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Joshua Richardson
Joshua Richardson

The Ultimate Guide to Downloading Google Photos to a Hard Drive


How to Download Google Photos to a Hard Drive




Google Photos is a great service for storing, organizing, and sharing your photos and videos. But what if you want to have a copy of your precious memories on your own hard drive? Whether you want to free up some space on your Google account, access your photos offline, or protect them from accidental deletion, downloading Google Photos to a hard drive is a smart move. In this article, we'll show you how to do it in different ways, depending on your needs and preferences. We'll also help you choose the right hard drive for your backup and give you some tips on how to manage it.




how to download google photos to a hard drive



Why Download Google Photos to a Hard Drive?




Google Photos offers many features and benefits that make it one of the best photo cloud storage options available. You can upload unlimited photos and videos in high quality, create albums and collages, edit and enhance your images, search for specific people or places, and share them with anyone you want. Plus, you can access your photos from any device with an internet connection.


However, there are also some reasons why you might want to download your Google Photos to a hard drive. Here are some of them:


  • Backup: Even though Google Photos is reliable and secure, it's always a good idea to have a backup of your important data. You never know when something might go wrong with your account, your device, or the service itself. Having a copy of your photos on a hard drive can save you from losing them forever.



  • Offline access: Sometimes you might want to view or edit your photos without an internet connection. Maybe you're traveling somewhere with poor or expensive Wi-Fi, or maybe you just want to save some data. Having a copy of your photos on a hard drive can let you enjoy them anytime, anywhere.



  • Storage space: If you upload your photos and videos in original quality, they will count against your Google account storage limit. Depending on how many photos you have and how often you take new ones, you might run out of space sooner or later. If you don't want to pay for extra storage or delete some of your photos, downloading them to a hard drive can free up some space on your account.



How to Download All Google Photos to a PC or Mac




If you want to download all your Google Photos to your PC or Mac in one go, you won't find the option in Google Photos. Instead, for the fastest route to a total backup, you need to use Google Takeout. This is the same tool that can be used to export all kinds of user data from your Google account, such as Gmail messages, Chrome history, or Keep notes.


Here are the steps for how to download all Google Photos using Google Takeout:


  • Head to and sign in to your Google account.



  • Select the content from your Google account that you'd like to download. In this case, we'll assume you only want to download your Google Photos images and video - so click 'deselect all' under the 'select data to include' tab. Scroll down the list of products until you find Google Photos and check that box.



  • Choose the download location, frequency, file type, and size. You can choose whether you want a one-time export or a recurring one every two months for a year. You can also choose whether you want the download link sent to your email address or added to your Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box account. You can also choose the file type (ZIP or TGZ) and the maximum size (from 1 GB to 50 GB). If your download is larger than the size you choose, it will be split into multiple files.



  • Click on "Create export" and wait for the process to finish. Depending on how many photos you have, this might take from a few minutes to a few hours. You can check the progress on the same page or leave and come back later.



  • Once your export is ready, you will receive an email with a link to download it. Click on the link and save the file(s) to your PC or Mac.



  • Extract the file(s) and open the folder named "Takeout". Inside, you will find another folder named "Google Photos" with all your photos and videos organized by date or album.



  • Copy or move the folder to your hard drive. You can rename it or create subfolders if you want.



How to Download Individual or Multiple Google Photos to a PC or Mac




If you don't want to download all your Google Photos, but only some of them, you can do that using the Google Photos website. This is useful if you only need to backup certain photos or videos, or if you want to download them in their original quality (Google Takeout only lets you download them in high quality).


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Here are the steps for how to download individual or multiple Google Photos using the Google Photos website:


  • Go to and sign in to your Google account.



  • Select the photos or videos that you want to download. You can do this by clicking on them one by one, or by holding down the Shift key and clicking on the first and last photo in a range. You can also use the search bar to find photos by keywords, people, places, or dates.



  • Click on the three-dot menu icon at the top right corner and choose "Download". This will download a ZIP file with all your selected photos and videos.



  • Save the file to your PC or Mac and extract it. You will find your photos and videos in a folder named "Photos".



  • Copy or move the folder to your hard drive. You can rename it or create subfolders if you want.



How to Download Albums from Google Photos to a PC or Mac




If you have created albums in Google Photos, you can also download them to your PC or Mac using the Google Photos website. This is convenient if you have grouped your photos by themes, events, or categories, and you want to keep them organized on your hard drive.


Here are the steps for how to download albums from Google Photos using the Google Photos website:


  • Go to and sign in to your Google account.



  • Select the album that you want to download. You can do this by clicking on it once.



  • Click on the three-dot menu icon at the top right corner and choose "Download all". This will download a ZIP file with all your photos and videos in that album.



  • Save the file to your PC or Mac and extract it. You will find your photos and videos in a folder named after your album.



  • Copy or move the folder to your hard drive. You can rename it or create subfolders if you want.



How to Choose the Right Hard Drive for Your Google Photos Backup




Now that you know how to download Google Photos to your PC or Mac, you need to choose a hard drive where you can store them safely and securely. There are many types and capacities of hard drives available, so how do you pick the best one for your needs?


Here are some factors that you should consider when choosing a hard drive for your Google Photos backup:


Type: There are two main types of hard drives: HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). HDDs use spinning disks and magnetic heads to store data, while SSDs use flash memory chips. HDDs are cheaper, offer more storage space, and are more reliable for long-term storage. SSDs are faster, quieter, more durable, and consume less power. For backing up Google Photos, we recommend using an external HDD, as they offer more bang for your buck and are


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