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So Google Drive is telling me I'm almost out of space for photos. I only use that storage so it can auto-awesome things.

Is there a way to remove all photos not used for auto-awesome, to free up space? Or grab all auto-awesome and download/move them to somewhere else and then clear out everything?

Or maybe I am misunderstanding auto-awesome, are those not single files that have been created and therefore can't be separated? When I search for only auto-awesome, it seems each search result is an entire day of pictures even if they weren't all used to make the auto-awesome.

There was a question about deleting auto-awesome, but it hasn't been answered and is the opposite of what I'm trying to do.

The KB article on auto-awesome doesn't say much about how to locate the specific file or file types.

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If you just want them for Auto Awesome, maybe you don't need to upload them in full resolution. (Since the resolution of most Auto Awesomes is downgraded at creation anyways). Then the photos won't count towards your Google Drive Space at all (free storage).

So go to Google+ settings, and pick the option to upload photos in "standard" size (rather than full size). This way the uploaded photos will be scaled down so that their bigger dimension has 2048 pixels, but they will be stored for free. You won't even need to delete them anymore.

From Storage limit KB:

Items that count toward your storage limit

  • Gmail: All the messages and attachments in your mail, including those in your Spam and Trash folders.
  • Drive: Files you’ve stored in Drive, like PDFs, images, and videos. Anything you’ve made with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides won’t count toward your storage limit.
  • Google+ Photos: Only photos over 2048x2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit.

As I mentioned, some auto-awesome effects will not even be impacted by this reduction of resolution. For instance, the output of Motion auto-awesome (which animates consecutive shots) is always a low-resolution image, even if the original images are uploaded in full resolution.

For others, like Effects auto-awesome (which puts a frame around the image and adds an effect automatically), the difference will be that the final image will also be 2048x2048, because it is made from a 2048x2048 image. A full-resolution uploaded image would result in a higher-resolution output.

  • I did not know this. How does reduction of resolution affect the auto-awesome feature? – Raystafarian Mar 31 '15 at 12:33
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    @Raystafarian For some Auto-awesome effects, there will be no difference. For instance, the output of Motion auto-awesome (which animates consecutive shots) is always a low-resolution image, even if the original images are uploaded in full resolution. \\ For others, like Effects auto-awesome (which puts a frame around the image and adds an effect automatically), the difference will be that the final image will also be 2048x2048, because it is made from a 2048x2048 image. A full-resolution uploaded image would result in a higher-resolution output. – hadi Apr 1 '15 at 3:20
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    A much better option as a user can always manually upload and do the Auto Awesome manually. Accepted, thanks! Also- adding that comment information into the answer would be useful to future visitors. – Raystafarian Apr 1 '15 at 10:28
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I hope there's a more elegant way to do this but -

The only way I found around it was to go to google photos and search #AutoAwesome

click for larger enter image description here

Then, I clicked the check-mark on the top-left corner of the first photo, scrolled to the end and shift-clicked the check-mark on the last photo. I then went to more- download

click for larger enter image description here

Now, I guess I can just delete everything.

They did download as different file types -

enter image description here

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