Can I delete photos after uploaded to Google Photos?

πŸ‘€Β Diwas Poudel Β Β  πŸ•’ 13 Sep 2023 Β Β  πŸ“ TECH

Google Photo is a Google-provided app that lets you store, view, share, and manage your photos and videos. It stores those files on Google Drive. It enables you to provide two-way media upload capabilities from your iPhone/Android to Google Photo and vice versa. If you use free Google Drive, it will use your 15GB Google Account storage space if free space is available.

Deleting media (video, photo) is something we commonly do on our smartphones to save free space on our smartphone storage. So, users having questions like "Can I delete my photos once they are uploaded to Google Photos?" is obvious.

Let's understand various scenarios explaining deleting photos on your device and Google Photos.

Can I delete my photos once they are uploaded to Google Photos?

Ans: If your device's photos and videos are already synced with Google Photo, you will have two copies of the same photos and videos: one on your device and one on Google Server. So, if you delete these already synced photos/videos from your device, they will only be deleted from your device, but one copy is still there on Google Server.

This deleted content can be viewed via Google Photos Apps or the Google Photos website: at any time you want.

You can try it by just deleting one photo from your device and checking it the same in the Google Photos app.

Also noted is that anything in your Google Photos library can be edited, shared, deleted, or managed.

Why are synced photos and videos not seen in Google Photos Apps?

You won't be able to see already synced photos and videos in Google Photos Apps if:

  • You make use of the built-in gallery on your mobile device.
  • You've gone offline.
  • You are not logged in with your Google Account to Google Photos

In terms of security, Google Photos has a higher level of security than your device. You may have lost your device, but as long as you have a Google Account linked to your Google Photos, it will be there as long as Google exists.

Also read: How to download protected/view-only files from Google Drive?

How to know whether your photos are synced with Google Photos or not?

It is necessary to know whether your device's photos and videos are synced properly with the Google Photos server. Here are the steps you can take:

1 First verify whether the Backup and Sync feature is enabled or not.


1a Open the Google Photos app on your device.

1b At the top right corner, Tap your profile iconΒ 
Here you can see your Google Account, and if it is not your required Google Account then you can change it by clicking on Manage your Google Account. Then again click again on Profile Icon.

1c Select Photos settings

Fig. Backup and Sync are enabled in the Google Photos App

1d Tab "Back up and sync"

1e Then make sure the toggle is ON under Back up and sync.

If ON then it will automatically upload photos and videos from your device to your Google Account.

Now you can cross-check whether your photos are in-app or not.

  • Just Open your gallery photos/videos.
  • Then cross verify it by opening Google Photos. If you have some photos/videos in your gallery then it shows your device and Google Photos are synced properly.
  • Also, you can open Google Photo and if you find the cross-cloud icon in your photo then it means that the image or video is not synced as shown below.Β 
Unsynced Photo
Fig Unsynced Photo Google Photo

How to sync a particular photo on your phone to Google Photo?

You can easily sync particular photos on your phone on Google Photo these steps are as follows:

  1. Open Google PhotoΒ 
  2. Then it will show you Photos on the device, just click on the folder you want to sync. In my case, I want to sync the Telegram folder present in my phone to Google Sync.
  3. Then toggle Back up and sync the button to ON. Then the toggle buttons turn to blue.
Sync Particular Photo of your Phone
Fig. Sync a Particular Photo of your Phone

Now let's go further:

What happens if you delete photos without being synced with Google Photos?

If you have photos/videos on your devices and the same copy is not available in Google Photos, it indicates that sync is not working, and if you delete photos from your device, these photos/videos will be lost.

How do I delete photos from my device but leave them on Google Photos?

Ans: The answer is similar to the question: Can I delete my photos once they are uploaded to Google Photos? And the answer is if your Photos /Videos are properly synced with Google Photos then you can freely delete them from your device. It works for every device either Android or iPhone.

Also read: How to upload/send high-quality photos, and videos on WhatsApp?

Scenarios with Google Photo website:

If you log in to Google Photos and delete a photo from there, it will only remove the photo from your Google account. You won't find anything similar in your Google Photo Apps.

If the photos are saved on both your device and Google Photos, deleting them from Google Photos web is dependent on two factors.

1 If backup and sync are enabled, photos will be deleted from both Google Account and Phone. As a result, both copies will be deleted.

2 If backup and sync are turned off, photos will be removed from your Google Account only, i.e. they will be deleted from the cloud, but they will still be available on your phone.

What to do if delete photos from Google Photos?

If you accidentally deleted photos and want to recover them, you can find them in Google Photos' Trash folder. It will remain there for 60 days after you delete them. You can get to them by following the steps below.

fig. Trash Folder in Google Photos on the Google Photos website

If you are on mobile, then you will get a bin folder instead of a Trash folder like this:


Can I keep a photo in Google Photos for a long time?

Google Photo offers free storage of up to 15GB. This is shared with Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos.If you need more storage or your current storage is full, you can purchase additional storage from Google.

However, keep in mind that if you exceed your storage quota for two years or more, Google will delete all of your content. This is effective on June 1, 2021.

Why were photos and videos stored in Google Photos?

The main reason for this is that Google stores those photos and videos in their original quality, allowing you to save high-quality content in Google Photos. Another reason is that Google offers 15GB of free storage, which anyone with a Google Account can easily access.

What happens if you run out of space?

You are unable to sync or upload new photos, videos, or other content. You cannot create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or many other services.

Can I recover deleted photos from Google Photos?

Yes, you can recover. If you have deleted photos in Google Photos then they will go to the trash. So you can open the Google Photos app and goto the Trash tab. Tap on 3 dots in the top right corner of the screen and select "Empty trash".Β 

Is it possible to remove photos from Google Photos without removing them from my phone?

Yes you can remove photos from Google Photos without removing them from my phone and here are the steps:

  1. Open Google Photos App
  2. Navigate to the Library tab
  3. Then choose the photos you wish to delete.
  4. Then tap on 3 dots in the top right corner of the screen.
  5. Next, select "Remove from Library"

Now this action will remove from Google Photos while leaving them undeleted on your phone.