In Google Photos, you have the option to share photos with a partner. The partner also has the option to store all photos in their camera roll. This is exactly what happened, and I'd like to delete my photos in my partner's camera roll.

I've looked into the Google Photos API and I've looked at the recently added page in Google Photos (https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_), but neither offer the information that is shown in the browser when I view a photo from my library in my partner's camera roll. See image below:

Is there an easy way to "undo" adding all photos from a partner's library? Or is there an option to find these photos? According to the screenshot, Google does have the info somewhere...

Hope that someone could help me out, I'll update the post if I find something.

  • Did you find a way to solve this? I'm going thru the same situation here.
    – Rick Wolff
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:19
  • 1
    Unfortunately I did not. I may dive into the Google Photos API if I find the time :) Nov 19, 2021 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


The API does not allow you to delete photos, or even filter by device, user, or any metadata. This is very frustrating. There are ways you can do this programatically though.

Using Google Takeout(takeout.google.com), you can export all your photos and save them locally. Each media asset comes with a corresponding .json file. This JSON has property that looks like this:

"googlePhotosOrigin": {"fromPartnerSharing": {}}

when the file is from your partner. This JSON includes the Id of the asset.

If you don't care about the files in Google Photos and only care about the local files, you could write a script that deletes any asset with a JSON that has the fromPartnerSharing property.

Otherwise, you could write a small Node.js program or something that gets the Id from that asset and uses the API to create an new album and assign every media item from your partner to that album. Then in the web interface you could open that album and delete all the files in the album.

To create an album using the API: https://developers.google.com/photos/library/reference/rest/v1/albums/create

POST https://photoslibrary.googleapis.com/v1/albums
  "album": {
    object (Album)

And then to add an asset to the album: (50 max at a time) https://developers.google.com/photos/library/reference/rest/v1/albums/batchAddMediaItems

POST https://photoslibrary.googleapis.com/v1/albums/{albumId}:batchAddMediaItems
  "mediaItemIds": [

Here is a good article that shows you how to get the API up and running with Postman. This is a good start to play around with the API before writing your program that will actually create the the new album and copy all of the assets to it, so you can delete them via the web interface.


Here is a simple program that would delete the local files from Google Takeout. You could adapt this to make API calls instead to add the files a new album to group them for deletion through the web or mobile app. (Make sure to set startDirectory to the path of your files first)

const fs = require('fs');
const path = require('path');

let nonPartnerCount = 0
let partnerCount = 0;
// Function to recursively traverse the file system
function traverseDirectory(directory) {
  const files = fs.readdirSync(directory);

  files.forEach((file) => {
    const filePath = path.join(directory, file);
    const stats = fs.statSync(filePath);

    if (stats.isDirectory()) {
      // If it's a directory, recursively traverse it
      console.log('Directory: ', file);
    } else if (path.extname(file) === '.json') {
      // If it's a JSON file, read its content
      try {
        const jsonData = JSON.parse(fs.readFileSync(filePath, 'utf8'));

        if (jsonData.googlePhotosOrigin && jsonData.googlePhotosOrigin.fromPartnerSharing) {
          const title = jsonData['title'];

          if (title) {
            const fileToDeletePath = path.join(directory, title);

            // Check if the file to delete exists and is not a directory
            if (fs.existsSync(fileToDeletePath) && !fs.statSync(fileToDeletePath).isDirectory()) {
              console.log(`Deleting: ${fileToDeletePath}`);
            } else {
              console.log(`File not found or is a directory: ${fileToDeletePath}`);
        else nonPartnerCount++;
      } catch (error) {
        console.error(`Error processing JSON file: ${filePath}`);
  console.log('Non Partner Count: ', nonPartnerCount);
  console.log('Partner Count', partnerCount);

// Specify the starting directory path
const startDirectory = '/path/to/directory/withFiles';

// Call the function to start the traversal
  • This is great, except it's impossible. The main limitation is that you can only add media items that the app itself created :( developers.google.com/photos/library/reference/rest/v1/albums/… I also wasn't able to see a way to derive the id that would be needed for that call, might have been possible by some convoluted operation where I listed all of them and filtered.
    – Pickled
    Apr 10 at 8:21

In case your partner uses different a phone model than you, then you can find your partner's photos by the phone model. E.g. search for "iPhone 5S" to get photos taken by that phone model.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.