Tag Archives: #LearnGooglePhotos

Google Photos: How to Free Up Space on your phone

If you take a lot of photos and your phone is getting full, you may one day see a message that there is not enough free storage to take any more photos.

Google Photos has a one-click “Free Up Space” command that will delete all photos and videos from your device if they have been backed up to Google Photos in the cloud.

Just select your account button in the upper right and you should see something like the image below.

This command is the correct way to remove photos and videos from your device. Don’t use the trashcan icon in Google Photos because that will delete all copies, both on-device and cloud, of the photos. And don’t use the native photos or gallery app because they may delete photos from the device that have not been backed up to Google Photos.

When you use the Free Up Space option in the Google Photos app, those photos won’t be “gone”, they just won’t be taking up space on your phone anymore. You will still be able to see and access them all in the cloud when you use the Google Photos app.

“We recommend copying your photos and videos to an additional location (such as OneDrive, or DropBox, or your computer) before using free up space. If you don’t, then your only copy is the Google Photos cloud copy. You still need a backup.”

See Chapter 6 in Learn Google Photos book.

Apple devices:

  • The Apple iOS system has its own version of a recycle bin, so using the Google Photos process still does not free up the space on your device until you go to the Apple Photos App, select Albums and Recently Deleted, then select the photos and Delete from there.
  • You also need to know that, when you delete photos from your iPhone, the iCloud copy will also be deleted. That’s just how iCloud works. Its job is to keep all your Apple devices in sync. If you delete from one, it deletes from all. If you use the Google Photos “Free Up Space” command, all the photos deleted from your iPhone will also be deleted from your iPad, your Mac, and iCloud.com.

Even after letting Google Photos “Free Up Space” you may still see photos on your device using the native photo or gallery app. This may happen for a variety of reasons:

  • The photo did not get uploaded to Google Photos for some reason. Try manually uploading it.
  • The photo or video is stored on your phone’s SD card. The Free Up Space feature will not delete from the card.
  • The photo or video may be stored in a device folder that is not being synced to Google Photos.
  • The photo or video is corrupted in some way. Use the native app to delete it.

Google Photos: Ask Chris Anything 3/29/22

Chris Guld is a Platinum level Google Photos product expert for Google. She also wrote the book: Learn Google Photos. On March 29, 2022 she hosted a live open Q&A about Google Photos. The one hour video is above. She addressed 30+ questions. Here is the listing of each question that was asked:

  1. 1:46 Why does Google Photos not have a red-eye correction
  2. 2:41 How to get all my old photos from Picasa to Google Photos
  3. 3:50 How to find referenced videos on GeeksOnTour.com
  4. 5:55 What do the 3 bars icon mean on the lower left corner of my photos in the library
  5. 7:16 Does my Pixel 5 unlimited free storage include photos from my computer
  6. 9:12 How to stop Android from including my What’s App photos?
  7. 10:46 How to get photos from SD card into Google Photos
  8. 12:45 How to get photos from my scanner to Google Photos
  9. 13:49 How to post videos from my phone to YouTube
  10. 15:05 How to remove backgrounds
  11. 16:27 Should I pay the $1.99/mo?
  12. 18:00 Google Drive for Desktop issues
  13. 19:30 Can I get rid of duplicates
  14. 22:08 Sharing an album as a copy?
  15. 23:43 Fixing green-eye
  16. 24:30 How to select multiple photos on web version
  17. 25:49 Discuss backup quality
  18. 27:37 Talk about Google Photos PWA
  19. 29:16 Making albums with starred photos
  20. 31:26 “Trouble exporting image” when using Save As in motion photo
  21. 33:41 How to send feedback
  22. 34:19 How to make albums from folders of photos on my computer
  23. 35:18 Do photos attached to emails take up space in my 15GB Google allotment
  24. 35:56 When I download photos, will I get the descriptions
  25. 37:50 How to find any photo with search
  26. 39:26 How add photos from one album to another
  27. 42:09 Will Google ever kill Google Photos?
  28. 43:16 If I delete photos does that reduce my storage usage
  29. 44:10 Picasa could delete duplicates, why not Google Photos?
  30. 46:38 What are “memories” from OneDrive
  31. 47:55 Can I use both Google Photos and Apple iCloud
  32. 49:11 How to rename a group of photos
  33. 50:06 How to switch from Picasa to Google Photos
  34. 52:22 Can you delete frames from a motion photo
  35. 53:09 How to delete blurry photos automatically
  36. 53:35 If I add a photo from one album to another, can I delete it from the original album
  37. 54:55 Should I empty trash
  38. 55:33 Can I add photos from Google Photos to Family Tree Maker

Google Photos – Ask Chris Anything 10-18-21

Once each month, Geeks on Tour present a live-streaming, open Q&A session which is simulcast in 4 locations:

  1. YouTube Geeks on Tour channel
  2. YouTube Learn Google Photos channel
  3. Facebook Geeks on Tour page
  4. Facebook Learn Google Photos group

The links below will take you directly to the places in the video where we answer the question

  1. 0:00 Intro
  2. 3:31 PNG files and Ancestry
  3. 5:56 Drive for Desktop authentication error
  4. 9:00 Why no search when adding photos to album?
  5. 12:33 Getting photos from spouse’s account with partner sharing
  6. 13:54 Getting scanned photos to Google Photos
  7. 15:31Getting videos into YouTube
  8. 16:14 Duplicates
  9. 18:25 Increasing Google Drive storage at One
  10. 21:20 Seeing what photos are already in a particular album
  11. 23:08 Google photos in multiple accounts
  12. 26:30 Photo Library sort order
  13. 30:00 Albums view vs. Sharing tab
  14. 30:48 Are photos in albums duplicates of photos in library?
  15. 33:44 Missing photos – check trash, check account at photos.google.com
  16. 37:10 How to drag a folder from computer to Google Photos
  17. 40:30 How to change date of a photo
  18. 43:14 Restoring from trash
  19. 43:45 How do I find “camera roll”
  20. 45:02 How to copy from USB drive to Google Photos
  21. 46:52 Google Drive and connection to Google Photos with Drive for Desktop
  22. 49:57 How to upload immediately from the phone to Google Photos
  23. 52:51 How to use Snapseed on phone
  24. 54:44 Drive for Desktop not uploading photos to Google Photos
  25. 56:52 Hide from Library and Locked Folder on Pixel
  26. 59:05 Picasa stopped working
  27. 1:01:48 Fixing a photo that should be portrait but came out sideways
  28. 1:03:23 Further explanation of “Hide from Library”

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

Using Google Photos to make instant movies from your photos

If you use Google Photos to store your photos and videos, you need to try making movies! It is drop-dead easy to make short movies complete with music that you can then share with your friends. Creating custom movies is a feature of the mobile app for Google Photos – you can only view and edit the movies on the computer/web version.

Step One: Select the photos and videos you want to be in your movie.

To make a movie from photos and videos, first select the photos and videos you want. Long-Press on the first one to get into selection mode, then you can just tap on the others. The maximum number for a movie is 50, but you’ll be more successful if you keep it closer to 20. Notice the number in the upper left.

Step 2: Tap the + and choose Movie

Step 3: Save

Your movie should play for you, and you’ll hear music. If you like what you see and hear, just tap on Save and you’re done! It really is that simple. If there are things you don’t like about it, there are several simple edits you can do before saving.

Why is my movie vertical?

About a year ago, someone at Google decided that people only use their phones for photos and videos so the best way to render the movies would be in a vertical. That’s how they look best on a phone. But, I for one, take most of my photos and videos in a horizontal (landscape) orientation. I like to look at my photos and videos on a computer or big screen TV – I hate the vertical format. So I stopped using the movie feature.

Change it to horizontal: now they give us the choice but the default is still vertical (portrait.) If you want to change it like I do, you just tap the orientation button and select Landscape.

Motion Photos make your movie come to life

On the iPhone, they’re called Live Photos. On Samsung and Pixel, they’re called Motion Photos. What it means is that, when you snap a photo, the phone captures a few seconds of video as well. Usually, when you view these photos, they just look like any other photo – a single shot. But, if you tap the pause/play button using Google Photos, you’ll see the video.

In putting together this lesson on Movie Making, I made an exciting discovery. When you use motion photos in making a movie, it automatically uses the video portion, making your movie literally come to life. Contrary to what I teach in the video below, this happens on both iOS and Android. I think it is a very recent change.

If you prefer to use the still shot of any given photo in your movie, you can tap the 3-dots to the right of the clip and select “disable Live/motion photo.”

Let me show you how

Episode 218 of our Youtube show, What Does This Button Do? was all about making movies using Google Photos. If you don’t want to watch the whole 50 minutes, you can click a ‘chapter’ heading to watch just the parts you’re interesting in.

Google Photos: Everything you need to know

I wrote a book about Google Photos. It’s titled Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos. The subtitle is “Your lifetime of photos, effortless and free.” I keep thinking, if Google Photos is so effortless, why do I need a 100+ page book to teach how to use it?

I’ve come up with these 14 points as all you really need to know. Please leave a comment if you think I left something out, or got something wrong. If you take a lot of photos and wish that they were all together and safe so you never had to worry about them – Google Photos is truly the best option.

  1. You need a Google account to use Google Photos. Make sure you know your username and password.
  2. To use Google Photos on a mobile device, download the free app from the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (android)
  3. Once the app is installed, open it and accept the default settings: 1. Your google account 2. High Quality file size 3. Only upload when on Wi-Fi
  4. You will immediately see the photos on your device. If your device is connected to Wi-Fi, it will start uploading (copying) all those photos to your account in the cloud.
  5. Your photos are not “in Google Photos” until the backup is complete. You must open the app to view the progress and watch for the message “Backup Complete”
  6. Once you see “Backup Complete” you can remove photos from your device and still see the Google Photos copy. But, DO NOT use the trash can for this, that erases the photo from everywhere – device AND cloud.
    Member Tutorial Videos
  7. Android note: your device may have photos in “Device Folders” other than the camera. They will not be included in Google Photos until you: menu, device folders, select the folder and turn on Back up & Sync.
  8. iOS note: if iCloud Photo Library setting is on, leave it on until Google Photos backup is complete. Do not delete photos or FREE UP Space using Google Photos while iCloud Photo Library is on because it will also delete them from iCloud.
  9. Optional: I recommend a second cloud backup service like One Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon before removing photos from your device. That’s a true backup.
  10. To remove all photos from your device and leave them in Google Photos – use the 3-line menu and FREE UP SPACE (iOS: Do not delete photos or FREE UP Space using Google Photos while iCloud Photo Library is on because it will also delete them from iCloud.)
  11. To use Google Photos on a computer there is no software to install, just go to the website, Photos.Google.com and sign in with your Google account.
  12. To upload pictures from your computer to Google Photos manually, you have 2 choices: 1. Drag and drop from computer folders to Google Photos website 2. From Google Photos website, use the Upload button.
  13. To upload pictures from your computer to Google Photos automatically, install the Backup and Sync app and set preferences to specify what photos you want uploaded and how you want them synced.
  14. All photos uploaded to Google Photos, from whatever device, will be included in the “Library.” The photo library is one giant stream of photos in order by date taken. There are NO folders.

The 14 points above are everything you need to know to successfully store your lifetime of photos for free, forever. Once they’re there, there is so much you can do with them!

  • Explore: Google automatically groups your photos by People, Places, and Things. It is so much fun to explore and find photos you’ve forgotten. You can also use Search, and find photos without the need to tag them first.
  • Edit: Google Photos has built in editing tools that can, so easily, make your pictures look better. It also works together with the Snapseed app for hundreds more, professional, editing tools.
  • Creations: it’s easy to make your own Albums, Collages, Animations, Movies, and even printed Books.
  • Sharing: your library of photos is private, for your eyes only, but Google Photos makes it easy to share the ones you want.

Please leave a comment if you use Google Photos and learned something in this article.

#104 Google Photos Book Launch

Show Notes are for Everyone this Week

  1. Opening: Book and Learning Library December Special
  2. Beginner’s Lesson: A Walkthru of the book
  3. Closing: Picasa still the best for collages

Download .pdf (you’ll see a dropbox login, but you can just close it – no Dropbox account is needed)

Click Here To View This
Beginning image
2:40 We hope you want to buy our Google Photos book, but if you want to try before you buy, you can download the first chapter by going to GeeksOnTour.com/freechapter
3:46 image
What’s on the USB Drive?
Basically it is our entire website stored on the 8GB drive. All of our Tutorial Videos, All of our Show Notes, and 7 eBooks
7:13 Demo of the USB Drive
12 Different topic folders with many videos in each. Each video is about 5 minutes long.
What Does This Button Do folder – contains the .pdf files for show notes of 103 shows. This is a value of $103! Just the show notes!
Chris show an example by opening the show notes #76 where the main topic was how to print from your phone or tablet. Every section in the notes has a timeline link in the left column. Click that link and it takes you to the YouTube video right at the point where we demo that section.
The eBooks folder includes 7 books:
imageThe bulk of the contents are tutorial videos, all grouped by topic. You can play the videos directly from the USB drive – no Internet required.

Notice also the folder on Picasa, even a subfolder on Collages with 9 tutorial videos!

14:16 About Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos
imageSign up to get Chapter One for free.image

Chris explains how she designed the book to meet different learning styles. In learning today’s technology, many people do not have the patience or the desire to learn all the background, they just want to know what to do. For them, each section starts with Quick Checklists. Then for those who will read the explanation and background, there are discussions.

For learners who want to be shown how to do things, there are QR codes that, when scanned, will go to a web page with tutorial videos you can watch.

Chris loves Review Questions to check comprehension.

And a special feature for those who like to get the big picture, there are two Flowcharts.


We’ve put a lot of thought into how to make this a “Living” book. It needs to be easily updatable when Google Photos changes! Keep checking on the LearnGooglePhotos.com website for new info.

19:21 Page-turning WakThru of the Book

Detailed Table of Contents

Instructions on how to scan the QR Codes

Quickstart Chapter 1

Several checklists: Get Google Account, Install App, Turn on Settings, Did it work? How to verify, iCloud issue, Android Device Folders, Gather pictures from Computer Drives

QR Code plays 2 videos on how to install Desktop

Uploader 1. on Windows 2. on Mac

page: 23 Chris demonstrates


Flowchart, Chris goes thru the first flowchart in the book:


Review Questions: Chris and Jim go thru the first 3 Review Questions



Page 32: Snapping Pictures of Old Prints

Chris demonstrates using Google’s PhotoScan app

If you want to capture digital photos of prints in an old album, you can just snap a picture of a picture, but you may get a poor quality picture with a lot of glare.

Using PhotoScan, it starts out just like taking a picture of a picture, but it adds one more step – to move the camera to 4 more defined spots on the print. So, you’ve taken 5 photos in total, and PhotoScan merges all 5 into one more perfect image.

The resulting photo has been trimmed to the edges of the print, adjusted the skew, and blended all 5 scans into one photo.

When you tap on Save All, you can go back to Google Photos and the scans you just made are there. You can use any editing features from Google Photos to improve them even further.

32:06 image

The best deal by far is to take advantage of our December special. It’s a combo of the printed Google Photos book, and the USB drive of our entire Geeks on Tour Learning Library. At a value of $96.95, the special is about half-price.

$49 December Special Google Photos Book AND Learning Library on USB

If you’re not interested in the USB drive, and just want the book, there are several ways:

eBook: the eBook is included in your Geeks on Tour membership. Click Here

For links to all the different ways to get the book

GeeksOnTour.com/Google Photos Book

35:16 image

Picasa is not an App for a smartphone, it is software for a computer (either Windows or Mac) It was retired by Google in May of 2016, but it still works just fine. The installation files are available at GeeksOnTour.com for our members.

We especially like it for making collages.

imageChris wrote a book on Picasa also! It is still available on Amazon.

Beginner’s Guide to Picasa on Amazon

We demonstrate how you can still use the special features of Picasa on your computer.

Tutorial video on Making Collages with Google Photos or Picasa

Since Picasa was our specialty for over 10 years, we have LOTS of tutorial videos on it.

GeeksOnTour.com Picasa Tutorial Videos

We even have a 9-video Short Course for Members just on Collages

In the book on pages 92-95 we write about how to work with pictures between Picasa on your computer and Google Photos in the cloud.

40:38 image

Ends at 40:01Complete Playlist of What Does This Button Do shows.