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32 tips and tricks for Google Photos

JR Raphael | Dec. 12, 2016
Got Google Photos? This guide will help you get around the service like a pro.

Google Photos is a great way to store your personal photos and make them available across different devices -- and with the holiday season upon us, the potential for generating lots of photos is at an especially high level. But the service is far more than just a virtual cloud locker.

Photos has oodles of options, features and possibilities for viewing, manipulating and managing your digital memories. And many of them aren't immediately obvious. Take a few minutes to scan through these tips and make sure you're making the most of your Google Photos experience.

(Note: Unless otherwise specified, all tips should work on any device/platform where Photos is available.)

Getting around

1. Move through Photos faster with keyboard shortcuts: From the desktop website, press Shift-? to get a list of available commands.

2. Find the Photos view that works best for you: In the mobile app, try pinching in or out on the main gallery to make the thumbnails smaller or larger. You can choose from four different views.

3. Aside from changing your view, pinching can help you move throughout the Photos mobile app. Once you've found your way to the closest possible view, pinching "out" (by moving your fingers apart) on any individual image will open that image in full. And pinching "in" (moving your fingers together) on any image (while viewing it in full) will always take you back to your main image list.

4. Not a fan of pinching? The Photos mobile app also has a hidden swipe-based shortcut: While viewing any image in full, simply swipe up or down on the screen to jump back to your main image list. Who needs that blasted Back button, anyway?

05 google photos quick scroll

When you're scrolling through Photos on your phone and want to jump to a specific date, use the quick-scroll icon on the right side of the screen.

5. When you're scrolling through Photos on your phone and want to jump to a specific date, touch the quick-scroll icon on the right side of the screen. Then just move your finger up or down to fly back in time faster than a flux capacitor would allow.

6. The next time you need to select a bunch of consecutive photos from your phone, don't do the one-tap-at-a-time dance. Instead, touch your finger to the first photo until it becomes highlighted, and then -- without lifting -- drag your finger up or down to quickly select a whole set of images.

7. Flawless as I know you are, you may one day discover you deleted a photo by accident. Take note now: Photos has a "Trash" folder that's accessible via the app's main menu. Every axed image stays there for 60 days and can be recovered with a couple quick taps or clicks.

 

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