I currently have my pictures organized into folders of varying depth (i.e. Pictures/College/Senior Year/ThinkChicago Trip).

It doesn't appear that I can keep this structure if I move my photos to Google Photos (i.e. Google Photos --> Albums --> All of the albums that you want, but only one layer deep, an album with a bunch of photos in it, not an album that contains other albums)

Looking for a good suggestion for a workaround from someone who is familiar with the capabilities - seems like something should exist?

5 Answers 5


It's true you won't be able to keep the nested folder structure in Google Photos. However, similar to how you can add the same file to multiple folders in Google Drive, or how the same conversation in Gmail can take on multiple labels (folders), you can categorize the same photo across multiple albums.

A photograph from your ThinkChicago Trip could belong to albums titled Pictures, College, Senior Year and ThinkChicago Trip without being a duplicate. So although you lose the subfolder structure, you can retain the relevance of your collection.

Browsing through a nested folder hierarchy would be nice, however at the moment there aren't many options to browse your collection of albums. Right now, you basically get a stream with the most recent album you create showing up at the top.

  • Ok, so... how can I create an album to share with friends and family once that I can just add new sub-albums to, instead of having to go through the hassle of sharing a new album every day? I am not putting thousands of images in a single album!
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 17:53
  • 3
    so although Google's AI can defeat a human grandmaster in the game of Go, and AI is said to be so awesome everywhere as if it is the tomorrow, having an album within an album, such as "2018 Trip to Nevada" and a subfolder of Grand Canyon and a subfolder of "Las Vegas" goes against the collective human intelligence? Or is it just an MVP - Minimal Viable Product that as long as it works somehow, that's fine, unless if a competitor is taking away a lot of customers in this area, then they will act? Commented Oct 12, 2020 at 0:51

I've written a desktop app (http://jiotty-photos-uploader.yudichev.net) that scans a folder, including all subfolders, for photos and videos, and uploads them to your Google Photos gallery arranging into albums according to the directory structure. As Google Photos does not support nested albums, it will name albums like "Level1: Level2: Level3" if your directory structure is Level1/Level2/Level3.

The app works on Windows, Linux and macOS, and is now quite mature.


There appears to be no way to nest albums. There aren't any tags or similar either.


One thought / workaround; you can sort albums by name - the default appears to be "Most recent photo" - and then rename your folders to cluster similar groups together...

For instance; 01-Share - Family, 01-Share - Friends, 02-Holiday - Ireland, 02-Holiday - Timbuctoo, 03-Castles, 04-Other

The number at the start allows you to move them around in priority later without rebranding the group level names.

NB If you'll have quite a few levels include a leading zero (01-09) as it sorts alphabetically rather than alphanumerically (e.g. 1,2,10 shows as 1,10,2 but 01,02,10 works :-))


Use Samsung Gallery. Samsung calls them "Groups" so you can have a Group called "Critters" that has all your cute animal photos in it. Within "Critters" you can even have sub,groups like "Birds" which has albums of Hummingbirds, Peacocks, Swans,etc.

So far as I know, it is the only gallery app that allows nesting of albums.

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