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I frequently take redundant photos without deleting them. Yesterday, I was on Apple Photos deleting all the redundant ones on my phone. I did this all the way to February, deleting about half the pictures. Is there a way to quickly also delete these from Google Photos?

In more detail:

  • On my iPhone, I deleted about half of photos taken between Dec 2019 - Feb 2019.
  • During this time period, I did not upload photos to Google Photos from any other device.
  • I want my Google Photos library to look identical to my iPhone library from Dec 2019 - Feb 2019 (leave only a strict subset of my photos), but leave all my Google Photos intact from before Feb 2019.
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I did it the dumb way, a complete flush of my Google Photos library. But I want to share my notes of some annoying details in the Google Photos app.

  1. To be safe, one should keep an extra backup copy around.
  2. Delete all the relevant photos from Google Photos (for me, this was Dec - Feb 2019). You can do this by opening Google Photos on your computer, zooming out, and using "Shift + Click" to select many photos. Probably don't use the iPhone app as this would delete your phone's copy too.
  3. On iPhone, open Google Photos. You should see all the photos disappeared and some prompts that say "Photos removed from other device. Sync your phone by deleting photos?" (Ignore these.)
  4. Go into the Trash of your Google Photos app, open the menu in the top right, and choose "Empty Trash". Otherwise, google will continue to think you meant for these photos to be deleted and not show them in the main menu. Deleting the app, signing out, or turning off backup all do not work.
  5. Return to the main menu in Google Photos. Open the menu from the top right and choose "Layout". Choose the "Month" layout. Select which photos from your iPhone to re-upload by scrolling and clicking the month names. (For me, the months Feb - Dec 2019).
  6. Open the menu in the top right and choose "Backup".
  7. Wait a long time (multiple hours depending on how large your photo library is).
  8. Good, you are all synced up.

Of course, the drawback to this method is that the re-upload takes a long time. This is why I have the time to type out this question and answer.

| improve this answer | |
  • Answering your own question is indeed encouraged, however please make sure your question is on topic. Questions not directly related to computers are off topic here. – Máté Juhász Dec 29 '19 at 9:14
  • Thanks to whoever migrated it! – Hanry Hu Dec 30 '19 at 6:14

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