Tame your Google Photos collection with these tips and tricks

by admin
Tame your Google Photos collection with these tips and tricks


Google Photos is, hands down, the best photo management app on Android. And while unlimited storage is a thing of the past, it’s still one of the best deals in town. If you’re willing to live with slightly-compressed pics, Google is happy to give you up to 15GB of storage for free. And if you’ve been using the platform for years, none of your High quality or Express quality images saved to the platform before June 1, 2021, count toward your allotment.


A sleek design and intuitive UX make Google Photos easy for beginners, but things can get messy quickly. Whether you’re new to the app or you simply need tidy things up, we’re here to help with a few of our favorite tips and tricks.

Although we used an Android phone for this post, most of our tips work perfectly the iOS app

Tag people and pets

Google Photos’s machine-learning capabilities are incredible. It can group all photos of a person or pet by name. Once you’ve assigned a name to a person or pet, you can search for their name in the app to find all photos of them. Before you start labeling, however, you’ll need to check you have Face Grouping turned on.

How to turn on Face Grouping

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  3. Tap Photos settings.

  4. Tap Group similar faces.
  5. Toggle the Face grouping switch on. This switch may be enabled by default.

How to tag people and pets in your photos

  1. Tap Search at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap View all underneath the row of faces at the top of your screen.
  3. Scroll down to find the person or pet you wish to label.
  4. Tap a face to see all photos of them.
  5. Tap Add a name.
  6. Enter a name.

  7. Tap Done.

After you’ve identified a person or pet, any new photos of them will be automatically labeled. Occasionally, Google may ask you to confirm a label to improve its accuracy when you open the app.

Compress photos to avoid hitting your free storage limit

While Google Photos no longer allows unlimited cloud storage, one workaround is to reduce the size of your pictures. This method won’t drastically reduce the quality and only becomes noticeable if the photo is blown up to a much larger size. Likewise, it won’t change the quality of the image taken, so your phone will store any images not backed up at their original quality.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  3. Tap Photos settings.
  4. Tap Backup & Sync.
  5. Tap Upload Size.
  6. Select the quality you wish to store your photos at. Tap the drop-down arrow on each option to display the details of each setting.

You can save your original-quality images to Google Photos, but you’ll need to subscribe to Google One. The least expensive plan costs $1.99 a month and comes with 100GB of storage.

Search photos for places, objects, or events

The search bar is a prominent feature in Google Photos, but what’s not so obvious is how powerful it is.The app can recognize similar faces, landmarks, Wi-Fi passwords, phone numbers, hiking trips, and more. It’s a feature best explored on your own, but here are some examples of how to use this feature:

  • If you took a picture of your router’s password sticker, use the phrase “Wi-Fi password” to display the photo.
  • If you took pictures at a wedding, type “wedding” in the search bar to group nearly all photos you took at the event.
  • If you took photos of your friends walking outside, type “hiking” to view those images. It’s smart enough to exclude any photos with buildings present.
  • If you have several photos of boats and want to find a certain type of vessel, search for “ferry” to find all the ferries in your gallery. (Google Photos might make the minor mistake of including the Titanic.)

It’s not as intelligent as we would sometimes like, and it can get confused if you include queries with more than one word. However, it’s a fantastic feature that can save you hours of scrolling.

Scan images with Google Lens

The basic search box has some pretty powerful AI behind it, but Lens is where it truly shines. You can use this tool to translate text, identify plants and animals, shop for clothing, copy text to your computer, solve equations, identify board game parts, and so much more.

  1. Open the Google Photos app.
  2. Tap the photo you wish to scan.
  3. Tap Lens.
  4. Scroll left or right to change the search method.

  5. Swipe up to expand the search.

Create auto-updating live albums

Live Albums take the manual labor out of creating and updating an album. When creating a Live Album, you’ll select which people and pets you wish to include. Any future photos of them will be auto-added to this album.

It’s a nifty feature with a lot behind it. Check out our article on how to make the most out of Live Albums to get a deeper dive into this tool.

  1. Open the app.
  2. Tap Library at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Tap New Album.
  4. Tap Add a title and give your album a name.
  5. Tap Select people & pets.
  6. Tap all the people and pets you wish to add to this album.
  7. Tap Confirm to create your album.

Create movies, collages, and animations

If you’re looking to edit your photos or videos into something a bit more substantial than an album, you can do it in the Google Photos app.

Creating movies provides a quick way of editing up to 50 photos and videos together with accompanying music. It’s a relatively simple tool but simple to use. Collages let you select two to nine photos, then automatically arranges them for you. Animations play a slideshow of up to 50 photos.

  1. Tap Library at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap Utilities in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  3. Scroll down to the Create New heading.
  4. Tap Movie, Animation, or Collage.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

You can find your creations by heading to the Search tab, scrolling down, and tapping Saved creations.

Add a background blur to your selfies

Portrait mode is a great way to enhance your selfies by blurring the background, but what if you’ve already taken a photo? No problem. You can add a bokeh in the Photos app. The feature only works if the app detects a face in the image, so unless you’ve taken a picture of a face-shaped tree, you’ll only be able to do this with people.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the photo you wish to blur.
  3. Tap Edit.
  4. Scroll right on the options bar.
  5. Tap Tools.
  6. Tap Blur.
  7. Adjust the setting to your preference.

  8. Tap Done.
  9. Tap Save copy.

Create shared albums

Sharing albums is ideal for collecting holiday snaps or giving your friends a convenient place to look at all your cat pictures. All photos shared in this way can be edited and downloaded by the recipients.

  1. Tap the album you wish to share.
  2. Tap Share.
  3. Tap the contacts you wish to share with. To see all your contacts, scroll right and tap More.
  4. Personalize your invite with a note (optional) and tap Send.

Create a locked folder for private photos

Google Photos’ locked folder is for those photos and videos that absolutely cannot be seen by others, you can only open the locked folder via the method you use to unlock your phone, and you cannot screenshot photos in this folder. Before you start moving files over, there are a few essential things to know:

  • Photos won’t be backed up. These photos are gone for good if you change or lose your phone.
  • Photos are lost if the Google Photos app is lost.
  • Anyone who can unlock your phone can access these photos.
  • Photos in the locked folder cannot be accessed by other apps.

How to create a locked folder for your personal photos

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap Library in the lower-right corner of your screen.
  3. Tap Utilities at the top of your screen.
  4. Scroll down and tap Locked Folder.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to set up your folder.

Explore other photo management apps

Google Photos provides an excellent way of storing and managing your photos, but if you’re looking for a different solution for photo management, check out our list of the top ten alternative gallery apps. And if you want to trash your more embarrassing photos, you can permanently delete those pics from Google Photos in seconds.


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