Google Decouples Drive and Photos

Posted on June 12, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google, Google Photos, Music + Videos with 21 Comments

Google announced today that it will no longer automatically sync photos between its Drive and Photos services.

“Many of you store your photos and videos on both Google Drive and Google Photos, which keeps them safe and easy to access,” a new post to the Google Photos blog explains. “We’ve heard feedback that the connection between these services is confusing, so next month, we’re making some changes to simplify the experience across Drive and Photos.”

Today, new photos and videos that appear in a user’s Google Photos automatically appear in that user’s Google Drive as well. And vice versa. The problem, as it turns out, is that users would delete photos from one service but not intend to delete them in the other. So Google is making changes to prevent this kind of accidental deletion.

So, here’s what’s happening.

Starting in July, new photos and videos added to Drive will no longer automatically appear in Photos. Likewise, new photos and videos added to Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive too.

When you delete photos and videos in Drive, they will not be removed from Photos. And vice versa.

Additionally, Google will add an “Upload from Drive” feature to Photos that lets users choose items to copy to Drive. Copied items are not linked back to the original service. So when you delete one in Drive, the original in Photos will remain. “Since photos and videos will no longer sync across both products, items copied in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos,” Google notes.

Backup and Sync will continue to work as before using the Windows and Mac clients. But items uploaded using Backup and Sync in Original Quality to both services will count only once towards your total online storage quota.

Any photos or videos that were uploaded prior to this change will remain in Photos. Your Google Photos folder in Drive will remain but will no longer update automatically as before.

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