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Michelli De Rojas
Michelli De Rojas

Transfer Your Google Photos to an External Hard Drive Easily and Quickly


How to Download Google Photos to Your Hard Drive




Google Photos is a popular cloud service that lets you store, organize, and share your photos and videos. It offers many features and benefits, such as unlimited storage, smart editing, and automatic backup. But what if you want to download your Google Photos to your hard drive for offline access, extra backup, or transferring to another device? In this article, we'll show you how to download all or selected Google Photos to your hard drive, and how to transfer them to an external hard drive for more security and portability.


Why You Should Backup Your Google Photos




Before we get into the details of how to download Google Photos to your hard drive, let's first understand why you should backup your Google Photos in the first place.




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Benefits of Google Photos




Google Photos is one of the best photo cloud storage options available in 2023. Here are some of the reasons why you should use it:


  • It offers unlimited free storage for photos and videos up to 16MP and 1080p respectively. You can also choose to store your photos and videos in their original quality, but they will count against your Google account storage quota.



  • It automatically backs up your photos and videos from your phone, computer, camera, or SD card. You can also sync your photos and videos across all your devices with the same Google account.



  • It uses artificial intelligence to organize your photos and videos by date, location, people, pets, things, events, and more. You can also create albums, collages, animations, movies, and stories with your photos and videos.



  • It provides smart editing tools that let you enhance, crop, rotate, filter, adjust, and add effects to your photos and videos. You can also use Google Lens to identify objects, text, landmarks, plants, animals, and more in your photos.



  • It allows you to share your photos and videos with anyone via email, text, social media, or link. You can also create shared albums with your family and friends, where everyone can add their own photos and videos.



Risks of Losing Your Google Photos




Despite all the advantages of Google Photos, there are still some risks of losing your precious photos and videos if you rely solely on the cloud service. Here are some of the scenarios that could cause you to lose access to your Google Photos:


  • You forget your Google account password or get locked out of your account for some reason.



  • You accidentally delete some or all of your photos and videos from Google Photos. Although you can restore them from the trash bin within 60 days, they will be permanently deleted after that period.



  • You run out of storage space on your Google account and have to delete some or all of your photos and videos from Google Photos.



  • You lose internet connection or have limited bandwidth when you need to access your photos and videos from Google Photos.



  • You encounter a technical glitch or a security breach that affects Google Photos or your account.



To avoid these risks and ensure that you always have a copy of your photos and videos, it's a good idea to download them to your hard drive as a backup. This way, you can access them anytime and anywhere without relying on the internet or Google's servers.


How to Download All Your Google Photos at Once




If you want to download all your Google Photos to your hard drive in one go, there are two methods you can use: using Google Takeout or using Backup and Sync. Let's see how each method works.


Using Google Takeout




Google Takeout is a service that lets you export and download your data from various Google products, including Google Photos. Here are the steps to use Google Takeout to download all your Google Photos to your hard drive:


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  • Go to and sign in with your Google account.



  • Select Google Photos from the list of products. You can also choose to include or exclude specific albums, formats, or sizes.



  • Click on Next Step and choose the delivery method, frequency, file type, and size for your export. You can either get a download link via email or add the export to your Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box account.



  • Click on Create Export and wait for Google to prepare your data. This may take some time depending on the size of your photos and videos.



  • Once your export is ready, you will receive an email notification with a link to download it. Click on the link and download the zip file to your hard drive.



  • Extract the zip file and you will find a folder named Takeout with a subfolder named Google Photos. Inside this subfolder, you will find all your photos and videos organized by date or album.



Using Backup and Sync




Backup and Sync is an app that lets you sync your files and folders between your computer and Google Drive, as well as backup your photos and videos to Google Photos. Here are the steps to use Backup and Sync to download all your Google Photos to your hard drive:


  • Download and install Backup and Sync from .



  • Launch the app and sign in with your Google account.



  • Click on More (three dots icon) in the top right corner and select Preferences.



  • Under the Google Drive tab, check the box next to Sync My Drive to this computer. You can also choose which folders you want to sync or sync everything in My Drive.



  • Under the Google Photos tab, check the box next to Upload newly added photos and videos to Google Photos. You can also choose the upload quality and the source folders for your photos and videos.



  • Click on OK and wait for Backup and Sync to sync your files and folders between your computer and Google Drive, as well as backup your photos and videos to Google Photos.



  • Once the sync is complete, you will find a folder named Google Drive on your hard drive. Inside this folder, you will find a subfolder named Google Photos. Inside this subfolder, you will find all your photos and videos organized by year.



How to Download Selected Google Photos




If you don't want to download all your Google Photos to your hard drive, but only selected ones, there are two methods you can use: using the Google Photos website or using the Google Photos app. Let's see how each method works.


Using the Google Photos Website




The Google Photos website is the web version of the cloud service that lets you access, manage, and share your photos and videos online. Here are the steps to use the Google Photos website to download selected Google Photos to your hard drive:


  • Go to and sign in with your Google account.



  • Select the photos and videos you want to download by clicking on them or holding down the Ctrl key (or Command key on Mac) while clicking on them.



  • Click on More (three dots icon) in the top right corner and select Download. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Shift + D.



A zip file containing your selected photos and videos will be downloaded to your hard drive. You can find it in your Downloads folder or wherever you set your browse


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