! It was quite impressive. We completed our travels and arrived home mid-March. We’re happy to be home for a while.


You can see all classes from past months on our Classes page. We presented 1 class during March:

Live YouTube shows
We did 2 of our Sunday Live “What Does This Button Do?” shows:

In this newsletter:

As usual, we have an eclectic mix of smartphone and technology tips for you.
  • Can Artificial Intelligence like ChatGPT plan your next trip?
  • Using Google Photos powerful editing tools
  • Magic Eraser video
  • Google Calendar Reminders
  • How to get your RVillage Map now that RVillage is closed

  • Thank you to our premium members for supporting us and making this newsletter possible! If you learn something from us, and you’re not a member, consider joining us now.
What’s coming up – Our Calendar April and May

The Geeks are staying pretty close to home for a while.

We have one rally in Georgia and some Florida presentations.

Let us know if you would like a Zoom presentation for your group.



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Ask the Geeks Q&A forum. Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions

  1. Email Deletions
  2. Icon on Some Photos
  3. View Selected Photos
  4. Face Detection Results are Gone

If you’re using Google Photos under the free 15GB plan, you’re missing some powerful editing tools

If you use Google Photos and you’re struggling to stay within the 15GB Free storage allotment. Stop Struggling! Bite the bullet and pay $2/month. That gets you a Google One subscription with lots more than just the storage. Included in the plan are some WAY Cool editing features like Dynamic, Magic Eraser, and Background Blur.

Read More

Play this video to learn how to use Magic Eraser

Can Artificial Intelligence like Chat GPT plan your next trip?

Every techie worth their salt is writing about the Artificial Intelligence tool called ChatGPT. In February I wrote about using
ChatGPT to write poetry
! Now that we’re back home and thinking about an RV trip, I decided to ask it to plan a trip for us. It doesn’t actually make your reservations or give turn-by-turn directions, but I find it quite useful in giving me an outline of where to go. The key is in learning how to talk to AI Chatbots.

Read the article here.

How Google Calendar can keep you from missing an event by setting your default notifications.

I’ve been using Google Calendar to notify me of upcoming appointments ever since I started using a smartphone, and yesterday I found it especially useful. I want to make sure that all of you know how to set the default settings so that you get a
notification before any upcoming event.

I had completely forgotten about my Yoga class at 10:30. I also completely forgot about a dinner party we were going to at 6pm. Because of my default settings in Google Calendar, I get a ringing automatic notification an hour before any
appointment. Whew! I made it just in time. Thank you Google Calendar!

How to get your RVillage Map now thatRVillage is closed 

RVillage shut down, disappointing many RVers, but you can still get your places data and make a map.

Read More

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Google Photos – uploading a folder from your computer to an album

You’ve been putting it off haven’t you? You have dozens of well-organized folders of your photos and videos all on your computer’s hard drive. They need to be in the cloud – in Google Photos, but you’ve heard that you’ll lose your folder structure. All that work! Gone! Well, that’s only if you use the automatic method of uploading – using the old Backup and Sync software, or the new Google Drive for Desktop. To see what I’m talking about, here’s your video: 705.GP-Upload to Google Photos using Google Drive for Desktop.

The good news is that, if you upload your photos using the manual method, you can create an album in Google Photos for each folder of newly uploaded photos. What’s that you say?, You’ve already uploaded them? Not to worry, you can do it again – and create the albums this time – without getting duplicates.

How to upload a folder to an album

The easiest way is to use drag and drop. Arrange your screen so that you can see your computer folders in one part of the screen and your Google Photos library in another part. Now simply drag a folder from your computer to Google Photos – OR, if you don’t want the whole folder, you can select the photos you want and drag them.

Here’s a video about using drag and drop to get folders full of photos from a CD/DVD to an album in your Google Photos:

How to create an album for a folder of photos that are already uploaded

Let’s say you’ve already used the automatic method with Backup and Sync, or Google Drive for Desktop. So, all the photos in your picture folders are already uploaded to your Google Photos account. You can do the upload again, manually. If the photos are already there, they will not be duplicated. If you -pretend- to upload again, you will see the message at the end to create an album. This works great. You will not be uploading the photos again, but you will be creating albums for each folder. Here’s another video about using drag and drop to upload folders and create albums – even if the photos are already uploaded.

Albums are NOT Folders

In case you’re unclear, let me review Chapter 8 in Learn Google Photos, all about albums. On a computer all files are stored in folders. On a computer you learned that pictures should not be stored loose in the My Pictures folder – you made sub-folders according to your organizational style. I set up folders for each month. If I took photos during March of 2008, they were stored in the folder My Pictures\2008 March. When I took photos in April, they were copied from my camera to my computer and stored in a folder called My Pictures\2008 April.

This is NOT how it works with Google Photos. There are no folders. All photos are stored in the Google Photos library and sorted by date taken. If you have 10,000 photos stored in the cloud with Google Photos, all 10,000 of them are in one giant bucket – no folders, no subdivisions.

What are albums?

Albums are virtual groupings. Any one photo can be added to many albums, it is still stored only once. Notice the photo of a dolphin next to 2018. That one photo could be added to an album for August 2018, it could also be added to an album for Ocean and a third for Florida Keys. The photo has not been copied (like it would be for folders), it only exists once. You have just asked for it to show up in each of the albums. You can remove the photo from one album and it will still appear in your library, and in the other two albums. If you delete the photo from the library, it’s gone. It will disappear from all 3 albums.

Add your best photos to albums

Let’s say I took 300 pictures in August 2018. Those dolphins were so photogenic, I snapped at least 50 photos of them! When I make the album for Aug 2018, I am separating the best from the rest. This album will be what I share with friends, I don’t want to bury them in 300 photos! From the 50 dolphin photos (that all look the same!) I’ll choose 4 or 5 of the best ones to add to the album.

How to add photos to albums

To create a new album, I recommend starting by selecting photos. From the main Photos screen, you can select several photos then tap the + at the top of the screen and choose Album and New Album. Type a name for the album then tap the checkmark. I prefer this method of selecting photos first rather than starting with an empty album.

Adding photos to an existing album, select the photos you want to add, click the + and then select the album you want.

When you have your best photos in albums, downloading those albums to your computer is a great way to have a backup. Here’s the video on that: 574.GP-Download from Google Photos to Computer

198. Learn Google Photos Book Launch

Scroll down to see the show notes, these are usually for Members Only, but this Book Launch episode is for everyone. Download a printable version of the notes here: 198.Learn Google Photos 2020 Book Launch

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.


Google Photos has been available since 2015. Chris wrote her book the first time in 2016, updated it in 2018 and totally re-wrote it for 2020. It even has a new name: Learn Google Photos. Find it on Amazon here.

If you want to check it out before buying, we are providing a free chapter – the Introduction to the book. When you follow the link, just look for the down arrow to download it. You do not need any kind of account.

Along with the book, we are launching the LearnGooglePhotos.com website. Visit this site to find the Book Launch offer as well as the blog of Google Photos articles. To find the special Launch offer, just scroll down the screen. This is where you can get the book with Spiral Binding. This is only available in the US. For any other country, you’ll need to order the book from Amazon.

The launch special will be available until the end of the month. Order by September 31. In addition to the spiral bound book, the Launch special offers that you can add a workshop for $20. These workshops are normally $49.

You can also order the book from Amazon.

11:57 What’s new in Google Photos 2020? Chris wrote a blog post all about it. Read the whole article here: Google Photos is 5 years old and Brand New. The first thing that will strike you is that the buttons you are accustomed to aren’t there any more. Here is a grid of where features have been moved.

15:07 Check out our new YouTube Channel: YouTube.com/LearnGooglePhotos. And video 649 about the new Photo Map feature of Google Photos. Make sure to Subscribe when you go there. Another video about the Map feature is 640.GP-Google Photos new Photo Map feature

19:15 Meet David Lieb – the Product Lead for Google Photos. If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you can see the whole 75 minute meeting with David Lieb and our members.

Members only meeting with David Lieb from Google. The product lead for Google Photos

24:42 David explains how the new Map feature was developed. It was a highly requested feature since the beginning of Google Photos. They didn’t like what they saw in other photo mapping systems. They kept working on it though, and when the development team came up with the dual pane structure with a map on the top and grid of photos on the bottom, then they decided to make it.

27:05 Chris demonstrates search features listed in the book.

Chris demonstrates searching by dates, date ranges, contents of photo, and text. An interesting example is searching for Hamilto – that finds both a photo that has the name John Hamilton in the description of the photo and a photo that has a promotional sign of the play Hamilton. You can also search by type of photo – collage, favorites. Then you can combine the type with content of photos like Favorites Wine – will show you just your favorite (starred) photos that have wine in the photo.

36:31 Chris asks David Lieb if Google Photos may someday have a de-duping command. Some automatic way of finding and eliminating duplicates. He answers by first explaining that Google Photos does not allow exact duplicates to exist in the system. If you try to upload a photo that is already in your Google Photos library, it will not succeed. However, Google Photos has it’s own way of creating a “fingerprint” of a photo to determine if it is the same as another. That’s completely different from near duplicates – one that has been altered in some way – maybe even unnoticeably –

Filenames are NOT part of the “fingerprint.” Multiple photos can have the exact same filename and still be considered different files. Vice versa one file can be copied and given a different filename and Google Photos will still recognize that it is the same picture.

39:28 Chris asks David what is the most important thing for people to learn about Google Photos. He answers that they should learn all the multiple ways of getting photos in to Google Photos. The goal of Google Photos is to be a home for your lifetime of photos. So, the most important thing is to know how that lifetime of photos can be uploaded to Google Photos. From computers, cameras, prints etc. Chris made sure to cover this in Chapter 3 of her book: Collecting the rest of your life’s photos and videos

Learn Google Photos – the book

You will find our launch special, spiral bound copy, at LearnGooglePhotos.com and just scroll down till you see the red button to purchase Launch special bundle. The special is good for the month of September. You must order by 9/31/20. The spiral bound book offer is only good for the United States. If you need the book shipped to any other country, you can order it (not spiral bound) from Amazon at this link.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Your Google Account
  • Chapter 2: Getting started on mobile devices
  • Chapter 3: Collecting the rest of your life’s photos and videos
  • Chapter 4: Getting around in Google Photos
  • Chapter 5: How to find the memories you’re looking for
  • Chapter 6: Keep your memories safe
  • Chapter 7: Editing to improve your photos
  • Chapter 8: Organizing with Albums and Favorites
  • Chapter 9: Sharing
  • Chapter 10: Surrounding yourself with your photos and creations
  • Chapter 11: Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 12: Apple Photos and iCloud vs Google Photos
  • Chapter 13: My favorite features of Google Photos

August 2019 Newsletter: Google Photos Reveal, Smartphone volume, Google Drive no longer syncs with Google Photos