Google Photos

Six Issues With Google Photos And How To Fix Them

June 9, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Google Photos was recently launched as a standalone application during this year´s Google I/O developer conference. Separating from Google+, the service now offers numerous great new features and an excellent photo backup solution for everyone on any platform and not only on Android-powered devices. The Google Photos standalone application introduced a beautifully updated interface along with an overhauled and useful smart search, which allows the user to find any image in his or her library without any major hassle. Unfortunately, as it is a normal occurrence between newly released products, there are a number of issues that don’t work as expected. In the new Google Photos app, there are six flaws that although just minor, they could be a deal-breaker for anyone on the verge of using Google Photos as their primary image backup service. Luckily, all  these issues are fixable, as there are several workarounds that will give the user a better experience when using Google Photos.

The first issue that users might want to fix is the speed in which the images are uploaded to the cloud. If you have a relatively large library of photos stored in your hard drive and want to backup your images without having to wait for a long time, the desktop uploader is the best way to upload them. The process to upload images is fairly simple, just download the software directly from Google Photos’ website and sign in with your Google account; the desktop application will then prompt you with the folders you wish to backup and the resolution in which you want to upload the images. Before you upload the images, take into consideration that if you choose to upload at full size, your photos will eat up your Google Drive storage, in case you might want to preserve your Drive storage, make sure to opt instead for the unlimited high-quality uploads.

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There are a number of users that have been having issues with the way Google handled their unlimited storage feature, as it is not retroactively applied. This means that the images that were previously uploaded at full resolution will continue to take up space in your Google Drive. If you are getting close to running out of space, you can resort to purchasing more Google Drive storage, with plans that offer 100GB for $1.99 per month and 1TB for $9.99, it might be the most convenient option at a reasonable price.

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Google Photos not only relies on image recognition when you search for images, it also takes into account the location where the image was taken, along with the metadata of each taken photo. If you want the search feature inside Google Photos to be more accurate and reliable, turn on location saving from the camera app. With this in mind, you can now refine your searches and include the location where you took them; instead of searching only for your beach vacations photos, you will be able to search for your beach vacations photos in Cancun (or wherever the images were taken).

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Google Photos has a strong bond with Google Drive, as the photos service offers the option to sync the images you back up into a folder inside Google Drive. This is an especially useful feature if you are a recurrent Drive user, or if you want all your images to be available from your desktop computer without an internet connection, with Google Drive installed into your desktop computer, all your images will be synced seamlessly; unfortunately this feature might end up eating up your hard drive space, as the images backed up into the cloud will still take space in your computer unless you manually delete them or stop them from syncing. If you wish to stop your photos from syncing, you can simply turn off the feature, from the general settings in the Google Drive desktop suite.

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Google included numerous new useful gestures to quickly select and manage all your images, this allows for quicker deletions and other actions. But, what happens if you select a batch of images using the new gestures and accidentally delete the wrong photo? Google Photos got you covered, the application will keep any deleted image for 60 days in the Trash section, so if you accidentally delete a nice photo, you can get it back by heading to the Trash and selecting the pictures you want to get back.

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Every Android-powered device sorts images into folders, which depend on the application that created or downloaded them. Google Photos automatically backs up any of these images unless you directly set the application not to. If you don’t want your Google Photos library to be filled with screenshots, you can turn off backup for individual folders. This is achieved by heading into the Device folders section of the slide-out menu, and tapping on the cloud icon to the right of the folder’s name.

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Google Photos, like any other new product, takes some time to become accustomed to. Luckily, the internet giant will keep tweaking the app to make sure it offers the best features and the necessary reliability to keep all of your images securely stored.