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How to Move Photos from Google Photos to Google Drive Free of Cost

Mar 17, 2021 • Filed to: Cloud Management Solution • Proven solutions


If you are using an Android smartphone, it is more than likely you have come across Google Photos app, even if that may not be your default photo app on your phone since many manufacturers put their own photo gallery apps as default. However, Google Photos would still be installed on your phone as part of the Android operating system. If you are not using it, you should try it. It is a great app for managing photos in the Google Android ecosystem and works great on the phone and the web. Photos stored in Google Photos are available across devices. Until recently, Google Photos and Google Drive were tied together to enable the seamless availability of photos between the two apps. Since Google nixed the obvious connection, here are workarounds for those looking for ways how to move photos from Google Photos to Google Drive now.

Differences Between Google Photos And Google Drive

Google Drive is Google’s cloud storage service that offers 15 GB of free storage to users. Yes, the 15 GB email storage space that you get when you sign up for Gmail is part of Google Drive storage. It is the cumulative storage available to you across Google’s services. You can store any type of file in Google Drive, whether it be a PDF, a JPEG, a GIF, video formats, ZIP files, proprietary software formats, anything. This is your storage provided by Google and contains what you store in it.

Google Photos, on the other hand, is specifically designed for photos, videos and GIFs. This is a photo gallery app which is enabled to support your on-device camera, the photos you take using the camera app on your phone can be viewed here. That is the primary job. Secondary job is storing photos from across your apps on the phone, so when you receive that old image of your grandma or when distant relative shares the first pics of their newborn with you on WhatsApp, those photos can/ will be stored in Google Photos app on your phone.

Google Photos Sync

In addition to this functionality that Google Photos offers on the phone, it also offers Google sync. Google Sync enables you to store all the photos in the app in the cloud, free of charge so that if you change your device or want to view your photos from another device or on your computer, you can do so. It does not count towards your 15 GB storage so long as you store those photos to the cloud in high resolution and not the original resolution. If you choose to store in the original resolution, photos will take space from your 15 GB storage.

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Why Transfer Photos From Google Photos To Google Drive?

So there is an app from Google that manages all your photos on your phone, looks great, works great, you can create albums, you can store photos in the cloud and sync your photos across your devices. Also, high-resolution photos do not count towards storage, either, and begin to count towards storage only when photos are uploaded in original resolution. So, what seems to be the problem? The problem begins when you want to have control of your photos when you want to have a local copy when you want to have a backup of your photos when you want to transfer photos from one device to another, as there is no clear way to backup your photos.

Having a backup of your photos is important. Photos can exist in Google Photos free of cost, and free from counting towards storage, but at high resolution, not the original resolution that would invariably be very high quality. To have the original resolution copies (and backups) of your photos, it is important to transfer photos from Google Photos to Google Drive in their original resolution.

How To Move Photos From Google Photos To Google Drive?

There are two ways you can move photos from Google Photos to Google Drive. The first way is better when you do not care about original image resolution too much. The second way is a slightly more tedious way and requires a computer, but that method downloads a full copy of your photos, in their original resolution. The second method is the preferred method, by far.

Moving High-Resolution Photos From Google Photos To Google Drive

If you do not care about original resolution photos, then all you need to do to have a backup of your photos is this:

Step 1: Open Google Photos on your phone

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Step 2: Check that Photos tab is selected at the bottom

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Step 3: Scroll to the top and tap and hold any photo or date

Step 4: Now, keep tapping all the dates till you reach the end

Step 5: Tap the Share button at the top and select Save to Drive

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Your photos are now going to be saved in the folder of your choice in Google Drive. You can access that folder by launching Google Drive on your phone. This method does not require you to have a computer with you to get the job done.

Moving Original Resolution Photos From Google Photos To Google Drive

However, if you want to have a copy of your original resolution photos, to backup to Google Drive or to transfer anywhere else, you need another, slightly trickier method and it requires access to a computer with a web browser and internet.

Step 1: Launch your web browser of choice and open your Google/ Gmail account

Step 2: Click on your display picture at the top right-hand side, and select Manage your Google Account

Step 3: From the list at the left-hand side, select Data & Personalisation

Step 4: Scroll down to find the option titled Download your data under the heading Download, delete, or make a plan for your data

Step 5: Click Download your data

Choosing this option will take you to Google Takeout, Google’s service that allows you to download all your data that resides with Google. You could alternatively have visited Google Takeout website straightaway from the browser and signed in with your Google Account credentials, but considering the possibility that you might forget that, this longer route ensures that you remember how to access this again to periodically download your Google Photos and move photos from Google Photos to Google Drive.

Step 6: On the Google Takeout interface, since we are only interested in photos at the moment, the first thing to do is click Deselect All. This will remove all checkmarks.

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Step 7: Now, scroll down and find Google Photos and check it

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Step 8: Scroll down till the end and click the Create Export button.

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You will receive an email with a link to download the backup when it is ready. The backup will contain all your photos in an original resolution as uploaded to Google Photos. You may now move your photos folder from your computer to Google Drive by signing in to Google Drive.

Step 1: From any of your Google Account services, click the grid icon beside the display picture at the top right and select Drive

Step 2: Create a new folder for your photos if you wish, otherwise just drag and drop your photos folder that you just received from Google Takeout into the Drive and your photos will be available on Google Drive.

Move Photos from Google Photos to Google Drive by InClowdz

Wondershare InClowdz allow you to move your photos to Google Drive in one click

Wondershare InClowdz

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Step 1 - Download and install the Wondershare InClowdz on your device.

Step 2 - Create an account and then login.

creating account on wondershare inclouwdz software

Step 3 - Then go to the ‘Migrate’ option given on the left side of your screen.

selecting migrate option in wondershare inclowdz software

Step 4 - Further, choose the ‘Add Cloud Drive’ option for adding Google Drive and Google Photos to your InClowdz account.

authorizing cloud storage servers in wondershare inclowdz for synchronization procedure

Step 5 - Now go to the ‘Source Drive’ and select ‘Google Photos’ to choose the file you want to transfer to Google Drive. 

Step 6 - Then choose your desired folder in Google Drive where you want to save your transferred files.

selecting dropbox folder for image synchronization in wondershare inclowdz

Step 7 - Finally, press the ‘Migrate’ button to start the transfer process.

migrating google photos files to dropbox in wondershare inclowdz

Tip To Manage Photos On Google Drive

As can be seen, this is a tedious task to move and transfer your photos from Google Photos to Google Drive. So, here’s a tip. Start organizing your photos in albums in Google Photos, so that when you download your photos from Google Takeout, you know which data to upload to Google Drive for backup. That way, you will backup incrementally, instead of having to upload gigabytes of data periodically.


Your Android phone creates a backup if you have enabled it to, automatically, for all your apps and data that you have on the phone, and stores that backup on Google Drive. Only, when Google decided to de-link Google Photos and Google Drive to create more separation between these two offerings, it created a problem for those who were accustomed to having their photos synced automatically between Google Photos and Google Drive since your photos were suddenly not backed up on Google Drive along with all of your other data in one place, but they were backed up intangibly on Google Photos platform. Google Drive was a nifty way to have a ready backup of one’s photos and memories in Google Drive and with automatic backups, it was a worry-free affair. Today, there are workarounds that you can use to the same effect. Once you have gone through the hoops to get your photos on Google Drive, they can be accessed from the Google Drive app on the phone as well as using a web browser on a computer.

Alice MJ

staff Editor

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