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Google Photos stops back-up of social media images

30.06.20, 20:11
Google Photos stops back-up of social media images
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Google Photos app on a phone

Google will no longer automatically back up images and videos from social media platforms in its photo app.

Previously, the Google Photos app created a folder to store any media received through apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

Google said the changes were to save internet resources as “people are sharing more photos and videos” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The feature used up bandwidth and took up memory on devices.

Earlier this year, YouTube and Netflix made similar moves to reduce internet traffic, as more people were using broadband at home due to the coronavirus lockdown.

An XDA developer told news site Android Police the following apps were affected:

  • Facebook
  • Helo
  • Instagram
  • LINE
  • Messages
  • Messenger
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Viber
  • WhatsApp

Photos and videos that have already been backed up from messaging apps are not affected and you can turn the feature back on if you wish to use it.

How to back up specific photos and videos:

  • Open the Google Photos app
  • Click on Library then “Photos on device,” tap View all
  • Tap the folder with content you want to back up
  • Select the photo or video you want to back up and then the option “Back up now”

How to change your back-up settings for device folders:

  • Open the Google Photos app
  • Click on Library then “Photos on device,” tap View all
  • Tap the folder that you want to back up
  • At the top, enable Backup and sync.

Several apps such as WhatsApp have their own in-app option to disable auto-saving of media.

To disable WhatsApp photos and video from saving to iPhone:

  • Open the WhatsApp app
  • Click on “Settings” then “Chats”
  • Disable the button that says “Save to Camera Roll”.
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