It’s almost here. On Tuesday, June 1 – the day after Memorial Day – all your new Google Photos uploads will count toward Google’s data cap. That’s exclusive of Pixel owners, but the rest of us only have a few days left. As we said before, if you have photos that you want to add to Google Photos without counting towards the storage limit, now is the time to act.
Why would you want to do this? Since you get a free backup of your print-quality photos (assuming they were in the first place), and having all your photos stored in the Google cloud makes it easier to share photos with others.
Here’s how to upload all your images to Google Photos before the new data limit hits.
Upload from your Android phone
A lot of people already have this enabled but in case you haven’t already, the easiest way to get photos from your phone is to enable it Backup and sync.
Start by opening Google Photos on your phone then tap your profile icon in the top right corner.
Then select Settings> Backup and sync, and make sure the slider for Backup and sync is turned on as shown here.
Then look at the section on the same screen with the title Upload size and make sure it says High quality (slightly lower quality). If so, you are good to go.
If not, tap the menu item and select High Quality from the options on the next screen. That is it!
Upload from a PC
If you have a ton of photos that you want to upload to Google Photos from your PC, this is also a pretty straightforward process. First, open your browser of choice and go to Google Photos on the web at photos.google.com. If you are not signed in to your account, you will need to do this.
Now all you have to do is click the upload icon (the upward pointing arrow above a horizontal bracket) in the top right corner of the Google Photos web app. Then select Computer from the menu that appears.
The problem with this is that you can only upload photos from one folder at a time. If you only have one folder of images, that’s easy enough. If you have multiple folders with hundreds of photos, it will be a serious pain, but fear not – we have a solution for that in the next section.
To proceed with a simple one-folder solution, select the folder you want to upload images from and press and hold CTRL on your keyboard while selecting all the photos you want to move to Google’s servers. (If you want all photos, just press CTRL + A to select everything in the folder.) Now click Open.
Then Google will ask if you want to save them in original or high quality. Select the latter, as high-quality images will not count towards your Google storage limit (until June 1). Press Continue.
After the photos are uploaded, you can add them to an album or simply leave them as single photos in your collection. You may also need to check the metadata of every photo you just uploaded to make sure details like the date are correct. That way they are collected together if you ever search by year. You can also add a location to your images for similar search capabilities. However, one thing you cannot do is change the file name after it has been uploaded.
If you only have a few photos you want to add, you can also just drag and drop them into the web app.
Backup and sync
For large upload jobs with hundreds of photos, you’ll need Google’s Backup and Sync utility for desktops. Once installed, open the app and click Get startedand log into your Google account.
Select now Back up photos and videos and select The next. Then you will be taken to the crucial page where you can select folders to upload. By default, Google Photos will upload your entire folder of images, and keep in mind that the Of high quality option is selected by default.
If that suits you, just click Get started and you go to the races. Otherwise, click Choose folder in that top box to select more locations for your photos. You can only select one folder at a time, but they will all be uploaded once you are done.
After that, Google’s backup and sync service will upload all your selected photos in high quality. How long it takes depends of course on the number of photos you have and the speed of your internet connection. If you have a a lot of of images to squeeze them in before Google’s data cap hits, it’s probably a good idea to let your PC run overnight. However, once the upload is complete, you can keep these photos in Google’s cloud without affecting your storage limit which will take effect on June 1.