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About Google Photos & Google Drive

Google Drive, launched on April 24, 2012, is one of the most famous and powerful Cloud services that are widely used worldwide. Google Drive offers great convenience for you to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files through the network. In addition to a website, Google Drive has apps on all popular platforms including Windows and macOS computers, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. It offers you 15 GB of free storage and upgrade options while charging a monthly fee.

Google Drive and Google Photos
Google Drive and Google Photos

Google Photos, released in May 2015, later than Google Drive, is a photo-sharing and storage service developed by Google. It also has its own website to access and app on all the popular platforms. The great thing is that Google Photos gives you free, unlimited storage space for photos up to 16 million pixels and videos up to 1080p resolution. But Google has ended unlimited storage on June 1, 2021. Now, does Google Photos have free unlimited storage? No. You also have the option to store at higher resolutions, but the storage will count against your Google Drive quota.

However, Google announced on November 12, 2020, that it would no longer offer unlimited free photo storage and anyone wishing to store more than that will have to pay for one of the company's storage plans. But luckily, photos uploaded before June 2021 will not be counted towards the user limit when the change occurs.

Why Sync Google Photos to Google Drive?

As mentioned above, Google Drive and Google Photos are still different. Even though Google Drive does display photos on devices in each respective folder, you cannot move pictures between these folders. However, Google Drive supports hierarchy and you are allowed to copy pictures, images, and videos between folders inside Google Drive.

Besides, if you have installed Google Drive on your device, you can scan documents, files, or photos directly. While using Google Photos, you have to download the PhotoScan app from Google so that you can scan your photos. In addition to the above reasons, the following differences between Google Drive and Google Photos also lead you to choose to transfer files between the two cloud drives.

  • Google Drive supports more file types: Google Photos is a photo library application that only supports storing and managing pictures and videos. However, Google Drive supports file (including photos, videos, ZIP to PDF) storage, management, and backup.
  • User interface: The user interface of Google Photos is like another photo library, and Google Drive, is like a typical cloud file manager or backup service.
  • Management: Google Photos provides the same media content management as on your device, and you cannot move or copy content between folders. However, Google Drive provides a good management method. You can manage various folders flexibly, such as creating, moving, and deleting. Therefore, you can better manage various data on Google Drive.

Considering the above reasons, many people tend to sync photos from Google Photos to Google Drive to store these photos.

How to Move Photos from Google Photos to Google Drive? [3 Methods]

Here, we round up 3 methods below to help sync or add Google Photos to Google Drive.

Method 1. Download and Upload Manually

This might be the first idea that comes to most users' minds: first, download all target photos from Google Photos onto your local storage device and then re-upload them to Google Drive. Before that, please ensure your local device has enough space for transit purposes, especially when it is a mobile device.

1. Sign in to your Google Photos and download all photos to your local device.

Download Photos from Google Photos
Download Photos from Google Photos

2. Then upload these photos from your local computer to Google Drive.

Upload Files to Google Drive
Upload Files to Google Drive

This way will take much time if there are a lot of pictures and videos to migrate. 

Method 2. Show your Google Photos in Google Drive

Is it possible to get quick access to Google Photos for Google Drive users? With a simple setting, you don't have to constantly head over to photos.google.com to work with images on your Google Cloud. With Google Drive, you can view, download, delete, share, tag, and rename your photos.

Step 1. Open your computer, and go to drive.google.com.
Step 2. Click "Settings".
Step 3. Next to "Create a Google Photos folder," turn on "Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive".

Put Google Photos into a folder in My Drive
Put Google Photos into a folder in My Drive
This method is great, but it has not been available since July 10, 2019, when Google Photos and Google Drive no longer automatically sync. So now you might find this "Create a Google Photos folder" does not exist anymore.


Method 3. Sync Google Photos to Google Drive Directly with MultCloud

To get rid of the inconvenience of the above two methods, we recommend a third-party cloud to cloud sync tool – MultCloud. Not only for Google Drive and Google Photos, but it also supports almost all popular cloud storage services, such as OneDrive, Dropbox, G Suite, Google Drive, SharePoint, Wasabi, Flickr, FTP, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, etc. It allows you to directly transfer or add Google photos to Google Drive without downloading and uploading.

  • 10 Sync Modes: one way / two way sync, real time sync, etc.
  • Schedule Sync: set a specific time to start cloud sync automatically.
  • Offline: sync cloud data without going through local storage device.
  • Fast: up to 10 threads for cloud data transfer.

Here you will find simple steps on how to move Google Photos to Google Drive with MultCloud:

Step 1. Create a MultCloud account. it's FREE of charge. Then log in to your MultCloud.
Step 2. On the main console, click "Add Cloud" on the left and select "Google Drive". Then, just follow the easy guide to finish cloud account adding. Then add Google Photos in the same way.

Add Google Drive And Google Photos
Add Google Drive And Google Photos

Note: You can add all your Cloud service accounts to connect and manage files between multiple cloud storage accounts if needed.

Step 3. Click on Cloud Sync, and select the folder in Google Photos as the source folder and a folder in Google Drive as the target folder.

Sync Google Photos
Sync Google Photos

Step 5. Click on Sync Now to add Google Photos to Google Drive directly.

After the task is complete, you can explore all photos in the Google Drive folder. What’s more, once you settle a sync task, you can also commit it or re-edit, delete, view logs, etc. from the Task List.

Task List
Task List


  • If you want to add entire Google Photos to Google Drive, you could select Google Photos as the source while creating the sync task.
  • You can click on "Options" to select the way cloud syncing: Real Time Sync, One-Way Sync, or Two-Way Sync. And there are seven more detailed sync methods in One-Way Sync.
    Cloud Sync Options
    Cloud Sync Options
  • If there are a lot of photos that need to sync, you can close the page as long as the task starts because MultCloud can run the task in the background.
  • To move photos from Google Photos to Google Drive, you can also use the "Cloud Transfer" function.
  • If you have tens of terabytes of data that need to be moved quickly, you can upgrade your MultCloud account to a premium account, so that MultCloud will use the VIP server to migrate your data through 10 threads instead of just 2.

Google Drive vs. Google Photos

First, Google Drive storage is shared with Google Photos and Gmail. There are some differences between Google Drive and Google Photos, you can see the details in the following chart:

Google Drive Google Photos
Cloud storage and file synchronization platform Photo storage and sharing platform
Offers 15 GB of free storage for all file types Offers 15 GB of free storage for photos and videos
Provides desktop and mobile apps for easy access Available as a mobile app and web interface
Allows uploading and storing files of various types Emphasizes organizing and managing photos
Supports collaboration on documents with real-time editing Integrates with Google's AI and machine learning for advanced search and organization
Provides file-sharing options with customizable permissions Offers features like facial recognition and automatic album creation
Supports integration with other Google services like Docs, Sheets Integrates with other Google services like Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Supports offline access to files Provides tools for editing and enhancing photos
Offers advanced search and filtering options for files Allows creating movies and animations from photos
Provides file version history and recovery options Allows easy sharing of photos and albums with others

After the comparison, you might have a clear idea about Google Drive and Google Photos, and move files between Google Drive and Google Photos as easily as you want.

FAQs about Syncing Google Photos to Google Drive

1. Are photos and videos counted against my Google Drive storage when synced from Google Photos? 

No, photos and videos synced from Google Photos to Google Drive do count against your Google Drive storage quota. You can delete them from Google Photos to save your Google storage space.

2. Can I sync all my Google Photos albums to Google Drive?

You can sync photos and videos from your Google Photos library to Google Drive, but individual albums are not synced automatically. You'll need to organize them in Google Drive if desired.

3. Can I sync only specific photos and videos to Google Drive?

You can sync only certain photos and videos from Google Photos to Google Drive by setting up MultCloud.

4. Does syncing Google Photos to Google Drive affect the original quality of my photos and videos?

No, syncing does not alter the quality of your photos and videos. They will retain their original quality.


As you can see, any way above can help sync Google Photos to Google Drive but MultCloud is a more direct way, which saves a lot of energy and time. What’s more, MultCloud offers similar features that cloud drive itself has like "Upload", "Download", "Delete", and "Rename", etc so that you can do operations without logging in to your cloud drive. In addition to the "Cloud Sync" feature, MultCloud also has "Remote Upload", "Cloud Backup" and "Cloud Transfer" functions.

For the "Remote Upload" function, users can upload files to different cloud drives by parsing torrent files, such as downloading torrents to Dropbox. For "Cloud Transfer", can help transfer files across cloud drives directly without downloading and uploading. If you want to transfer Dropbox to Google Photos, that's really worth having a try.

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