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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.

14. Feeling lazy? You can search your Google Photos by emoji (yes, really!). Try 😎 for photos involving glasses, for instance, or 💗 for photos involving hearts.

15. You can find the photos you uploaded most recently by going to the Photos website and clicking the search bar -- then clicking the link labeled "Show More" followed by "Recently Added."

Organizing and optimizing

16. If you see some images out of order in your collection, odds are they were captured with the wrong date. (Perhaps, ahem, someone forgot to set the clock correctly on his or her camera?) Not to worry, though: There's a quick fix. From the desktop site, select the photos in question (by clicking the checkmark in the upper-left corner of their thumbnail), then click the menu icon in the upper-right corner and select "Edit date & time."

16 google photos edit time and date

You can change the date of a photo on the desktop site by selecting the photo and then clicking on the menu in the upper right corner.

17. Keeping all your smartphone photos backed up to the cloud is smart, but watch out: All that data transferring can take a serious toll on your mobile device's stamina. Do your battery a favor and set Photos to back up only when your phone is charging. Just head into the app's settings, tap "Back up & sync" and then look for the option labeled "While charging only."

18. Want Photos to back up images beyond just those taken with your phone's camera -- pictures you've downloaded, perhaps, or screenshots you've captured? Go back into the app's settings, select "Back up & sync" and then "Back up device folders." Flip the switch on any folder there to have its contents automatically and continually synced with your Photos library.

19. Since all your smartphone photos are backed up to the cloud, you can safely delete your phone's local copies whenever you need to free up some space. Just look for the option called "Free up device storage" in the Photos app's settings to get started. (The app may also automatically prompt you to do this if your phone's storage gets low.)

20. Let's face it: Uploading a ton of images from your computer to the cloud can be a real chore. Take the pain out of the process by snagging Google's free desktop uploader tool, available for both macOS and Windows. The program makes it possible to batch-transfer images; it also gives you the option to automatically sync new images whenever a camera or card gets plugged into your system.


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