Tag Archives: Google Photos

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