All of my photos are on Google photos. They are stored using the free space with Google's quality rather than the original quality. There is a folder on my Google Drive that is called "Google Photos". Some photos but not all are in this Google Drive folder. I believe this folder was created automatically.

If I delete this entire folder, these photos disappear from Google Photos. At the same time, I don't want to keep a photos folder on Drive (after all, that is what Google Photos is for!). How do I have a clean Google Drive but still keep all my photos?

I've tried playing with the settings on Google Drive ("Create a Google Photos folder") and Google Photos ("Sync photos & videos from Google Drive") but no combination seems to achieve the desired result.

The accepted answer in Can I delete my Google Photos folder from my Google Drive? is incorrect by the way. I tried exactly that and it still deleted them on Google Photos (I had to restore the folder on Google Drive from the bin)

  • Google Photos (the platform not folder) is part of the storage of Google Drive, btw.. webapps.stackexchange.com/a/124807/186471
    – user0
    Jan 30, 2019 at 19:02
  • In my case, since all my photos are stored in the free lower quality format, it should take up no space anyway. But what's more annoying is that I can't seem to get rid of this folder called Google Photos from Drive while still keeping all my photos Jan 30, 2019 at 19:06
  • @MARKMYANSWER Google Drive storage is different from the storage of the account.
    – ahorn
    Feb 17, 2019 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


In normal circumstances, you should be able to remove the folder in the settings. However, it seems this folder is acting like a regular folder. Because the photos in your Drive are linked to your Google Photos library, the storage space they take up isn't duplicated, and you don't want to delete them.

However, you can hide the folder from view by "orphaning" it. Since orphaning isn't a commonly-used feature, there isn't a button to do it, but you can use a different Google account to do it—either you already own another account, you will need to create a secondary account just for this, or you can get a friend to help. The procedure is to put the Google Photos folder inside another folder (e.g. a new, empty folder), then share that parent folder with the other account. Then, in the other account, remove the Google Photos folder. This will not delete the folder, but will simply remove it from the parent folder. The Google Photos folder will still exist in your original Drive, and take up storage space, but it will not be located anywhere.

Unshare the parent folder. You can now stop using the second account.

In future, if you want to see the Google Photos folder, search is:unorganized, or just search the name of the folder.

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