What Is Google Photos Backup Folder on Device?

This should be talked in two different period of time. Before Google Backup and Sync release and Google Photos merge with Google Drive, Google photos backup folder refers to a temporary folder creates automatically by Google Photos Backup in Pictures to hold images from a card or device while it is uploading those images to the Google Photos cloud. Or, we can say Google auto Backup folder in Pictures is for the optional hard drive backup of images from an SD Card or other external device that is simultaneously being backed up to the Google Photos cloud.

After Google Backup and Sync was published, the Google Photos Backup software – Google Photos Desktop Uploader was replaced by Backup and Sync, and Google photos backup folder became Google Drive folder or any other folder on local devices. The reason is that in Backup and Sync, you can select whatever folder(s) locally as your source of backing up to Google cloud. Yes, now, you can not only backup photos, pictures, videos or movies but also any other kind of files as long as they are in the selected folder(s) to cloud with Google Backup and Sync.

Why Need Google Auto Backup Folder?

In the old times, just as mentioned above, Google auto backup folder is used for temporarily store the source photos from SD cards, Cameras & Memory Cards etc. external devices and to be backed up to cloud storage. It is just like a transit for gathering photos from multiple local disks and sending them to Google Photos.

Now, Google photos backup folder on device has changed a lot. Similarly, it can be a folder for collecting source files including but not limited to photos. Differences are the number of the folder can and usually be larger than just one; and one of them, the one named “Google Drive”, can also be the destination for saving the files be synced back from cloud to local. From Google Drive folder, you can get directly access to what you have in “My Drive” tab of Google Drive.

Google Drive Folder to My Drive Tab

How to Create Google Photos Backup Folder?

When using Google Photos Uploader, the Google auto backup folder is created automatically by the desktop app. Therefore, you do not have to care about it.

Nowadays, Google photo backup folder on device is mainly selected by yourself. When you install Backup and Sync on your machine, it will let you choose where to store the future files, where Google Drive folder locates. While setting up Backup and Sync service, you can further select other folders as Google auto backup folders. The details are in below contents.

Google Photos Selective Backup with Backup and Sync

First thing first, download Backup and Sync and install it on your machine. When it was successfully installed, it will automatically guide you to make your initial setup of Google Backup service.

Google Drive Backup and Sync Get Started

In the first step, you are required to sign your Google Account which is related to the Google Drive where you are going to backup photos.

Google Drive Backup and Sync Sign in

For the second step, you need to specify which folder(s) on the local computer you want to backup to cloud. The selected folder(s) are so-called Google photos backup folder(s).


  • You can also decide the size of each upload pictures, high quality or original quality.
  • In default, the backed items will be stored in “My Computer” tab in Google Drive. If you want the photos and videos among the backup items to be selectively saved to Google Photos, just tick “Upload photos and videos to Google Photos”. Then, the uploaded images will go to “Google Photos” tab of Google Drive.

Google Backup and Sync Photos

At the third step, specify which items on Google cloud to be synced back to local devices and which folder on device to accept the files from cloud. In default, all things in “My Drive” tab will be synchronized to local folder where you installed Backup and Sync (that is Google Drive folder).

Google Photos Backup and Sync

Tip: If you want to sync photos in “Google Photos” tab back to local, you need to first move these pictures to “My Drive” tab since only items in “My Drive” tab can be synced. In the above picture, I created a folder named also “Google Photos” in “My Drive” tab and copy photos I want to sync back to local from “Google Photos” tab to the folder. Then, I choose only to sync Google Photos folder on cloud to local.

Finally, click “START” to establish the connection between local computer and cloud drive; and transfer files between the two locations.

What if Backup and Sync fails to backup photos?

If you are unable to make use of Backup and Sync to backup photos/videos for you, you can try the solutions provided in the below articles.

Google Photos backup slow >>

Google Photos backup stuck >>

MultCloud Logo

Quickly transfer, sync or backup files from one cloud to another.

Sign up Free

100% secure

MultCloud Supports Clouds

Multcloud Key Features