Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Google Photos, the stock app present in your android devices that most of you feel is just a secondary image gallery. Most of you barely use it, simply because you have your default Gallery app on your device and don’t need another. Some of you might have even tried to get rid of the app, and given up after realizing that you cannot. If you belong to either of those two categories, I can assure you that you don’t yet know the usefulness of Google Photos.

Let me tell you more about it. Firstly, here is the home screen.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

This is the window that will appear when you launch the app. If you swipe to the left, you can use your albums and if you swipe to the right, you get to use the Google Assistant (more details ahead).

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

You can access more options by clicking the options on the top right corner.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

You can use the various features and settings of Photos by swiping right from the extreme left side of the screen.

From a professional photographer to any regular person whose gallery is full of notes for their upcoming exams, Google Photos has enough features for everyone. So, here’s a look at 15 Google Photos Tips for Power Users.

  1. Assistant

Using a Google product has its perks, one of them is being able to use the Google Assistant. It is a smart assistant that can automatically create albums, collages, animations, and movies from your photos using its Artificial Intelligence that links your photos based on the date and time, similarity and facial recognition.

Just swipe to the right from your home screen to open the Assistant tab. If you are unable to see this, go to ‘Settings’ and make sure ‘Assistant cards’ option is enabled.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Your assistant will help you do a variety of tasks. As you can see in the picture, it can help you clear images that you may not need anymore.

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  1. Smart Search

Google Photos Smart Search feature is so accurate that it may make you feel a little uncomfortable. You can use just a hint about your photos to search for images that match the description, like date/time, colour, people or objects in the photo and literally anything that you can think of.

When you click on the ‘Search bar’ at the top, you will see some personalized limits to start your search. These include people, locations, videos, selfies, animations and much more.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

You can start searching by adding keywords for the images that you need.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

For example, I wanted to look at the image of a dish that I’d eaten a few months ago. I remember that the dish had fries. So, I just entered ‘fries’ in the search bar. The smart search automatically looked through my photo gallery and showed me the exact image that I was looking for.

  1. Editing

Google Photos offers you a set of basic photo editing tools. It does not contain more in-depth features like Adobe Photoshop, but it enough for making basic edits on the go.

Open the photo that you want to edit and click on the ‘Edit’ option (the pencil icon).

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

You will find various editing options on the right side of the screen. You can select the ‘Auto’ filter, where automatically enhances your image in the best way possible.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Or, you can select the filter of your choice from the options available. Light and color balance can be adjusted manually. There are options to rotate, crop and manage other aspects of the photo.

  1. Share photos and videos

Google Photos lets you to share your photos, videos and even albums with friends or over your social media channels.

Open the photo, video or album and click ‘Share’ at the top.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

You will get various sharing options along with suggested contacts. You can either share the content via email, add it to album, share over popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus or get a sharable link that you can forward to the people you want to share your content with.

  1. Moving in time using right scroll bar

Google Photos has a dedicated scroll bar right next to the regular scroll bar of your browser. This scroll bar allows you to view photos over time. If you want to use certain photos from a particular time, simply use this scroll bar to directly move to the time of your choice instead of scrolling endlessly using the browser scroll bar.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Basically, you just have to move your cursor to the right side of the interface and the dedicated scroll bar will automatically appear. The time period depends upon the time when the photos were taken, and not when they were uploaded.

  1. Adding Private Labels

Google Photos search is smart enough to find if the person in the photo is a man, a woman or a baby. However, it cannot recognize the person who is actually inside a picture. You can help out by adding a private label with the name of the person whose face is in the image. This will help organize all the photos of that person in one place.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

To do so, click on the search bar and Google Photos will show the face of all the people who it can find in your photos. Next, click on the face of the person you would like to label and then click on ‘Who’s this?’ on the next page.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Then enter the name of the person and Google Photos will add a private label to mark that person and will organize their photos by their name.

  1. Removing Geolocation

When you share a photo or a video, its Geolocation is also shared with it, i.e. anyone can track the exact location of the place where that photo was taken. You get an option to ask Google Photos to remove the Geolocation data from content that is shared using the ‘Link’ option.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Go to the ‘Settings’ option on your google photos and enable ‘Remove geo location in items shared by link’. That’s it Hereafter when you will share content using sharable link, its location data will not be shared. Although, the location will still be shared if you will use other sharing options like social media networks or via email.

  1. Desktop Uploader

The Google Photos app for smartphones is very efficient at automatically uploading and syncing photos and videos. However, on the desktop, we have to manually upload content using the upload button in Google Photos web interface.

Download the Desktop Uploader, and then it will automatically start syncing photos and videos stored in your PC. It will also ask you to upload photos or videos from your external storage devices like SD cards portable hard drives when you connect it to your PC. So, it is a necessary app for people who use their camera for clicking pictures.

  1. Saving space on your phone

Google Photos app also allows you to delete all photos in your phone that have been safely backed up in your Google Photos account. In case you have shortage of storage in your phone, you can ask Google Photos to delete all the photos and videos on your device that are already backed up.

In the smartphone app, tap on the main menu at the top left corner and select the ‘Free up device storage’ option.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Google Photos can find and list all the photos and videos and show you how many items that are backed up and can be deleted. Just click on the ‘Remove’ option for delete the items that you don’t need.

  1. Backup and sync photos & videos

The Google Photos smartphone app by default only backs up photos and videos that are taken by the camera of the phone. However, you can also set Google Photos to backup photos or videos from folders created by other apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or any other photo editing app or even the screenshots folder.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

To do so, open the main menu in Google Photos on your phone and tap the ‘Device folders’ option. You can see all the directories and files in your device with a ‘Cloud’. Tap on the ‘Cloud’ option next to each folder that you want to take backup, and it will turn blue, meaning the syncing is on. Now when you will add a new photos or videos into that specific folder, it will automatically upload to Google Photos.

  1. Google Drive Photos & videos

By default, the photos and videos that you upload to Google Drive using the Google Drive uploader do not seem in Google Photos. If you want them to do so as well, you can enable it from the settings. Go to ‘Settings’ and enable the ‘Google Drive’ option.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Now the photos and videos stored in Google Drive will appear in Google Photos. However, this doesn’t mean that these photos and videos will be moved to Google Photos. They will still take storage on your Google Drive and won’t be compressed to take advantage of the unlimited storage offered in Google Photos.

  1. Enabling unlimited storage

Google Photos offers unlimited storage for your photos and videos for a compressed size. In order to be eligible for the google’s unlimited storage, all your photos and videos must be compressed to 16 mega pixels and 1080p resolution .

This resolution is just more than enough for normal users who use their smartphones or regular cameras for photos or videos. It only a hectic for professional photographers or cinematographers who want their high-resolution photos stored in their original size and quality.

To enable this option, click on the main menu at the top left corner and select ‘Settings’.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Then go to ‘Backup & Sync’ and under ‘Upload Size’, select the ‘High quality’ option. Now all your newly added photos and videos will be compressed and will not contribute to your Google Drive storage.

  1. Instantly recovering storage space

If you are low on maximum storage limit of Google Photos, you can instantly recover some of the storage by compressing photos and videos that are not compressed. Go to ‘Settings’ again from the top left main menu and go to ‘Backup & Sync’ and then click on the ‘Recover Storage’ option.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

The pop up window will show you “how much storage you can recover by compressing photos and videos”. Click on the ‘Compress’ button. This will help you compress all photos and videos that are not compressed, including photos and videos in other Google services like Google+ and Blogger (except for Google Drive).

You should also use the ‘Recover Storage’ option right after you enable the unlimited high-quality photo/video storage option. Because it will only compress newer photos/videos while the older ones will still remain in their original resolution and won’t contribute to unlimited storage unless you compress them.

  1. Recover deleted photos & videos

You can also recover recently deleted photos and videos using the ‘Trash’ option in Google Photos. just like all other apps Google Photos also moves all the deleted content to the Trash folder first and keeps it there for 60 days before deleting it permanently. If you accidentally deleted something or changed your mind after deleting something, then you can easily recover it from the Trash.

Click on the main menu on the top left corner and select ‘Trash’ from the menu.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Once you’re in the trash, you can select the photos that you would like to recover and click on the ‘Restore’ button at the top right corner to recover them.

  1. Download all photos & videos

Google Photos also allows you to easily download all the photos and videos in your account. However, selecting each one individually and then downloading it can be a tedious task. To make your job easier, all the photos and videos and albums stored inside your Google Photos account can be downloaded in one click using the Google Takeout service.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Google Takeout allows you to download the archives of your all the data stored inside Google services, including Google Photos. Open the Google Takeout page and click ‘Select none’ button to select all the Google services.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Now scroll down and select ‘Google Photos’ from the list. After that, move to the bottom and click on the ‘Create archive’ option to start creating an archive. Once you create the archive, Google will send an email to your Gmail account containing the link to download all the data.

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To summarize

The above tips and tricks should help you get more out of Google Photos. Like most users, if you are using the default 15GB free space offered by Google Drive to store content in Google Photos, you should definitely enable the unlimited storage option. This will be beneficial as you can use the 15GB space for other Google Services, including Gmail and still have all your photos and videos synced online. Also, when you get an opportunity, make sure to check out the Smart Search feature of Google Photos, it is surprisingly accurate.