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App to Sync Photos to Cloud and back to PC?


Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2012
I know there are a lot of other frustrated users in my shoes. Here's the problem. More and more people these days are using their phone to take photos. And those people typically have the Google Photos App which automatically uploads your photos to your Google Photos.

It used to be there was a Google Photos folder in your Google Drive so you could get a file folder structure view of all your Google Photos and you could sync that folder to your PC. So if you wanted to email or do something with one of those folders using your PC you could easily access them from Windows Explorer.

Now that that Google got rid of that functionality, the only way to get photos out of Google Photos that were not already on your PC to begin with is to download them on demand. Yes you can use Google Takeout to get everything downloaded but that's messy and unnecessary when you just need a few photos.

I've searched and there appears to be no solution to sync Google photos to the PC (only to sync photos from the PC to Google Photos.) If that's true has anyone found an alternative photo storage solution that automatically uploads your photos from all your devices and syncs everything back down to your PC so photos taken on your phone that get uploaded get downloaded to your PC or at least you get a network mapped drive that is just symbolic pointers to all your photo files and folders?

For anyone not following me, pick any article here and it explains why.

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If I'm composing an email on my PC it definitely takes more than "a sec or two" to a) open a tab in the browser, b) go to Google photos, c) search for the photo I want, d) download it to my PC, e) move it out of the Downloads folder to a proper subfolder of Pictures in case I need to attach it again. Add in scenarios in addition to personal email such as business emails where you want to attach photos from a couple shoot locations and time periods, then it gets even more irritating and inefficient.

I solved the problem. I'm a big Google/Android person. Most people are either an Apple ecosystem person, a Google/Android person, a Microsoft person (OneDrive) or an Amazon ecosystem person. But unfortunately in this case, Google, you lost me.

I dumped Google photos last night and switched to Amazon Photos and am SO much happier. I now have my Photos syncing back to my PC like it used to be before Google shot themselves in the foot by removing the Google Photos folder from Google Drive. One intention may be to create a stronger long-term relationship as once you don't have the ability to access your photos via file folders like you can with all your other documents (PDFs, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, etc) it's not as straigtforward to move things around and organize things let alone move to another service.

Here's the trick, when you setup Amazon Photos on your PIC, it wants to set it up as a Backup, not a Sync. That's fine if you don't mind when you want to delete something you have to manually delete it both on the PC side and on the Amazon side. What I did was:

1) First downloaded all my photos from Google via Takeout. Of course Google makes their own folder structure which was fine.
2) Searched for and deleted all the json files that Google includes and the Trash folder
3) Installed Amazon Photos and after setting it up, I removed the backup folders for Pictures and Videos it created (I can't remember if you can avoid doing this at install, I think it automatically finds the folders on your PC and adds them)
4) Enable Sync in Amazon Photos and sync your Pictures folder on Amazon to wherever you want on your PC (mine ended up being D:\Amazon Drive\Pictures as I selected D:\ as the local location to sync with)
5) Copy all the folders I downloaded from Google Takeout into the D:\Amazon Drive\Pictures
6) Download the Amazon Photos app on my Android phone and turn on automatic uploads (unless you want to manually select which photos from your phone are uploaded.) What is interesting, and kind of nice, is it puts the photos from your device in it's own subfolder under Pictures. But when you view your Pictures from Amazon Photos on the Web it's just like Google Photos in that it organizes by location, date, album with robust search.

Now if I add or delete a photo on Amazon Photos via Web, via app on my phone, or via my PC, it deletes/adds the photo everywhere inlcuding the local folders on my PC. So the D:\Amazon Drive\Pictures folder is always in sync and I can easily access my photos from any Windows app directly from that folder and don't have to mess with accessing them through the Amazon Photos website and download them. I can also access my photos when I don't have an Internet connection.

Another benefit is if you need a lot of storage (which I do), their 1 TB plan is $6.99 at Amazon as opposed to $9.99 and Google. A much better solution all around. And there are other benefits too. Sorry Google, you're not the best at Photo storage anymore. Ran across this too:

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Another cool thing I just discovered is when browsing in Amazon Photos if you go to delete any images it asks if you want to delete the photos from both Amazon Photos and your device. It was such a pain before cleaning up all my photos because so many things I take using my phone are just for temp use that I don't want to keep. Yes, I could turn the auto-upload off but drop your phone in the lake or get it stolen and say bye bye to all your current photos on your device if you don't have auto-upload enabled. Before I had to go delete the photos from Gallery on my device and then go delete them in Google Photos. Was a pain. No more with Amazon Photos.
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I solved the problem. I'm a big Google/Android person. Most people are either an Apple ecosystem person, a Google/Android person, a Microsoft person (OneDrive) or an Amazon ecosystem person. But unfortunately in this case, Google, you lost me.

Good! :) Just because you use an Android device, there's no obligation to use Google's online services with it. I use OneDrive myself, and I don't even use Windows. I have Android devices and Apple Macbooks.
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