How to Turn Your Google or Amazon Display Into a Digital Photo Frame

Google Nest Hub Photo Frame Hed

Standalone digital photo frames made a major splash years ago as a great way to showcase your memories from days gone by. But did you know you could turn your smart display into a digital photo frame?

These devices let you decide which images to show versus just the random slideshow categories you usually see. The only difficult part is choosing which photos you want to use.

Which Devices Can I Turn Into Digital Photo Frames?

Let’s start with Google: both the Google Nest Hub and Google Nest Hub Max let you create photo slideshows. Originally, only the Amazon Echo Show 15 had this functionality built in. But, as of August 2022, all Echo Show displays have this feature. If your Echo display doesn’t, you may want to check for a software update, which should have happened automatically back in August or early September.

How To Turn Your Google Or Amazon Display Into A Digital Photo Frame Devices
Image source: Amazon

Essentially, if you have a Google or Amazon smart display, you should be able to turn it into a digital photo frame.

Even though Amazon Echo Show devices have had the ability to show your photos, this new feature lets you create a dedicated smart display photo frame that doesn’t mix in random news stories, Alexa skills ads, recipes, and other content. It’s just your photos with an occasional “look what Alexa can do” ad.

Currently, you can only set up this feature on Echo Show devices in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia.

Turning Your Amazon Echo Show Into a Digital Photo Frame

Before you start, you’ll need to make sure you have a photo source ready. Choose between Amazon Photos, Facebook, or your uploaded photos from the Alexa app on your phone or tablet. During the setup process, you’ll choose your desired source, including which albums you want to display.

If you want to use Amazon Photos, you can install the app on your phone or tablet and upload pictures to Amazon Photos. This works similarly to Google Photos. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get free unlimited full-resolution photo storage, along with 5 GB of video storage. If you’re not a Prime member, you get 5 GB of free storage and can upgrade to 100 GB for $19.99/year.

  1. On your Echo Show device, do one of two things: say “Alexa, set up my Photo Display” or swipe down from the top and select “Settings -> Clock and Photo Display.”
How To Turn Your Google Or Amazon Display Into A Digital Photo Frame Settomgs
  1. Select your photo source: Amazon Photos, Facebook, or your mobile device.
  2. For Amazon Photos, choose which albums you want to show. You can also manage the photos from the Amazon Photos app on your phone/tablet.
  3. For Facebook, follow the prompts to link your Facebook account to Amazon and select which albums to show.
  4. For your phone, open the Alexa app and go to “More -> Settings -> Photos.” Select “Devices” and choose your device. Then, select “Upload Photos” and choose up to 10 photos at a time. You can repeat this process to add more photos.
How To Turn Your Google Or Amazon Display Into A Digital Photo Frame Alexa App
  1. Say “Alexa, start Photo Frame” to start your new digital photo frame on your Echo. It will run for three hours unless you give Alexa another command.

If you’re using Amazon Photos, you can ask Alexa to show you specific albums or dates, such as “Alexa, show photos from last winter.”

The only downside to the Echo Show is that photos only display for three hours before you have to ask Alexa to show photos again. This can get tedious, but hopefully Amazon will fix this in future updates to function more like Google Nest’s continuous photo rotation.

Not sure which Amazon Echo to get? Check out our comparison guide to find the most suitable Amazon Echo.

Turning Your Google Nest Display Into a Digital Photo Frame

How To Turn Your Google Or Amazon Display Into A Digital Photo Frame Nest
Image source: Google

Just like with Amazon, you’ll need to first set up a photo source before your Google Nest display can become a digital photo frame. Obviously, as a Google product, Google prefers that you use Google Photos.

You’ll need to download the Google Photos app to your phone or tablet and add the photos you want to use. Divide them into albums or libraries to make it easier to see only the photos you want.

With Google Photos, you get 15 GB of free photo (and any other files) storage. Plans start at $1.99/month for 100 GB and go up to $9.99/month for 2 TB.

Tip: you can also use Google Nest to find your phone or create reminders.

There are two ways to set up the Photo Frame feature on a Google Nest display. The first is via the Google Home app.

  1. Open your Google Home app on your phone or tablet.
How To Turn Your Google Or Amazon Display Into A Digital Photo Frame Google App
  1. Select your Nest device.
  2. Open Settings (the gear icon).
  3. Tap “Picture Frame” and choose the photos/libraries you want to use.

The second method is via the display itself.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your Nest display.
  2. Tap “Settings.”
  3. Tap “Picture Frame” and select the content you want to use.

Alternately, you can simply say “Hey Google, change Picture Frame” to open the Picture Frame settings.

You can let Google Photos create live albums or create your own. Either way, you can have up to 20,000 photos in a single album. This should continue to give you something new to see each time you look at your Nest display.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I still get notifications when using my display as a digital photo frame?

Yes. But, on Echo Show devices, you won’t see the notifications displayed on the screen as normally would. However, you’ll still hear them. You can also swipe down on the screen at any time to check for notifications.

Can I make my Echo Show display show less non-photo content?

If you want to see more photos and fewer random recommendations on your Echo Show, swipe down from the top of your display and select “Home -> Settings -> Home Content” and deselect what you don’t want to see.

Can I remove individual photos from my displays?

Yes. Simply remove the photo from the album linked to your photo frame. In Google Photos, you can archive the photo or tell Google to remove it (which archives it). You can also move photos that you know you don’t want to see on your display into a separate album or library. Don’t include that particular album in the content you want to see when setting up your digital photo frame, and you’re good to go.

For Google Photos, you can also create a Locked Folder, which hides your photos behind your phone or account’s password. Even if you share your Photos with someone else, they can’t see the Locked Folder.

Can I interact with photos on my display?

Absolutely! Want to know more details about a photo? Simply ask Google or Alexa to tell you when or where the photo was taken. This is a great way to check the date on any photo, though the dates may display at the bottom of the photo anyway.

Image credit: Google

Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox