How to Sync Google Photos to a Windows or Mac PC

Google Photos is one of the best photos and video storing and sharing services. If you use Google Photos on your smartphone, then you’re familiar with how convenient it can be.


How to Sync Google Photos to a Windows or Mac PC


The pictures and videos you took with your phone will automatically upload to Google Photos. But will those same photos and videos sync to your PC? The answer is no.


The photos stored in Google Photos from other devices won’t simply show up locally on your computer. None of the settings support it. However, there is a workaround solution you can try.


How to Download and Sync Google Photos to a Windows PC


If you took a gorgeous picture of a sunset and it automatically synced with Google Photos on your smartphone, you’ll always know where to find it.


To access this photo from your Windows PC, you need to access Google Photos via browser. If you want to make some changes to the image or keep it in a separate folder on your computer, all you need to do is download it. These are the steps you need to take:



  1. Go to Google Photos and sign in to your Google account.

  2. Select one or more files you want to download to your Windows PC.

  3. Click on the three vertical dots at the top right corner of the browser.

  4. Select “Download.”

  5. Choose the location for the file and click “Save.”


If you’ve selected to download more than one file, Google Photos will compress them into one ZIP file for more convenience.


You can repeat these steps as many times as you want. Remember, the pictures and videos you want on your Windows PC won’t appear automatically. You need to download them and save them at a specific location manually.


How to Download and Sync Google Photos to a Mac


Mac users with Google accounts can also use Google Photos to save photos and videos. The sync option is not available for them either, so to store photos from Google Photos to their Mac computer, they need to do so manually. Here’s how it works:



  1. Sign in to your Google Photos account via browser.

  2. Select the picture or video you want to save.

  3. Tap on the menu button in the top right corner and select “Download.”

  4. Save the file on your Mac PC.


How to Download All Files From Google Photos to PC


Did you know that you can download all data from Google products? Indeed, Google allows users to take all their data from each product separately. Or all at the same time.


For example, you can choose to download your Google Calendar data only or get Gmail, Keep, Maps, and everything else simultaneously. You can do this by utilizing Google Takeout – a dedicated Google tool designed for this purpose.


Hence, you can download all the files from Google Photos to your computer too. If there are too many photos and videos and selecting them separately may be time-consuming. For those of you who want to save a little time, this is an excellent alternative. Here is what you should do:



  1. Go to Google Takeout and make sure you’re signed in to your Google account.

  2. Check the box next to Google Photos.

  3. You can click on the “All photo albums included” button and deselect a specific folder you might not want to download.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Next step.”

  5. Proceed to “Choose file type, frequency & destination.”

  6. Select “Create export.”


Google then gathers up all the files and prepares them for download. Once finished, you’ll receive an email notification with a download link.


Note: Depending on how many files you have in Google Photos; it might take anywhere from few minutes to several hours before you receive the option to download.


Additional FAQs


How do I sync from my PC to Google Photos?


You can sync media like photos and videos with the Backup and Sync app. By downloading the desktop app, you can backup the existing photos on your computer to Google Photos.


You can also sync specific folders to ensure every new file is automatically stored in Google Photos. So, the first step is to download the Backup and Sync app to your Windows or Mac PC. Then, continue to follow these steps:


1. When you install the Backup and Sync app on your computer, sign in to your Google account.


2. Next, choose the folders you want to back up to Google Photos.


3. You can also select whether to preserve the original photo and video quality or opt for “Storage saver.”


4. Select “Start” and wait for the existing files to upload.


You can always change the folders you want to sync with the Backup and Sync app. The app icon will automatically appear on your desktop as well.



What Is the Storage Limit on Google Photos?


One of the reasons Google Photos was different from other Google products is because it used to offer unlimited storage. It allowed users to keep thousands of pictures and create as many albums as they wanted.


Unfortunately, as of June 2021, Google has discontinued this practice. Now Google Photos storage is a part of the same free 15GB available across all Google products.


If you want more storage, you need to purchase it. Initially, this news caused some concern among those who already have much more than 15GB worth of photos and videos in Google Photos.


However, every file stored up to June 2021 remains “as is” in Google Photos and isn’t affected by the new rule.



Can you sync Google Photos to you Phone?


You can access all the synced pictures from your computer to Google Photos from any other device too. If you have a Google Photos app on your Android phone or iPhone, you can see all the pictures, regardless of the upload location.


Furthermore, you can download a picture to your smartphone even if it was taken on another device. For example, if you took a photo via a laptop camera and synced it to Google Photos, you’ll see it in the Google Photos app on your phone. If you want to download it to your mobile device, here’s how you do it:


1. Launch Google Photos on your smartphone.


2. Open the picture you want to save on your device.


3. Tap on the menu icon at the top right corner of the screen.


4. Select “Download”


If you’re connected to the internet, the picture will automatically download in your phone gallery.



Managing Google Photos Like a Pro


It might be convenient to have the option to automatically download all the files from Google Photos to your computer. A photo taken by your phone goes directly to Google Photos and then is promptly stored in the designated folder on your PC. Sounds great, but it isn’t possible.


For now, if you want pictures from Google Photos saved locally on your PC, you must download them manually using one of two available methods.


On the other hand, syncing your photos from the PC to Google Photos can be done efficiently with the Backup and Sync desktop app.


Do you save photos on your computer or keep them in cloud storage? Let us know in the comments section below.

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