I'm using Google+ Instant Upload to backup all my photos online, since I purchased Google Storage about two years ago and made extensive use of Picasa.

My question is simple - does adding an Instant Upload photo to an album create a duplicate of the same photo, and hence take up double the storage?

Edit: As a legacy storage user, my storage space is shared across Docs + Gmail + Picasa.

Does this seem relevant to my question?

  • This should be easy to test. Create a (temporary) album. Put a lot of photos in it. Observe your storage. If the amount of free space is the same, then it doesn't make copies. Then remove the album.
    – ale
    Apr 24 '15 at 11:34
  • Clarify the question some, are you adding Instant Upload photo to a Picasa album? What interface are you doing this in (photos.gooogle.com?) Jun 23 '16 at 20:17
  • I’m voting to close this question because Google+ was retired few years ago.
    – Rubén
    Dec 17 '20 at 16:23

It does not duplicate your photos. The Picasa/Google+ images are basically the same with different front-end views. You can see your account storage usage at http://google.com/account

  • Not sure if you understood my question. I was not asking whether uploading to either Picasa or G+ creates a duplicate in the other, but whether adding an image from the Google+ Instant Upload album to another album create multiple copies. Also, adding a few photos makes it insignificant to monitor storage increase when you have gigabytes of other photos, and by the time I do realise that they take up space or not, frustrating effort to delete duplicates if any.
    – Santosh
    Jan 12 '13 at 4:37

Yeah, got the same question basically. Kinda frustrating there doesn't seem to be a straightforward answer. What I see in G+ (not using Picasa) is that there is only the option to copy a foto from instant uploads (all photos) to an album. Thereby creating at least a view of that photo in 2 places, if not an actual duplicate (and twice the storage). But I don't want even a view of the photo to stay in the all photos place. I want it out of there. Deleting a test photo from there also deletes the photo you copied to the album. My conclusion, therefore, is that it is indeed a view that's created when you copy. Not ideal though...


No, I don't think so. Except if you decide to re-post the photo. Like publishing the photo twice or more.

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