If you’re a Google Photos user, you’ve may have seen a new feature called “Archive” show up in the app’s sidebar. if not, don’t stress—it’s just now rolling out and not everyone has it yet. Since it’s new, here’s a quick look at what it is, why you want it, and how to use it.

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In short, this is a way to keep your Photos more organized—it’s really not that different than archiving emails in Gmail. You can archive photos that you don’t want in your main stream, but still keep them stored online. They’ll still show up in search, as well as in any albums you may have them in. It’s simply a way to keep things clean and clutter-free in Google Photos.

Using it is just as simple. This should work the same way on both Android and iOS.

Go ahead and fire up Photos. To make sure you have the feature, pull open the left side menu, and look for “Archive.” You can tap it if you’d like, but there won’t be anything there since you likely haven’t archived anything yet.

To start archiving photos you’d like to keep out of your stream, go ahead and long-press one, then select any others you’d like to add. Tap the three dots in the top right corner, then choose “Archive.”

Just like that, they’ll disappear from the main Photos view and be moved to the Archive section. Super simple.

Once you’ve archived the first few photos, a new option should also appear under the Assistant tab that allows you to “Clear the Clutter.” This may not show up immediately, but you should receive a notification when it’s ready.

Basically, this is a sort of “smart” archive feature that will pick things you may not want to keep in the main view—screenshots, receipts, etc. Tap “Review Suggestions” to take a closer look.

Everything is pre-selected and ready to be archived as soon as you open this view, but feel free to scroll through and make sure you’re cool with all this stuff being hidden. After you review everything, just give the “Archive” button in the top right a tap.

Poof! Just like that, a bunch of clutter is gone.

If you ever archive a photo and realize that you want it back in your main feed, go ahead and jump into the Archive screen, long press the photo, tap the three dots in the top right, and choose “Unarchive.” It’s almost like that makes sense.

Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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