Google+ Auto-Backup

This is an excerpt from our Picasa Beginner’s Guide – see right sidebar for details.

Google+ Auto-Backup: When you installed Picasa you were probably given the option to turn on Google+ Auto-Backup. If you did that then every picture on your computer is being backed up to your Google+ Photos account in a folder called Auto Backup. If you don’t want this, you should uninstall the Google+ Auto Backup program. If you keep it there are settings you must check.  When you launch Google+ Auto Backup click the button to Get Started.

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To see your backed up photos, go to www.plus.google.com and log in to your account. From the left side dropdown menu under ‘Home’, choose ‘Photos.’ Under the ‘More’ menu option, choose Auto Backup.

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Published by

geeksontour

Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

64 thoughts on “Google+ Auto-Backup”

  1. I had the backup for my photos and I guess I didn’t do from beginning, but did set standard, but uninstalled because it ate up our data usage, so I uninstalled. I also didn’t see an option for it to not automatically make some photos in a video, which was neat until it put some historical photos in a video…hilarious. Anyway I have other backup so don’t need another data eating program. Thank you both for all the informative articles, etc.

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    1. Agreed. If you’re using metered bandwidth (where you have to pay per your usage) then this isn’t such a great feature. Not quite sure what you’re referring to with the “automatically make some photos in a video” – maybe the Auto-Awesome feature? If so, just know that those are private – only viewable by you, so you can delete them if you want, and if you like one – you can share it.

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  2. When a screen popped up that said I could back up my photos and documents on Google I thought, “What a good idea. You can never have too much back up.” So I signed up. After I kept getting overage notices on my Verizon account I finally realized what was causing it. I had thousands of pictures on my computer and after using 8 gigs over my monthly allotment I finally figured out what was causing it (I’m a slow learner – lol) and immediately disabled Google back up. I guess it would be good if it was doing it all along so it wouldn’t be such a large amount at one time. So your article should come with a warning! Your articles are very helpful! Keep them coming!

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    1. OUCH!! So this free feature must have cost you about $80?! Yes, you’re absolutely right, if your computer is using an Internet connection thru your Verizon account, like a MiFi or a hotspot from your phone, you will use up a LOT of data when it backs up your photo library. And, unlike the Google+ autobackup on a phone, there does not seem to be a setting on the computer to limit the procedure to only those times when you’re on a non-metered connection. On the phone,there is a setting for only perform backup when using Wi-Fi, NOT when using my cellular connection. Well, on your computer its always Wi-Fi .. I guess it has no way of knowing that the Wi-Fi is coming from your cellular device.
      there was no way I wanted Google+ to backup my complete library of 50,000 pictures. Besides the fact that I already have them all backed up to DVD and external hard drives. But, when I got a new computer with a fresh start on my Pictures, I turned the Backup feature on and I like it. I too use Verizon for my connection but, I am still grandfathered in to an unlimited plan – so it’s ok.

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  3. Thanks for the update on Google+ AutoBackup. Will choosing the “standard size” setting change the size of my photos that are in my computer files?

    Michael Allen

    P.S My wife Pat and I met you in Florida at your home park several years ago.

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  4. I was not the one that installed Picasa on my computer (one of my much smarter kids did it ). And since I can’t seem to find Google+ Plus Auto Backup, is it still possible to reactivate this feature? And if so will it back up existing photos or only the new ones I install?

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    1. The only way I know of currently to get Google+ Auto Backup is by installing Picasa from picasa.google.com. You can just re-install it – it will just overwrite your current Picasa – it doesn’t touch any of your pictures. You can re-install as much as you like. It will then backup all the pictures in the folders you check – not just the new ones.

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  5. I don’t particularly want ALL my photos backed up to G+. Is there a way to pick and chose the photo folders you want to back up?

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    1. Although you can pick and choose the major folders like My Documents or My Pictures, I see no way to select individual folders within My Pictures. See the screenshot in the article. So, you could put all the pictures you want backed up in, say, the Desktop – and tell G+ to only auto-backup Desktop. But, that sounds like too much work to me.
      HOLD THE PHONE!! I just played a little more and realized that if you UNcheck My Pictures, then you have the ability to click on the Add … button and select individual folders within My Pictures. So the answer is YES, you can specify just certain folders to back up.

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  6. I have a question for the professionals.
    Here goes: Are photos uploaded to Google+ using “Google+ Auto Backup” handled the same way once in Google+ as photos uploaded through Picasa’s Batch Upload (or any other upload mechanism for that matter)?

    In other words, are photos that were uploaded with “Google+ Auto Backup” handled differently than any other photo in Google+. The word “Backup” suggest that these are photos are kept with a high degree of security and reliability, so, are these indeed more “Backed up” than any other photo on Google+?

    Is Google+ Auto Backup only an uploading mechanism? or are the photos uploaded using the utility also stored more securely in Google+?

    P.S. I understand the difference between syncing a folder to Google+ and uploading a folder to Google+, )(syncing is continuous and uploading is a one-time event) so that’s not the question here.

    Thanks,

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    1. Well … Google+ Auto Backup is primarily an uploading mechanism, but it is also treated a little differently from other uploaded albums. It is visible to Only You, and that can’t be changed. You can’t rename the album, or rearrange the pictures. You can however, delete individual pictures, and share whatever ones you want

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      1. Thanks Chris…

        Just so I get this correctly, are the photos uploaded with “Auto Backup” kept with a higher degree of security and reliability compared with other photos in Google+?

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    1. If you use the ‘Share with Google+’ option to upload your pictures you can specify any album name you like. If you’re just letting the Auto-Backup do it’s job to upload the pictures, then no, you can’t make named albums. They all just go into the Auto-Backup album by date.

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  7. This so called auto thingy is really disappointing. It just bundles everything in to one amorphous blob that seems to be made of incomplete folders worth of images. I feel that I must make comment of the “WTF” variety. Why can’t the images be uploaded in the folder system they originate from? This is turning into a fail situation. What is the point in this? In addition to this messy system, I can’t actually find this screwed up collection of images in the “Album” link. All my other Picasa albums are there.
    Strange, very strange.

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    1. That’s just the way auto backup works. It just uploads all your pictures … period. You can view them by date since the camera stamps them with that information. It’s not meant to be a computer backup. You can’t “restore” to your computer folders. It is a photos backup. Just one giant shoebox with ALL your pictures … in date order.

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      1. best i can tell if you use the companion app to G+ (G+ Photo’s) on other platforms, like Chromebook or Android, it does just what you are thinking (exposes the Autobackup portion of the Google Drive in their Native folders from you PC). It appears to me there just isnt the app available on windows yet and the Browser view is the Amorphous blob you speak of. This works fine on my tablet to view by folder…

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  8. A couple of weeks ago Google+ made stories. I really like that but it only made 5 or 6. How can I get it to make more stories?

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    1. To see just your Auto-Backup pictures … go to the web, log in to that account, then, from the menu at left click the down arrow by Home and choose Photos. Then, click in the search box and choose Source “Auto Backup”
      Any photos that were auto backed up to your account would show there. You can select them and click the delete menu at top.

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  9. Hi, I’ve installed and run auto backup, all OK. After that, however, I added uploaded more pictures to my PC and only some of them were backed up to Google+ – most are missing. I’ve done everything I can think of to make Auto Backup upload them (including unticking My Pictures and ticking just the incomplete folder in Auto Backup settings), but they are still missing. Any suggestions?

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  10. How do you delete the album from ur gallery? , there are photos no longer in my phone , but they are still in the auto backup , and I don’t want them ,but I don’t have any choice to delete them so how do I get rid of the album

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    1. I see no way to get rid of the Auto Backup pictures as an album, but you can delete selected pictures. So, just select them all and click the Delete menu at the top. In case you don’t know how to see your Auto Backup pictures: go to the web, log in to your account, then, from the menu at left click the down arrow by Home and choose Photos. Then, click in the search box and choose Source “Auto Backup”
      Any photos that were auto backed up to your account would show there. You can select the first one, then Shift-click select the last one. They are now all selected and you can click the Delete menu at top to delete them all.

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  11. I just discovered that Google+ Auto Backup was installed on my computer…apparently as part of Picassa.
    I don’t want my files backed up anywhere in the internet, so I un-installed Google+ Auto Backup today.
    I didn’t realize that I should have checked to see if Picassa or Google had already backed up any of my pictures or other computer files before I discovered the program was on my PC or uninstalled it. I looked after the fact, following instructions I found online to check ‘Photos’ in my Google account, but all that came up was a ‘getting started’ box. Does this mean that Picassa never initiated any Auto Backup to Google, or do I need to do more searching if I want to make sure my pictures/photos aren’t online somewhere?

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    1. It sounds to me that you do not have a Googe+ account. Auto Backup would not be able to upload your pictures to Google+ unless you have an account. If you do indeed have an account, go to the web, log in to that account, then, from the menu at left click the down arrow by Home and choose Photos. Then, click in the search box and choose Source “Auto Backup”
      Any photos that were auto backed up to your account would show there.

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      1. The autobackup photos are visible to only you. Other albums can be set to private, public, or visible to certain people or circles.

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  12. How can I transfer all my auto backed up pictures from Google+ into a new PC. I have been able to get to the Google+ section where I see all my auto backed up pics, 60Gigs worth. Now I need to get that to my other PC – Whats the best way to go about that?

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    1. Click here : https://www.google.com/settings/takeout

      Login, if needed.

      Click the Select None button on the right.

      Scroll down the page until your see Google Photos

      click on the X to make it into a checkmark

      scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the Next button

      On the next screen, don’t worry about the settings, just click the Create archive button.

      Making the archive could take a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how fast your connection is.

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  13. I have alredy deleted my g+ account.but the photos are saved in my mobile.as I deleted those photos before I deleted my account iam unable to view those but that is not my problem those pics are now taking 7.7 mb in m6 storage.i wantvto delete them properly..those pics are not visible they all in grey colour.how to delete them???

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  14. I had to get my phone repaired recently when I restored from back up it only reinstalled photos up to may I have never turned off my phone auto back up please tell me how I can retrieve the photos / videos as I had precious moments if my daughters first year

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    1. To see just your Auto-Backup pictures … go to the web, log in to that account, then, from the menu at left click the down arrow by Home and choose Photos. Then, click in the search box and choose Source “Auto Backup”
      Any photos that were auto backed up to your account would show there.
      Assuming you see them, you can import them back to your computer using PIcasa’s File->Import from Google+ Photos.

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    1. Full size is your original resolution – it can be very large with today’s cameras. Standard is smaller – no longer that 2048 pixels on the longest side. If you allow your pictures to be downsized you get unlimited free storage on Google+ Photos.

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    1. Just to clarify my question: Often I will take a lot of photos with my camera, knowing I will be deleting all but the best of each shot. When I download my photos to the computer, auto-backup will start backing them up before I can weed through the bad ones. Once I have deleted the photos I don’t want to keep, I find I have to do the same to the auto-backup copy of all the photos. Shouldn’t auto-backup figure out that I have deleted a photo and therefore delete it as well from it’s backup?

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      1. Auto-Backup does not synchronize, it is a one-way trip. I would change your procedure just a little – initially you could import all your pictures to some folder outside of My Pictures – somewhere Auto-Backup isn’t looking. When you clean them up, put the remaining good pics in My Pictures and Auto-Backup will take it from there.

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  15. hi,
    I have a backup by google plus in my phone, incase i change my phone, how can i get all the backup pics back, beacuse i cant see those pics when i login by pc

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  16. I signed up for AutoBackup to Google+ and paid for the 100GB of extra storage in an effort to back all my photos up to the cloud. I had my phone set to autobackup, as well as my PC.
    Once I saw how G+ organized my pics (or dis-organized them as the case was), I decided I really needed to use Google Drive to back up by PC pics to preserve my filing structure, and that G+ was great for my phone backups.
    Here’s my problem: I need to mass delete all the pics that were uploaded from my PC, without deleting the ones uploaded from my phone. After my phone was uploaded, I deleted my local copies from my phone- so now the only copies are in G+.
    Is there any way to sort by autobackup source? Or using filenames or some other workaround?

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  17. How do I STOP Google+ from picking up my photos? Until now I have been unaware of any relationship between Google+ and Picasa until I got an email, showing some of my photos, and informing me that they were ready to share! With whom? Are you blackmailing me? (Photos of my vacations and my cat are not very scandalous, but there is a privacy issue here.) I have seen NOTHING on any Picasa screen indicating that Google+ will be grabbing my photos. The photos are stored on my PC and I do not want you or anyone poking around in my computer and getting them.

    I would appreciate a response and directions on how to stop this practice, and I want confirmation that you have deleted all of my photos from any of your databases. Thank you.

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  18. Ok, I am using my work computer and have photos from an industrial facility that I DO NOT want to be automatically ‘backed up’ on my Google + account.

    Besides the fact that my Google Drive is being consumed by photos that I don’t want backed up, there are some real confidentiality issues with work photos being taken and copied somewhere out of my control.

    I want to DISABLE the autobackup feature of Google + on my laptop.

    HOW DO I DO THIS ?

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  19. It’s saying my already backed up photos are unable to load.. can you tell me why all of a sudden it’s like this. I need these photos!

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  20. Lets face it folks google + photos is rubbish, if you want to find a certain year you have to endlessly scroll down literally, through the years whereas in Picasa, you just look on the left hand side select, quick scroll and there you are!!
    I want to put all my pictures from when I had auto back up on, ( switched off now) back into picasa, but no one will tell me how, I,ve had requests posted on google forums for months, anyone no how please????
    help that is, except for highlighting 6 or 7 , then transferring them very very slowly, I have hundreds!!

    It,s a reasonable request, but nobody knows how.?
    I want my photos back in picasa please

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  21. I want to delete a few photos from Google back up but not from my device can some one please fill me in on how to accomplish this please

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    1. Hmmmm, here’s what I found: Using the new Google Photos there does not seem to be a way to delete the cloud copy and leave the device copy alone. It deletes in sync or not at all. BUT, if you use the Google Plus photo interface you can delete the cloud copy and the device copy is still there.

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  22. HELP ME PLEASE
    I had some back up photos on my s5 and then I upgraded to s6.. I smart switch my info and everything transferred but 1 folder of back up photos I had in my gallery with a Lil picasa symbol at the bottom.. now I can’t find them anywhere.. no where I. Google plus

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  23. I was told that Samsung automatically installs Picasa on their phones. I did not download the app. My auto backup says I have 749 photos, but I cannot review the majority of them. I don’t have a computer, so please advise what I can do to get my photos back. I also have Cloud, but I actually like the Picasa if that is in fact true as to what Verizon told me. I like the way my Gallery is set up. My Photo Album is unfortunately losing photos, but it looks like they might be in my auto backup. This problem is fairly recent.

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  24. The Picasa will not let me get my pictures off the phone to my desk in my computer. Why is Picassa holding my pictures?

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  25. Hi,
    I don’t know the proper place to ask this, but I recently upgraded from a galaxy s3 to a droid turbo. I thought my photos were being backed up because I would always get notifications that they were, and I had some kind of “back up” folder in my gallery that I couldn’t do anything with. Since I thought they were being taken care of, I didn’t back them up anywhere else when I traded in my phone. I can’t find them anywhere now. I’ve gone through all the Google apps trying to find them, but all that are there are the new photos from this phone. Please help me. Do I get an email with a reply, because I don’t even know how to get back here to check later?

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  26. I have been trying to back up pictures from my computer onto my Google account via Picasa as well as the application downloaded from Google. However, whenever I try to sign in with my Gmail account, the browser keeps saying that my cookies may be turned off, or I have to use another window. I have tried both of these things however the same message keeps popping up. How do I fix this?

    Like

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