I am using Google Photos and quite happy with it, including the option to automatically upload images from both my phone and my camera (via a computer). However, I am uncomfortable with all those precious photos being in just one place which I don't control. So my question is:

It there a possibility to sync the images in both directions, so that I always have a local copy of them all?

You could say that's a kind of reverse backup (perhaps a "backdown", or a "forwardup"?).

  • You probably don't want to do that. Google Photos contains an option to remove photos from your scarce device storage when they've been successfully uploaded to the cloud, so that you don't need to keep them taking up space.
    – ale
    Apr 2, 2016 at 20:05
  • 1
    That's certainly true for mobile devices; however, I don't see why I shouldn't have copies of my photos on, say, my external hard drive...
    – P_S
    Apr 2, 2016 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


If you use Google Drive, you can connect the two so that everything in Google Photos is also copied to Google Drive. If you use Google Drive sync, then they'll all be on your hard drive.

In Google Drive settings, check the box next to "Create a Google Photos folder" labeled Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive"

Now you'll have a special folder in Google Drive organized by date containing the files from your Google Photos. If you back up locally and/or to the cloud (e.g., Carbonite or Backblaze) you'll be triply protected.

More information from Google Support: How Google Drive works with Google Photos

If you also use Google Drive on your device, you can set that folder to sync to your device. You'll just want to be careful that you don't cause duplicates on your device.

  • 3
    Thanks, I guess this would work. However, the drawback is that "normal" quality files do not count against my storage quota on Google Photos; but they do count on Google Drive. Thus, to sync them to Drive, I would need to purchase enough storage, which can be quite a lot if I have plenty of photos and videos...
    – P_S
    Apr 2, 2016 at 20:43
  • Your comment is now a standalone question.
    – LWC
    Apr 15, 2019 at 22:17

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