Users of Google's Photos and Drive cloud storage services have been able to seamlessly access their photos from either platform for some time now, with the services automatically syncing to each other and even sharing storage space, however the search giant has announced that, from July 10 this year, that will no longer be the case.
Google revealed the change in a blog post (opens in new tab), saying that it will “simplify the experience across Drive and Photos” when it comes to accessing photos on either platform, as customer feedback has led the company to the conclusion that “the connection between these services is confusing”.
From July, the photos and videos that all users (including G Suite customers) upload to Drive will no longer be automatically added to your Photos app or desktop client, and similarly, media added to your Photos app won’t appear in the 'Photos' folder in Drive. The same goes for deletions of media in both directions.
The current system has apparently caused users to accidentally delete photos and videos across all of their platforms by attempting to remove them from just one, so Google will instead implement more “granular control”.
The automatic syncing will be replaced with an “Upload from Drive (opens in new tab)” feature, which will allow users to manually select images or footage from their Drive folders – even shared media – and import them to Photos, at which point they’ll be unaffected by any changes made to them in Drive.
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While these changes will affect any photos or videos added to either service from July 10, existing media will remain where it is, although its connection to either service will be severed – so modifying or deleting files on one won't affect the other.
As for the account-wide storage limit, users are still able to upload unlimited ‘high quality’ files to their Photos service without it impacting their storage, however if those files are also stored in Drive, the latter will count towards the storage cap. As before, ‘original quality’ images will count towards the total storage limit on both platforms.