I have Google Photos app on my phone set up so that every picture I take with my phone ends up also on Google Photos online. Sometimes, however, it asks me if I want to free up space on my phone by deleting them from my phone and they will still be in Google Photos online. My question is this: When viewing my Google Photos online from a web browser, or from the Google Photos app, is there a way that I can easily tell which of the photos I am seeing are actually only in Google Photos online, versus which ones are also stored on my phone?

  • Please keep it open. It's BOTH: I'm trying to look at my google photos in my web browser on my PC where I manage them, and create albums, and prints, etc. and I would like to be able to see from there which photos are still on my phone and which are not on my phone! Jul 12, 2019 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, the answer is no. In order sync to work, Google Photos has access to your gallery and camera on your device, and your device has granted access for uploading to Google Photos. And here it ends. Your device has no means to backcheck against the online gallery and let you know which ones are there and which aren't. Also the same applies to Google Photos - it doesn't backcheck against your device gallery and send you a notification flag of the status nor it keeps/creates logs by spying on your device's gallery.

  • :-( Seems to me this would be an easy feature for Google Photos to add. They obviously already have meta-data about each photo. They would only have to keep one more piece of meta-data per photo: whether or not the photo has been deleted from the device that took the picture. And maintain it by sending this information to Google Photos database when the user deletes the photo. Jul 12, 2019 at 18:02
  • @DanielGoldfarb while this may sound easy it would be a move against Google's policy introduced in the latest update where they kill any kind of synchronization - blog.google/products/photos/…
    – user0
    Jul 12, 2019 at 18:09
  • My understanding of google's new policy is that they have ended automatic synchronization between Google Drive and Google Photos (two different products that they offer). However they do still synchronize between a device (such as a phone) and the online Google Photos database ... as long as said device has the Google Photos app installed and the user has configured it to automatically synch. Jul 12, 2019 at 18:13

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