1. Go to Google Photos
  2. Add a few photos to a photo album
  3. Go back to All Photos

See all of the photos there, even ones you copied to the Album. No problem here, per se. At least not yet.

What if you want to delete photos that you did not copy to that album? Where is the selector or filter that filters those "in an album already" photos from this main view? Or is there a way to create such a filtered view such that I can then cherry-pick photos for deletion?


So, this is a bit of an old question.. but it still doesn't seem to be solved. Here are some additional people complaining about the issue...

I have many thousands of photos (~10k) in Google Photos and I wasn't about to manually go through each one by one - so instead I hacked together a little tool that uses the Google Photos API to get a list of URLs for photos that are NOT in any album.

The Google Photos API also provides no direct way to find not-in-album photos! So my tool builds a list of ALL photos and then goes through each album's photos individually and removes them from the all-photos list.. finally resulting in a list of photos that are NOT in any album.

It can take a while (with 10k photos, like 10+ min? I didn't time it). This isn't helped by the fact that the API only allows a few photo entries to be returned per API request (so it has to do a ton of requests to get them all).

I just hacked the tool together, so there may be bugs? But it should be safe (it only asks for read-only permissions), and it seemed to work fine for me. It simply outputs a list of URLs (for out-of-album photos) - it DOES NOT delete them or put them in an album or anything (although that could be done via the API it was more dangerous and I didn't need that feature myself).

The tool's source-code can be found here: https://github.com/jonagh/gapi-querier

You can run it directly off of github here: https://jonagh.github.io/gapi-querier

However, you will need to create Google API credentials (and get the client ID to enable access to the Google API).. some basic direction on how to go about doing that is in the readme (see: https://github.com/jonagh/gapi-querier).

Note that this is not a professional tool, it may have bugs, it may not be user friendly, it may require some technical knowledge to get it to work (ie Google API credentials), use at your own risk (though it should be fine).

  • 1
    I verified this works. Thank you!!! – bgoodr Feb 26 at 15:09
  • Verified that it works. It took several minutes for the process to finish, and another several minutes for the list of photos to render, but it's exactly the kind of tool that I needed. Thanks! – dinomario10 Oct 27 at 19:23

At this time it's not possible.


Other similar posts

Google Photos Help Forum

  • 31
    This is incredibly annoying. – Gabriel Mar 9 '16 at 20:25
  • 4
    I can't believe they didn't implement this by now, this is like a basic feature that any photo manager should have – Alex Ilyaev Jul 3 '16 at 21:30
  • 2
    I am ready to throw Google out the window. – Charlie Gorichanaz Sep 23 '16 at 6:11
  • This is what happens you make engineers design everything.. or arrogant people who want to tell the world how simple things like photos should be managed.. not having this feature is outright silly and as of today it is still not there.. how do you make so called great "Product Managers" listen to us? – endless Oct 17 '16 at 0:01
  • 1
    One suggestion I can give is, you can download the photos from each album, upload them to Flickr (1TB at original quality), as Albums and delete everything in google photos and never come back.. – endless Oct 17 '16 at 0:11

Given that this issue is "prone to evolving", I am posting an updated answer.

As of today, this is not yet possible. Besides the posts listed by Rubén, I am adding:

Google Photos Help Forum

There it is suggested that users keep tweeting to @dflieb (head of Google photos), perhaps they feel a little more "encouraged" to add this feature.

  • 1
    One suggestion in the linked post is to Archive photos that are in an album. However you can't archive from within an album. – seb Feb 22 at 4:13

IT IS POSSIBLE!! Sort of..

You can select the photos, '+' them into an album, and then archive them! ( Found in the menu at the top right while selected).

Unfortunately there is no way to easily see which photos you have already sorted into folders so you'll have to do them all again and forever really… but hopefully this helps a little! It has for me :)

You can also just sort photos from the album's on your device by going to Albums then your Camera album. Select the photos you want moved and then DO NOT use the '+' , instead select the menu in the top right corner and then 'Move to folder'. The '+' is just tagging the photo to an album without moving it. I don't think sorting them in this way takes them out of your main Google photos though so keep in mind it is separate.

  • 1
    "then select your Camera album". Such does not exist in my view from my browser, in the Albums area. And this supposes I want to first move many photos into an album, but that is not what the title of the original question asked to do. I don't want to move them all, I want to list the ones that are not in an album already. – bgoodr Jun 14 at 20:14
  • Edited my answer!! Think I found a solution using the archive feature! And also just noticed it was posted in someone's comment previously.. – JCole Jun 28 at 5:38

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