If you are using Google+ Auto-Backup you may have noticed thousands of pictures in a place Google calls “All Photos.” I think the term “Auto-Backup” is misleading because this is not a true Backup that you can use to Restore to your computer should disaster strikes, it is simply a single-file collection of ALL your photos.
When you first visit your photos in Google+ you will be seeing something called “Highlights.” This is Google’s selection of what it thinks is the most important content from all your photos. It seems to me that they pick about 30% of my photos for this view.
In case you have never visited your photos on Google+, the web address is plus.google.com. If you are logged in, you will see a Home menu at the left with a drop-down arrow, click there to see the option for photos. Now you should be looking at something similar to the screenshot above, and you have 3 primary choices on how to view your pictures: 1: the Highlights that Google selects, 2: All photos, or 3: Albums – under the More menu. Albums are those groups of photos that you have intentionally created. All Photos is exactly that … ALL photos. All photos has no organization other than date.
Do not try to organize the All photos, and do not try to clean them up. They are visible to only you, and you cannot change that. The only way someone else could see the pictures in the All photos collection would be to log in with your username and password. If disaster should befall your computer, you cannot use this All photos collection to restore your pictures in their original folders. Why? Because there are no folders in All photos. I use All photos for two things: 1: just to browse around by date, sometimes I see a picture I’d forgotten and I really like it – I might copy it out to an Album and 2: to recover individual photos that I have lost or accidentally deleted.
If you’re still confused as to the relationship between All photos and Albums, watch this short video.
This was part of an hour-long “What Does This Button Do?” live show. You can watch the recording on Youtube at: What Does This Button Do? Episode 19: Google+ Photos
For Geeks on Tour members, you may want to watch these as well:
- Picasa 3.9 and Google Plus Sharing #287
- Google+ Auto Backup and Auto Awesome
- Uploading Pictures to Google+, then using in a Blogger Blog
- Google+ Photos part 1 intro and iPad
- Google+ Photos part 2: Android
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Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Google Maps, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.