Upload Google Photos

Google Photos is a recently released cloud service from Google that allows users to store an unlimited amount of high quality photos without having to worry about costs or storage ceilings. If you’re someone who takes lots of photos with your phone, then it may be worth considering.

Announced at the 2015 Google I/O developer conference, Google Photos is available on a variety of different platforms, including the web, iOS and, of course, Android. But what if you already have tons of photos stored in the Photos app for Mac, which was also recently released?

In this brief tutorial, I’ll show you two ways to easily copy the pictures in your Photos app library to Google Photos. Watch our video to see how easy it is.

How to transfer pictures from Photos app to Google Photos

You can’t simply drag your photos directly from the Photos app on your Mac into Google Photos on the web. First, you’ll need to export the photos from the Photos app.

Step 1: Select the images in the Photos app for Mac that you wish to copy to Google Photos.

Step 2: Create a folder on your desktop.

Step 3: Drag those photos into your created folder.

Step 4: Open the folder and drag the exported images in the folder to Google Photos in your web browser.

Or, if you want more fine-grained control over things like metadata and naming, you can select the photos and click File → Export. This will provide you with more control over the export process. Once the images are exported, complete Step 4 as noted above.

Photos app Export Mac

Copying photos from the Photos app on Mac into Google Photos is easy, but just remember that you’ll need to export the images in some manner first.

What do you think? Would you consider migrating over to Google Photos? If so, please tell us why down below in the comments.

  • InfinitePlusOne

    I can hear WWDC Music woho

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Thanks for VLC Link, working perfect

  • Jordan Stevens

    You should consider switching to an Android blog, Jeff with the current rate you’re going.

    • That_Fruitarian

      More evidence that jailbreaking is dead. The writing is on the wall.

    • Dan

      No one is forcing you to read the article, that’s what titles are for.

      • Jordan Stevens

        Oh is that what those are for? I still have to read the title. Jeff has become jaded with Apple. Listening to the podcast he sounds like he doesn’t even want to be there.

      • Dan

        Then switch sites? They can write what they want.
        I think it’s a good thing that iDB post about the competition, it’s good to be informed.

      • Jordan Stevens

        LOL it’s a site for Apple products. I’m all for being informed. I go to other sites to read up on it.

    • Nesly Lacroix

      Ignorant and stupid comment

    • TimT2011

      I love Apple, all I’ve ever owned are Macs, but Photos is biggest piece of junkware ever to come out of Cupertino. It’s a shameful effort and pretending it’s not doesn’t help anyone, especially Apple.

  • Rodney Coleman

    Why all this Google BS

    • Nesly Lacroix

      That’s an ignorant and biased comment.

  • Nesly Lacroix

    Great article Jeff! I used the Google Photos Backup desktop app to import from the iPhoto Library first. And manually move the newer photos from Photos Library into a new folder. Google Photos Backup automatically uploads them as they are moved into the folder. No need to manually import them into Google Photos.

    • Thank you for pointing that out! Google Photos Backup can even upload them directly from Apple Photos.

  • rafaelpz

    As soon as Apple drop that embarrassing 5gb storage limit, I’ll happily switch my photos storage back to them.

  • Mattias Nilsson

    Thanks for explaining how to move/export *existing* Apple Photos to Google Photos! The article would be event more interesting if you added a section on how to keep the two photo libraries in sync *after* the initial Apple Photo library export.

    Is it enough to just enable the auto-upload/backup feature on the Google Photos iPhone app in order to keep the libraries in sync? It feels a bit time-consuming to have to perform the Apple Photos export every once in while to keep the libraries in sync.

    Another question is if Google Photos can determine and eliminate photo duplicates if the user uploads the same photo to Google Photos more than once, eg both from the iPhone and from Mac?

  • If you copy the whole Photos file (Apple) into the Google backup directory will the photos therein be uploaded

  • Is it OK to drag photos in files into the Google Photo backup folder

  • PicBackMan

    After backing up Mac photo to Google Photos, can i delete content in my Mac photo app?

    • It is not recommended but it is ok.

  • mjbrin

    that didn’t work for me. I made a folder on my desktop and dragged photos to it .
    then dragged tried to drag the folder and each individual photo to google photos but then still wouldn’t go.

  • Alain Coletta

    works great

    • Brewfeller

      will Google Photos keep all the picture order, album names, pic
      naming, comments and meta data from iPhoto?

  • Jades

    I used google photos app on iPhone to save space and deleted those from Photos/iCloud. Problem is you can’t share those pics from the mac apps. So I may need to put certain albums back into iCloud

  • Jades

    I used google photos app on iPhone to save space and deleted those from Photos/iCloud. Problem is you can’t share those pics from the mac apps. So I may need to put certain albums back into iCloud

  • Thomas Beuckelaers

    Hi, if you export the photos to a folder on you Mac HD, like you recommend, will you lose HD space or not?

  • Philip Inglesant

    this is exactly why I HATE these “ecosystems” which know so-much better than we do how to organise our own lives. To get from Mac to Google you have to first DOWNLOAD to a local folder, then UPLOAD!! WTF?? And then it will “helpfully” organise your photos, not in the way you like but in the way Google likes – and note, they have already been organised not as you like, but in the way that Apple likes. So that’s three whole new ways of doing things that YOU have to learn from Google and Apple. You don’t do things the way you want, you have to learn to do things the different ways that Google and Apple want you do to them.

  • Jarco Penning

    dont forget to hold the OPTION key when dragging from Photo App to a Finder Folder: this lets you keep the FILE DATE. otherwise all the photo dates will change to the moment you drag them.