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