Why Move Photos from Google Drive to Google Photos?

Starting in July 2019, new photos and videos from Drive will not automatically appear in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the photos folder in Drive; photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from the photos. Likewise, items you delete in "Photos" will not be deleted from Drive. In other words, the pictures in Google Drive have to be manually moved to Google Photos.

And, you may know that Google Drive is just a tool that can help store, organize, download and view photos. However, Google Drive does not provide a built-in image editing method, you can only use third-party tools to edit the image.

Google Photos vs Google Drive
Google Photos vs Google Drive

Compared with Google Drive, Google Photos has great advantages for image management and editing:

1. Viewing pictures is more convenient: you can browse your photos on photos.google.com or the Google Photos app on your phone. The images are sorted by date, which means you can scroll to browse according to the year of the picture;
2. Search is smarter: One of the most convenient Google Photos features is AI-driven search. You can enter almost anything and get accurate results. It can also distinguish people, animals, and plants based on facial recognition;
3. Picture editing: Google Photos also provides some very basic photo editing functions. You can apply filters, adjust levels, rotate, and crop images.

In summary, Google Photos is a fully functional photo library application, so you can use these useful functions above to create photo albums, store videos and photos taken by the camera, or store GIFs downloaded from the application to your phone. Then, how to transfer pictures from Google Drive to Google Photos?

How Do I Move Photos from Google Drive to Google Photos?

As Google Photos is more professional to save images, photos, pictures, etc., many people prefer to add photos and videos from Google Drive to Google Photos for better management.

In this post, we collect four free and safe ways to move pictures from Google Drive to Google Photos which receive some positive feedback on the Internet, so you can try them one by one to achieve Google Drive to Google Photos transfer.

Way 1. Download and Upload

Want to move some folders from Google Drive to Google Photos? The easiest way is to download the images and upload them to Google Photos.

Step 1: Filter out pictures and videos in Google Drive, then select the files to be transferred, click the three dots in the top menu bar, and then click "Download".

Filter Images to Download
Filter Images to Download

Note: These files will be bundled in a ZIP folder, you need to unzip this folder on your computer.

Step 2: Log in to Google Photos and upload these files from local to Google Photos.

Upload Photos to Google Photos
Upload Photos to Google Photos

Note: Make sure to delete the files from Google Drive when you are done, otherwise they will take up space on both services.

This method requires local storage serving as transit. Also, it costs much time and energy if there are a lot of photos that need to be transferred.

Way 2. Directly Upload Files via Google Photos

Normally, you can upload the files or folders of the target photos directly from Google Drive to Google Photos.

Before starting, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • The photo must be larger than 256 pixels.
  • The file type must be .jpg, .gif, .webp, .tiff, or .raw.
  • If you use your Google account through work or school, you must download it from Google Drive and upload it again to Google Photos.

After understanding the precautions, you can upload according to the following steps:

Step 1. Visit the Google Photos homepage directly, click "Upload", and then select "Google Drive" in the drop-down window.

Select Google Drive to Upload
Select Google Drive to Upload

Step 2. Select "My Drive" in the pop-up window, then filter all pictures according to file type, and finally select all pictures and click "Upload" to upload.

Filter Images from My Drive to Upload
Filter Images from My Drive to Upload

Compared with the previous method, this method saves the download and file decompression operations, which can save most of the time.

Way 3. Using “Google Backup and Sync”

Google Backup and Sync is the official application for Windows and Mac, which can safely back up files and photos between Google Drive and Google Photos. You can even use it to back up photos from SD cards, cameras, and external hard drives to Google Drive and Google Photos.

Step 1. Download the Google Backup and Sync app.
Step 2. After downloading, open installbackupandsync.exe.


  • If you see a window asking if you want to allow the program to make changes on your computer, click Yes.
  • If the system asks you to restart your computer, please do it now.

Step 3. Log in with your Google account username and password.
Step 4. Select the folder to be backed up, and then select "Upload photos and videos to Google Photos" > “Next”.

Setting Google Backup and Sync
Setting Google Backup and Sync

Note: Starting from October 1, 2021, any users who are still on Google Backup and Sync after that will not be able to log in to Backup and Sync anymore. To continue syncing with Google Drive and/or Google Photos, users need to switch to the desktop version of Google Drive.

It should be noted that the premise that this method can be executed is that you have downloaded the Google Drive desktop and the related photos are also saved on the local storage device. In this way, you can choose to back up the pictures in Google Drive to Google Photos during synchronization.

Way 4. Move Photos from Google Drive to Google Photos with MultCloud

Can I directly move from Google Drive to Google Photos without downloading and uploading? Yes, you could make it with the help of a professional and FREE multiple cloud manager tool, MultCloud, which can manage multiple cloud accounts from one platform without shifting accounts.

1. To make use of MultCloud, first of all, create an account first.

Sign Up
Sign Up

2. After successfully creating a MultCloud account, sign in to its platform.
3. Next, add Google Drive and Google Photos to MultCloud platform. In its main interface, click on the “Add Cloud” tab on the left and select the cloud you want to add. Then, follow the easy guide to finish the task.

Add Google Drive and Google Photos
Add Google Drive and Google Photos


  • To find Google Photos in clouds list, please roll the screen down.
  • MultCloud only allows to add one cloud in one time. To add another cloud, please repeat the above process.
  • MultCloud has no limit to the number of clouds to add. If you have several clouds that MultCloud supports, you are allowed to add them all to MultCloud.

4. After adding both Google Photos and Google Drive, create one "Cloud Sync" task to move photos between Drive to Google Photos. Specify the photos in Google Drive to move as the source and select destination location under Google Photos as the target.

5. Finally, click “Sync Now” to move photos from Drive to Google Photos.

Sync Google Drive to Google Photos
Sync Google Drive to Google Photos


  • To experience super-fast transfer speed, you could upgrade your account to a premium account so you will get 10 threads to transfer your photos.
  • You can regularly sync photos from Google Drive to Google Photos by setting a schedule from the “Schedule” on the bottom left.
  • You are able to add more than one destination for synchronization. Yet, this feature is only available for billed plan users.
  • The steps of transferring Google Photos to Google Drive are similar.


Following anyways above, it can help move photos from Google Drive to Google Photos quickly. If you prefer to use MultCloud to transfer images, you would find that MultCloud has many advanced functions. 

In addition to "Cloud Sync", MultCloud also enables you to transfer photos among cloud drives, backup files from one cloud to another as well as basic management (download, upload, create, delete, rename, share, etc.) of all cloud storages added to its platform.

What’s more, except for Google Drive and Google Photos, MultCloud also supports other common cloud drives including MEGA, OneDrive, SharePoint, Dropbox, G Suite, Amazon S3, Flickr, etc., so you can easily perform file management among different cloud drives.

MultCloud Supports Clouds

Multcloud Key Features