If you're panicking about how to save those photos you've stacked up since 2012, fear not. There is a way to save them all in one go. Unfortunately, Google doesn't make it entirely obvious how to do this, which is where we come in.
Whether you want to back up all your images, or migrate to another cloud storage service, here's how to batch download all your photos and videos from Google.
In this article, we'll look at how to download multiple photos or videos from Google Photos as well as how to download everything from Google Photos, straight to your PC hard drive.
Though Google's unlimited photo storage has now ended, it's worth noting that Google won't have deleted your photos and videos after 1 June. They'll still be there and available to view. The change is simply that any photos and videos you upload after that date will count against your quota, even in High Quality.
You can also check out how to upload your entire photo collection to Google Photos.
How to download multiple photos from Google Photos
This is the simpler task of the two, and the process is the same whether you're downloading photos or videos from Google Photos.
- First head to Google Photos and click on the tick mark on top left corner on the photos or videos you want to download. Hold down Shift and click further down in the photo roll if you want to select multiple photos at once.
- Click on the three dots at the top right and click Download (or use Shift + D).
- Your download should begin.
Here's how to stop automatically backing up photos to Google Photos. You can also read about what to do with Google Photos now that free storage has ended.
How to download all Google Photos at once to PC or hard drive
Downloading all your photos from Google Drive is a lot less straightforward.
If you tried to download all your images using the method above, you'd have noticed there's no way to batch download everything directly within Google Phones (we don't know why either). Instead, you'll have to head to Google Takeout.
Google Takeout lets you download any data from your Google account – whether that's your Chrome history, Google Play activity, Google Play Books, Hangouts history, or Google Photos.
- Head to Google Takeout and click Deselect all – this ensures you're not downloading your entire Google history
- Scroll down the list and select Google Photos.
- Click on "All photo albums included" to download only specific albums from Google Photos.
Note: If you haven't separated all your pictures into albums (because who has time for that?), Google will automatically separate them by year.
- Once you're happy with your selections click OK.
- Scroll to the bottom of all the services and select Next Step.
- In the export settings that follow, you can choose how often you want to download all your Google Photo content.
- You can also specify whether you want the final exported zipped file to be emailed to you, or sent to another cloud storage option. We'll stick to an email link in this case.
Also see: Best cloud storage services of the year
- At this stage, you can also select how large you want each exported zip file to be. The default setting is 2GB, and the maximum size is 50GB. Keep in mind, exports larger than 2GB will be compressed in zip64 files. Google warns this may not be supported by older systems, so you may need additional file compression software to unzip your exports.
- Click Create Export when you're ready.
- Your files will now begin exporting. You may need to wait a few minutes depending on how large your whole collection is. You can also choose to cancel at this point.
- Once the export is complete, you'll be able to download your photos by clicking on Show Exports.
- You can now download each exported zip folder to your hard drive. Note: the download link expires after one week.
- If you opted for an email notification, you can also download the exports directly from your Gmail inbox.
- Also note, you should get a security authorization email from Google to confirm it's you requesting to export your photos and not someone else. You may need to authorize it before you're able to download your photos and videos.
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