Google Photos is arguably the company’s best product. It’s chock full of powerful, fun, and super convenient features to make your life easier. We’ll show you some of the best features in Google Photos for Android, iPhone, and the web.
Automatically Share Photos
Sharing photos is one of the main reasons to take photos, so why not make it as easy as possible? As part of its “Partner Sharing” features, Google Photos includes the ability to automatically share certain photos.
You can choose to have photos of anyone automatically shared with someone else. For example, any photo you take of your child could be shared with your partner. Google Photos detects the faces and does all the hard work for you.
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Adjust the Backup Quality
Google Photos is great for backing up photos, but you don’t have an unlimited amount of storage to use. One easy way to use less storage is to adjust the backup quality.
There are two upload size options on most devices. “Original Quality” is the best quality you can use, while “Storage Saver” or “High Quality” compresses photos to 16MP and videos to 1080p. Choose which best fits your needs.
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Put Sensitive Photos in the Locked Folder
It’s great to have a camera on you at all times, but that also means all your photos are on you at all times. There may be some photos and videos you’d like to keep from prying eyes. That’s where the “Locked Folder” comes in.
The “Locked Folder” is simply a special folder in the Google Photos app on Android that is protected with your screen lock. Anything in the Locked Folder is hidden from the rest of the device and not backed up to the cloud. The feature is coming to iPhones as well, but it’s not yet available as of August 2022.
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Hide People from Memories
The “Memories” feature in Google Photos resurfaces photos and videos from one year ago, those from two years ago, photos based around certain themes, and more. It’s a fun feature… until it’s not.
You can hide people, pets, and even specific dates from showing up in your Memories. It uses Google’s face detection features to know which photos include the people or pets you don’t want to see anymore.
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Automatically Add Photos to an Album
Albums are clearly a big part of photo organization, especially in Google Photos. It can be annoying to constantly keep adding new photos and videos to your albums. Why not let Google do it?
“Live Albums” are special albums that tie into Google’s face detection feature. You simply choose specific people and pets, then Google adds photos or videos of them to the album for you. Easy peasy.
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Display Your Photos as a Slideshow
Sharing photos is a great way to share your memories and experiences with others. Swiping through a massive album can be tedious, which is why Google Photos has a slideshow feature.
The slideshow option is available in the Google Photos mobile apps and on the desktop website. You can start the slideshow from pretty much anywhere—the main camera roll or a specific album. Sit back and enjoy!
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Look Back at Photos with “I’m Feeling Lucky”
If you have a lot of photos in your Google Photos library, it’s easy to forget about some of the older stuff. A fun way to look back is with the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Yes, it’s not just for Google Search.
The iPhone and Android apps both have an “I’m Feeling Lucky” button that can be accessed via the home screen shortcut. It will bring up photos and videos around a theme, such as “basketball” or a location.
RELATED: PSA: Google Photos Has "I'm Feeling Lucky" Too
Download Entire Albums
Google Photos is one of the best cloud storage solutions for photos and videos. However, it’s not a great idea to have all your eggs in one basket. You should occasionally make local backups of your Google Photos albums.
The good news is Google makes this super easy to do. Simply visit Google Photos in a web browser, open an album, and select “Download All” from the menu. You’ll get a ZIP file with all of the contents.
RELATED: How to Download Albums From Google Photos
Free Up Storage Space
As mentioned, Google Photos does not offer free unlimited storage. Adjusting backup quality is one way to save storage space. Another way is to use the built-in storage management tool.
The storage management tool makes it easy to see what stuff is taking up the most space. It organizes your media by size, screenshots, blurry photos, and more. You don’t have to do so much work combing through your photos to make space.
RELATED: How to Manage and Free up Google Photos Storage Space
Make Scrapbooks and Prints
Let’s talk about bringing those photos into the real world. You might think you need to download your photos and upload them to a printing service. Actually, it can all be done right from Google Photos.
Google Photos has tools for creating scrapbooks, canvas prints, regular prints, and even a monthly subscription of 10 photos. Your creations can be picked up in participating retail stores or mailed directly to your home.
RELATED: How to Order Photo Albums and Prints from Google Photos
Google Photos is a great product with some genuinely amazing features. If you use Google Photos for any of your photo needs, make sure you’re getting the most out of it!
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