How to Transfer Google Photos in 2021: Cloud Hopping

Now that Google Photos is ending its unlimited photo storage, you may be considering jumping ship. Here's how to transfer Google Photos to another cloud.

Robin Barber
By Robin Barber (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-02-16T13:59:04+00:00 Facts checked by: Andrea Babic

Transferring photos from one Google account to another — or migrating to a new service — may sound like it’ll be tedious and take forever, especially if you have lots of photos and albums. However, there is a good solution to this, and in this article, we’ll go through how you can easily transfer Google Photos to another account or a different service.

Key Takeaways: 

  • The best method to transfer photos between two Google accounts is with the built-in sharing features.
  • Moving photos to another cloud service is easy with cloud-to-cloud management software.
  • The unlimited storage offer for Google Photos will end on June 1, 2021. Only photos you add after that date will count toward your storage limits. 

If you’re just looking to transfer Google photos from one account to another, then you should use the sharing feature in Google Drive. There are a few ways to share files that you could use, but one of the easiest is through partner accounts. This will let you move anything from one Google account to another in a single file transfer.

However, given the upcoming changes to Google’s unlimited storage, you may be looking to change which cloud storage provider you use. As you can’t directly share photos with a different service, the best option for a one-off transfer is to use a dedicated cloud-to-cloud management program.

  • To transfer from Google Photos to a computer, first select all the photos you want to move. Then you can either press the “shift” and “D” buttons together or find the menu list in the top-right corner and click “download.” 

  • On your iPhone, download Google Photos, go into the settings and turn on “backup and sync.” This will add all the pictures and videos on your iPhone to your Google Photos account. You can also turn on “high quality” images in the Google Photos app, so it doesn’t fill up your storage space.

How to Transfer Google Photos to Another Google Account

There are two main ways to move your pictures to another Google Photos account. One method is to download everything to a computer and then upload them manually to the second account. However, this is a lot slower than the other method, which is to make use of Google’s built-in sharing features.

Move Photos Manually

The manual way is as simple as you would expect: you select everything you want to move, press the “download” button in the top-right corner and then upload them individually to the new account. This works well, but it isn’t a practical way to move lots of photos quickly. 

Instead, for larger albums, it’s quicker to share them through Google by adding a “partner account.”

Transfer Google Photos Albums Using a Partner Account

  1. Add a partner account

    While signed in to your first Google Photos account, go into the “utilities” tab and click the “get started” button under “add partner account.”

    google photos to another account partners
    To move photos from one account to another, connect them as partner accounts.
  2. Choose a recipient

    Type in the email address connected to your second account and select it as the recipient.

    google photos to another account add second account
    Type the email address for your second Google Photos account and select it.
  3. Send the invitation

    Choose not to limit access to older photos and then click the “send invitation” button to give this account access to your albums.

    google photos to another account send invitation
    Send an invitation link to the second account to give it access to the shared library.
  4. Accept the invitation

    On your second account, go into the “sharing” tab and accept the invitation to see your photos. You will also receive an email with a link to the shared library where you can find all of these images.

    google photos to another account accept invitation
    Go to the “sharing” tab in your second Google account to find the shared library.
  5. Turn on “auto save”

    When viewing the shared photos, there is a button in the top left corner labeled “turn on auto save.” Click this to open the “auto save” window where you can choose to save all the shared photos from your first account.

    google photos to another account auto save
    Turn on “auto save” in the shared library to add the photos to your main Google Photo album.
  6. Check to see if your photos are all there

    Before you stop sharing your photos, you should make sure they’re all saved onto your second Google account. However, once the transfer is complete, you can disconnect the two accounts and delete the original photos without losing them.

    google photos to another account final check
    The photos from your first account should now sync with your second account.

How to Move from Google Photos to Another Service

Although the “download Google Photos to PC and then upload” method from before will work, it’s not the best way to transfer everything to a different cloud storage drive. Instead you should use cloud-to-cloud management services, which are much faster and don’t rely on the storage capacity of your device or an external hard drive.

Cloud-to-cloud management providers — such as MultCloud (read our MultCloud review) — let you transfer files between two separate cloud storage accounts, even if they’re with different providers. For this guide, we’ll be moving our photos to pCloud, but you can also transfer files with other services, and the process will be similar.

Use MultCloud to Transfer Images

  1. Create a MultCloud account

    Go to MultCloud.com and create a free account. You’ll need to activate it with your email address and then sign in.

    google photos in another service multcloud
    Sign in to your MultCloud account, or create a new one for free.
  2. Add your cloud storage account

    Click on the “add cloud drives” tab on the left of the page to add both of your cloud storage accounts.

    google photos in another service add drives
    Add the services that you want to transfer your albums between.
  3. Select the photos you want to transfer

    Go into the new “Google Photos” tab and enter the “photos” folder. Now select all the pictures you want to transfer or check the box at the top to choose everything.

    google photos in another service select the photos
    Select all photos in the album you want to transfer.
  4. Move the photos to the new cloud storage account

    Right-click on the selected photos and choose “copy to,” then select your new cloud drive as the destination. This is a one-time transfer, so you will have to sync your albums again after any changes.

    google photos in another service transfer photos
    Transfer the images into your new library.
  5. Wait for the process to finish

    MultCloud will begin to move your pictures from your Google Photos account to the new service. There will be a box in the bottom-right corner showing the progress of the transfer.

    google photos in another service wait for completion
    Wait for MultCloud to finish the transfer into your new drive.

Google Photos Unlimited Storage: What Is Changing? 

Currently, Google Photos allows users to save “high-quality” images — anything up to 16MP — without using their Google Drive storage space. However, this will no longer be an option after June 1, 2021, and all newly added photos will count toward your total data limit.

This means you’ll no longer be able to upload whatever photos you want without worrying about your storage, although Google will be adding extra tools to help remove dark or blurry pictures. You can also delete duplicate photos in Google Photos, which will help save some space.

Overall, as Google already provides 15GB of space — more than most free services — and any pictures already saved won’t count toward the limit, you’ll probably be fine. You can also create a second account specifically for photos and videos so that they won’t be competing with documents and downloads for space.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to doing a data transfer, Google Photos makes it easy as long as you’re moving photos from one Google account to another. However, with third-party cloud-to-cloud management services — like MultCloud or CloudHQ — you can also transfer photos to an album outside Google Workspace. If you are looking for an alternative to Google Photos, then you should read our article on the best online storage solutions for photos.

Have you tried to transfer photos from Google Photos to another account? Did you try using this “sharing” method? Did we answer your questions about how to transfer your pictures from Google Photos? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.