Google Photos App – 25 Tips & Tricks to Turn You into a Power User


We have seen a boom in the smartphone technology in the last one decade. You can find smartphones in every hand not, and they have made our life a lot simpler than we can ever imagine. There are millions of applications available that offer solution for almost all your problems and at any time you want. Well, we are not going deep in the app section and will concentrate on one specific category, Photos, and Photography.

You may know about it or not, but there are plenty of apps that take care of all the photos you take from your phone. This includes Dropbox, Flickr, iCloud, OneDrive etc. All of these applications backup all your device photos automatically and upload them to their cloud system so that you can access them anywhere and anytime you want. However, one such application that surpasses all the limits you can imagine when it comes to Photos is Google Photos. Google Photos is an app by Google which is gaining popularity at an extremely peaceful rate, capturing more than 200 million users in its first year only. Since then, it has never seen a downfall and the fan base is increasing day by day.

Google Photos App Logo

If you are one of that person who loves taking a lot of selfies and photos from your phone, and still do not have this app on your device, you should download it right away. We can understand the problem that you face when you have to find an old photo in the huge pile of photographs. The best thing about Google Photos app is that it offers free unlimited storage for each and every one of your photographs. If you want to upload the original photo on the app, it should be of less than or equal to 16 megapixels. However, if you try to upload an image of larger size, the app automatically converts it into 16 P quality to match its needs. Also, if you still wish to upload the original photograph of larger size, they take up space from the 15 GB space allotted to you for free by Google. This space is also shared by other Google applications as well as services. If you do not want any boundation on space, Google just charges you $2 a month and offers 100 GB. You can also get storage space of 1 TB for $100.

It looks like Google had a single vision in mind, to bring more and more people on board to the Google+ network. With Google Photos, it is easy to share and organize all the photos which make this app extremely useful. Earlier, Google acquired Picasa Web Albums was used by the users for this job. But that has been replaced by Google Photos now and if you had any of your photos saved in the Picasa Web Albums, they would have been transferred to Google Photos automatically. Since Picasa has been discontinued by the company, you can use it on your Desktop, but you be getting any update or support from Google regarding the application.

But, once you start using Google Photos, you won’t miss Picasa at all. Instead, you will find this new app a lot better, smart and easy to use. Google Photos was designed with a simple concept in mind, to replace the Gallery app once and forever. Also, you can get it for both Android and iOS operating systems and also on the internet. Unlike, other online cloud services, Google Photos have a lot of features which will take some time to master. Many of them automate the organizing methods to offer you which ever photo you want right in front of you without much hassle.

Well, without wasting any more time in praising the Google Photos app, let’s have a look at various tricks and trips that you can master in order to bring out the most functionality out of this app.

Google Photos Tips and Tricks

1. Editing the Photos

Obviously, how would you expect Google won’t include an editing functionality in the Photos app. There is an option to edit all your photos on the go. And thank god, it is not a very complicated one like many others on the Play Store.

You just have to open the photo you want to edit and then tap on the “Edit” button, which is the second one from left on the top right bar. More specifically it is a pen icon. As soon as you tap on it, you will be able to see a list of editing options appearing on the right side of your screen.
There are many filters to play around along with the common options to cut, crop, rotate, managing aspect ratio etc. There is an “Auto” option that takes care of all the adjustments and automatically brings out the best out of your photo. The app automatically applies the best suiting filter and auto adjusts other results as well. All the editing happens on the original photograph, but you can also create a copy of it and can even undo it if you want.

2. Using Unlimited Storage

You may not know but Google Photos offers unlimited storage for your photos as well as videos. But for that, you will have to let the app compress your huge resolution photos. Google photos only allow you to store photos that are less than 16 MP in resolution.
But that should not be a show stopper, as 16 MP is more than enough for most of the users. The only people who will face problems are professional photographers who won be able to save their high-resolution photos in their original format and size.
However, this setting does not come turned on by default. Instead, you will have to turn in by going to the settings and then selecting “High Quality” option present at the top. Now, all your newly added photos, as well as videos of high resolution, will not be uploaded to Google Photos drive.

3. Share and Unshare Photos and Videos

Sharing and unsharing photos and videos have been made very easy by Google Photos. And this is also one of the best feature introduced by Google in its new Photo application. It just takes one link to share all your memories with your loved ones. Anyone whom you send the link to can see the selective pictures and videos that you wish to share with them. You also get an option to delete the pictures from the shared ones and manage the privacy too if you want. If you do not want few people to see some pictures, you can manage that easily as well.

4. Search Anything

Google Photos also brings you intelligent search feature using which you can search almost anything and get related answers as photographs from your collection. The Google search box also gives you suggestions life “selfie”, “mountains”, “train” etc to make it easy for you to search the photo you are looking for. For example, if you have been on a beach trip some time back and wish to see the related pictures, just type “Beach” on the search bar, and the Photos app will show you all your photos that have been taken on a beach. To be more specific, you can enter location or time to find photos taken at that place and at that time. You also have an option to search for the type of photo you have taken like selfie or panorama etc.

5. Remove location tagging from your Shared Photos

Most of the users do not know about it but whenever you share your photos with your family and friends, a lot of additional data is also transferred along with it. This data is known by the name of Exif data. With the help of this data, the person with whom you have shared your photos with can track where that photograph was taken.
However, Google has provided the option to remove the geo location tagging from your photos. In order to do this, you need to go to “Settings” and then look for the option “Remove Geo location in items shared by link”. Select it and now when you will share your photos, the location data of where it was taken will be removed before it is shared with others. But, keep in mind that it is only safe when you share the photos using the link, sharing photos via other methods like social media or email will not help.

6. Make use of Private Labels

Private labels come as an addition to the smart search feature we were talking above earlier in this post. The Photos app is smart enough to identify objects, babies etc. But what it can’t tell is who is inside that photo. But that limitation is until you tell the app specifically who is whom. Once it knows the identity, the app can organize all your photos based on different faces in your gallery.
You also have the option to label different people. In order to do this, you just have to tap on the search bar and Google Photos app will show you a list of all the faces that it was able to identify in your collection. Just tap on the face of the person you wish to label and the app will ask you the identity of that person. Give the app his or her name or whatever label you want to give. Now the app will be able to organize their photos by their names.

7. Directly Share your Videos to YouTube

This amazing app might have the name “Photos”, but it is capable of handling your videos as well. The app can store an unlimited amount of videos, but only if you are ready to compromise with 1080p quality. You can directly share all the videos you want to on the YouTube page. With the new update, they have also added a new feature using which the users can import their favorite clips directly from the Photos app in their channels. You get all the editing option to change the title, tag people etc. as per your requirements.

8. Long Press Photos for Selection

If you own a smartphone, your gallery app must have been piled up with a lot of images and pictures that you might or might not want in your phone memory. With Google Photos, you get a lot of simple tricks that make managing photos a lot easier. Giving you an example, int eh Photos app, you can press any photo or photos for a long time and then swipe them right to select multiple of them.

9. Using Google Photos Assistant

Google Smart Assistant comes along with the photos application. The assistant is smart enough to take all your photos and then create albums, collages, animations, slide shows, animation and movies from your existing videos and photos. Photo Assistant automatically relates the photos and finds the one that relates to each other.

Well, in order to turn on Google Assistant for Photos, go to Settings and turn on the “Assistant Cards” option.
Now then go on to the “Assistant” tab that you can find on the left side menu. Now you will see the new Google Photos interface along with a lot of cool cards. For saving a particular photo to your personal library, tap on the photos you wish to save and tap on “Save to Library” and move it to the “Photos Library”.

10. Saving Photos from other Applications

People have been facing problem in saving photos from other applications. Most of you must have been taking screenshots and then cropping out the main content for saving photos or images from other apps. However, with Google photos, you can just tap the photo for long in Instagram and WhatsApp, to save it in your Photos library. In order to open these photos, go to the Device folder. You can select folders that you wish to include or exclude in the process.

11. Importing Photos and Videos from other Devices

Google Photos have no boundation at all. Obviously, it save all the photos that you take from your Phone applications, but you can also save other photos that you have in your PC, hard disk and other devices. There is a client app that you can download for Windows as well as Mac desktop as well. Just pick up the folders on your PC that you wish to share or backup on the cloud, and the rest is taken care by the Photos app.

12. Recover your Deleted Photos

If you have deleted some of your photos intentionally or by chance. There is nothing to worry as you can easily recover them with Google Photos app. You can find all your deleted photos in the “Trash” section. To access that, tap on the hamburger type icon you see on the top left corner and then select the ‘Trash” from the popup that appears.
In the “Trash” screen you will be able to see all the photos that you have deleted and you can restore them if you want by clicking or tapping on it and then selecting the “Restore” option.

13. Using the Time Scroll Bar

There is a special scroll bar that you get along with Google Photos app. This is not the normal scroll bar and you will find it next to your browser scroll bar. This special bar could be called as Time bar as it allows the user to move between the photos over a period of time. At present, most of you would go at a whole bunch of photos before getting to the one which you took a long time back. However, in Google Photos, you can easily go to a specific time using the Time scroll bar, endlessly scrolling to the time when you took a specific photograph.

Just go on the right side and the scroll bar appears automatically. As you scroll it, you will be able to see years and months changing. Since each and every photograph carries data, the photos are placed based on the time when it was taken not based upon the time when it was uploaded to Google Photos.

14. Import Google Drive Photos and Videos

You might have been uploading all your photos and videos on Google Drive before Google Photos came into the picture. But, you no longer need that since you are getting unlimited storage on Photos app. So, if you wish to import all those photos and videos on Photos app, it is possible and simple as well. You just need to go to “Settings “and then there you will find an option named ”Google Drive”. Just turn it on and all your Drive photos and videos will be synced with Google Photos.

Now, you will be able to see all those Google drive images and videos on your Photos timeline. You might think that all those files you uploaded have been moved. But no, these files remain in Google Drive in their original format. But images which are imported are compressed if they are too large.

15. Downloading all Photos and Videos

Google Photos also offers you an option to download all your Photos as well as videos at once. Downloading them one by one or transferring them by connecting the device to PC could be a tedious task. Google Takeout service takes care of all this for you. With Google Takeout, the user can download the entire data in Google services in a single shot. That includes Google Photos data as well.

In order to do that, go to the Google Takeout page and there select the option “Select none”. This will unselect all the Google services for you. You need to do that since you do not want all that data and only your Photos to be saved. Now scroll down to find “Google Photos” option in the list. Check it and the find the “Create Archive” button at the bottom. Click it and you will be provided with an archive send to your email in the form of a link. You will be able to download all the photos and videos in one go using this link.

16. Use Desktop Uploader

As we have already told you many times before, Google Photos is a very versatile app and it makes a lot of things related to photos easy whether it be sharing or accessing. Google Desktop Uploader is a special app made for PCs that helps the user to upload the apps directly to the app from the desktop. Obviously, you can upload the photos manually using the upload button, but with Desktop Uploader, it will automatically sync all the photos you put in the PC to the app. Not only that, it will also ask you whether you want to upload videos and photos from external devices like memory cards, hard disks.

17. Make Stories

Story is a special feature that you get in Google Photos. They are more or less like a guiding album showing you pictures of a particular event in particular series. The stories kind of explains your trip or moment in the best way possible. You do not have to download any other application for creating a collage video of your perfect moments. Just tab on the “Create” icon present on the top and the select “Story”. After this, you will have to choose a set of pictures that you wish to include in your story. In addition to that, you can also add a lot of captions, locations, messages etc. to them.

18. Changing the View with a Pinch

The old gallery look is now very boring and we expected Google to change the gallery layout in the upcoming Android updates. But they had something else in mind. Replacing the gallery with Photos app is even better. And yes, you can change the view in Google Photos. By just pinching or expanding and contracting two fingers on your screen, you can change the look and feel of the entire app. It is beautiful to see the layout to change into something more “comfortable”. In the next view, you can see all your photos categorized by year, days and months. You can even change the view by tapping the three dots on the top corner and then selecting “change view” option.

19. Using the Same Editing in Different Pictures

Not all the photo editing apps offer you ability to save your custom filters. You might have used some setting in one picture and find it difficult to recreate white editing any other picture. With Google Photos, it is very easy to apply a particular setting on different pictures. To do that, after you are done with the editing, click on the three dots menu at the top right corner and then select the option “Copy Edits”. Now go to another picture on which you wish to apply the same settings and then again go to the same three dots menu and select the option “Paste Edits”. This will paste all your filter in the new picture. If you are using a PC, you can simply use the copy and paste shortcut keys, i.e. Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, to copy the filter adjustments to other pictures.

20. Backup Photos and Videos only via Wi-Fi

Backing up your Photos and videos on cloud takes a lot of data. Obviously, you won’t want to use your data pack for uploading pictures to the cloud. So, you have got an option to turn off backing up Photos and Videos via cellular data. You can find this option under settings and “Back up & sync” option. It is not bad to save your data, especially if you have very little data left. The auto-upload option, if enabled backs-up your photos and videos using even cellular data by default. You will have to turn it off if you do not want it.

21. Recover Deleted Photos and Videos before 60 days

We have told you that you can recover the deleted photos from the Trash option, but did you know that these photos remove in Trash just for 60 days. The app knows that you have deleted the pictures because you want to get rid of them, but it also takes care of your choice, in case you change your mind later. But be cautious, as you can only recover them till 2 months from the time of deletion.

22. Scanning Old Photographs

Apart from capturing, if you scan photos as well, there is another app by the name Google Photoscan that act as add on The Google Photoscan app is specially made for scanning old photographs with the simple mobile camera. Many of you must have tried doing that, but we know that the output is most of the time disappointing. Google Photoscan uses special techniques for scanning by reducing the glare, detecting edges and enhancing resolution and a lot of other settings while scanning the photograph itself. The resulting image is automatically taken and uploaded by the Google Photos app.

23. Show and View Photos using Chromecast

You can easily display all the photos and videos you have on your Google Photos app on a big screen using Chromecast. However, in order to do that, you should own a Chromecast device. You will have to install the Chromecast app on your device and then tap on the “cast” icon present in the top right corner. Now select “Chromecast”. Make sure your Chromecast device is connected to the TV. Now, you just need to open any photo or video on your smartphone and you can watch it appearing on your TV or monitor as well.

24. Making Panorama by Stitching different Photos

The cameras in the new advanced smartphones come along with a panorama mode. But not everyone uses it since it is a bit imperfect most of the times. Thus Google Photos offers you a solution to this problem by stitching various photos together and giving a single panoramic image as output.

25. Grouping Similar Photos Together

Google Photos is smart enough to recognize various elements in your photos. The app makes a model based on the faces in your photos and groups them together under a single label. You can just look for labels like “Mom” and “Timmy” to get all their photos in front of you. You can even merge the photos with more than one face. In order to do that, you just need to label at least one person in that photo with a name. The app will actually ask you whether you wish to merge the face group. The option is turned on as per default but you can also stop if from the Settings. You can even label non-living objects in your photos just like places and people. For example, if you are looking for pictures you’ve taken with temples in it, just search for “Temple”, and all of them will appear on your screen.

You can even merge the photos with more than one face. In order to do that, you just need to label at least one person in that photo with a name. The app will actually ask you whether you wish to merge the face group. The option is turned on as per default but you can also stop if from the Settings. You can even label non-living objects in your photos just like places and people. For example, if you are looking for pictures you’ve taken with temples in it, just search for “Temple”, and all of them will appear on your screen.