How to export all photos from Google Photos

Josh Sherman
2 min read
Productivity Google Apple

After yet another bout of operating system soul searching, I’ve landed back on both iOS and macOS. With this transition from Android and Linux, my software needs have changed.

Also the Googs has been barking about my needing to upgrade if I want to continue to store my mountain of photos and videos in Google Photos.

It doesn’t make sense to store my photos in both iCloud Photos and Google Photos, especially with using Apple devices more exclusively. By consolidating I’ll be able to remove the Google Photos app from my phone and eliminate the need to upgrade my Google One cloud storage plan.

How does one export all of their photos from Google Photos? My initial thought was that I could just select all of my photos from the web interface, and download them all as a ZIP archive.

That would have been a lot of clicks.

Fortunately, Google does offer a way to export data easily. I would have said “quickly and easily” but that really depends on the size of your library. It also depends on what you export, as Google allows you to export everything that’s associated with your Google account.

To get started, navigate over to the Google Takeout site.

If you’re only interested in exporting your photos, click on Deselect all and then scroll down to Google Photos. Once you find it, click the checkbox next to it.

Optionally, you can go through and pick and choose which photo albums you’d like to include.

With Google Photos selected, scroll all the way to the bottom and click Next step.

You should now be presented with export options, including how you’d like to receive the file(s), the frequency of the export, the export’s file type and even the size of the archive file(s) you receive.

Regardless of which delivery method you choose (direct download link(s) or exported to a file hosting service like Dropbox) you will receive an email when everything is ready to go.

The time it takes to receive the email will depend on how much you’re exporting. For my library, with roughly 70 GB of photos and videos, it took about 10 and a half hours to complete.

With the exported archive(s) available, you are free to import the photos into iCloud Photos, or any other service you so desire. If nothing else, if you simply use them as a backup copy, just in case!

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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