Beginners Guide to Google Photos

Beginners Guide Google Photos Featured

If you’re taking more photos than ever, there’s no question the gallery on your smartphone, camera or tablet is getting larger and larger. There’s no better place to organize your photos online than Google Photos. Easy to use, free and supported by Google, this AI-centric platform is a must use for mobile photographers. Within two years the platform had already achieved more than 500 million users uploading a whopping 1.2 billion photos every day. Available on iOS, Android and the Web, Google Photos is a fantastic choice. That it offers unlimited storage for free makes it a no-brainer. Here’s how you can get up and running in just a few steps.

Download The App(s)

The first step is always the easiest as you head to the App Store or Google Play to download the Google Photos App.

Beginners Guide Google Photos Download

Once the app is installed, log in with your Google account. After successfully logging in, you’ll be prompted with an important choice – the quality setting. Here, you can choose “High Quality” which means all of your mobile photos will upload at full resolution up to a 16-megapixel limit, and HD videos will upload at 1080p.

Alternatively, you can choose “Original,” which also saves at full resolution, but that will count against your existing Google storage. Having made your selection, the next step is to upload photos and/or videos, and, depending on how many you have, this can take some time. This is the perfect opportunity to sit back and watch a movie.

Uploading Your Memories

The most important step of all is knowing how to back up your photos. On Android and iOS, it’s as straightforward as it gets. On the former, it’s as easy as opening the app and tapping the three line aka the “hamburger” menu button. Select Settings and “Backup & Sync.” Turn it on so that every time the app is opened it will automatically upload new photos and videos in the background.

Beginners Guide Google Photos Upload

The same process is in place for iOS. Open the app, tap the menu button, select Settings and “Backup & Sync” and make sure the option is turned on a well. On both platforms, follow the same steps to turn “Backup & Sync” off, stopping the automatic upload. Additionally, each platform has an option to turn on or off cellular data for photo uploading.

Viewing Your Content

Now that everything is uploaded to Google Photos, viewing your gallery is easy. Simply open the app with the default view for your photos. Google automatically sorts by the newest images. If you’d prefer to see your memories on a larger screen, you can also view your uploads at

Tapping or clicking on a photo will open it in a larger frame where you’re then presented with options to edit or share. The editing feature enables a host of options to enhance your pictures including an options to adjust the light or color, rotate, and crop. Sharing is exactly as it suggests, as it brings up the “share sheet” on iOS or the sharing menu on Android. You can text or email a friend a photo, or upload it to another cloud service like Dropbox or print.


There are few aspects of Google Photos more fun than organizing everything. There’s an “albums” icon on the left side which organizes your uploads by Things, Collages, Animations, Videos, People and Places. It’s here that you’ll see the benefit of Google’s AI technology which automatically sorts into these categories. People in particular are quite fun to explore as Google utilizes facial-recognition technology so you can sort photos by friends or family members. Things are equally fun to play around with as Google incorporates image-search technology to identify the subject behind each photo.

Beginners Guide Google Photos Organization

In other words, if you take a lot of shots at the beach, Google can identify the beach. Searching for “beach” in the search bar will bring up any photo that is beach-oriented. It’s surprisingly accurate and makes for faster searching than any other photo platform.


Identified by its “star in a box” logo, Assistant is easily one of the most popular aspects of Google Photos. It’s here that users can create albums, prints, movie, collages or animation. It’s also here where Google’s AI technology really shows its stuff by automatically creating movies, collages and galleries from your images.

If you’d prefer to make your own, all you have to do is click on one of the aforementioned options and follow the instructions. There’s no limit to how many albums or collages you can make so the sky’s the limit. Spend a few minutes or a few hours, Google Photos will back it up forever.

Beginners Guide Google Photos Assistant

Print Store

Unsurprisingly, there’s a print store as the final menu option for Google Photos. Prints start as low as $0.25, while photo books start from $9.99. Google even attempts to make books for you with suggested options like vacations that its AI technology has stitched together. There’s no reason to ever concern yourself with prints unless you absolutely want memories you can share in person. This service is just one more reason to believe that Google Photos is here for the long haul.

Beginners Guide Google Photos Prints


There are plenty of reasons why Google Photos has rocketed to the top of so many lists of best photo storage sites online. Everything from uploading to syncing is best in class. The opportunity to see hundreds, if not thousands, of memories in one place is good for everyone from the casual shooter to the professional photographer. Have you tried Google Photos before? Let us know your thoughts down below.

David Joz
David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox