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