Sep 112014

Just how many copies of pictures is enough? If you take pictures with your phone, it is very easy to have them automatically uploaded to a cloud-based storage service. In fact, it is so easy that you may have several auto-upload services in place without even knowing it! Here are just a few (not even counting the backup service from your cell company):

  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • iCloud
  • Google+
  • Facebook
  • Flickr

Let’s say you have 3 of the above Apps installed on your iPhone or Android device – Dropbox, Facebook, and Google+. If you turned on the auto-backup feature (either intentionally, or unintentionally) every picture you take is being uploaded to the web 3 times! You could see your photos by visiting your Dropbox account, or Facebook, or Google+ Photos. I make sure to have the auto backup feature turned OFF on all but my Dropbox App. The reason I like Dropbox best is that, after the picture is uploaded to my Dropbox web account, it can also be downloaded to my computer (or any other device) if I have Dropbox installed on that computer or device.



I keep the Google+ and Facebook automatic upload features turned OFF, there is no reason to upload my phone’s pictures three times! I do like the Google+ Auto Backup feature to be working on my computer. This way ALL of my pictures are being backed up to my Google+ Photos, not just the ones taken with my phone.

  1. I take pictures with my phone
  2. Dropbox takes care of getting those pictures to my computer
  3. I also take pictures with my camera
  4. I import those pictures to my Computer
  5. Google+ Auto Backup takes care of uploading ALL the pictures on my computer to my Google+ Photos account.

Using this method, ALL of my pictures are available to me on my Google+ account. I can now use my phone to access them and show you any picture of mine – even pictures taken with my other cameras.


  10 Responses to “Picasa Tip: Why I don’t use Google+ AutoBackup on my Phone, just on my Computer”

  1. My question is why are my photos in google Plus duplicated? I am Windows 7 use picasa and google plus

  2. “… every picture you take is being uploaded to the web 3 times!”

    Have y’all not heard of the “utah data center”? They are simply making sure they get all of your data uploaded there correctly. Private companies (Dropbox, Facebook, Google, etc) collect it for utah. That’s called fascism. Eddie snowman said it best : “their goal is to collect ALL your data by default”

  3. Hi Chris

    I have been waiting for a solution to have all my pictures saved in the cloud, so I can see them everywhere and whenever I want.

    After studying several solutions like iCloud, Flickr, Adobe Revel, Dropbox, etc., I have decided to use Google tools. The reasons have been:
    – Keeping web size copies of the pics and the video (< 15 min.) is free of charge.
    – There are syncing option for the edits I do to my pics.

    So I installed Picasa 3.9 and it came also with Google+ Auto Backup program.

    My pics and videos are backing up to Google+.

    However, I've noted that Google+ Auto Backup don't activate the syncing buttons of the Picasa folders. So I am searching information in the web to understand how all this work.

    My collection of pics are about 25000 pics and videos. It's taking a long long time to upload it to Google+. I have noticed that there is a new folder in my Google Drive folder called Google Photos.

    My question is: Do I need to UPLOAD EVERYTHING AGAIN using Picasa in order to organize the pics in the cloud, make face recognition, enhance the images, etc.? Or is there another way to do it smarter?

    If I had to UPLOAD EVERYTHING AGAIN, what will happen to my Google Drive subfolder called Google Photos? Which pictures will it contain? Only the Google Photos uploaded by the Google+ Auto Backup or also the pics uploaded by Picasa?

    I find this quite difficult to understand. Could you please explain to me?

    Thank you VERY MUCH!

    José Manuel

  4. Thank you. Great post. I’m missing one finer detail. Here is the workflow: phone -> dropbox cloud -> cloud to computer via sync -> picasa -> syncronized web albums -OR- google+ backup.

    In the workflow, can you not replace “dropbox cloud” on the smartphone with google+ autobackup on the smartphone? I use the google drive app that acts just like the dropbox app. (however, I don’t see any of my google+ photos in drive on the web so it must be a different repository).

    Also, what is the difference between picasa’s sync web albums and the separate program called google+ backup (I’m a mac user).

    Thanks, Taylor

  5. I have also turned off the G+ autobackup. Now I am using an app called Quickpic on my phone to move photos into albums after each photo-shoot. Once in a while I copy these folders from my phone to a NAS using the app “ES file explorer” which I manage with Picasa. With Picasa I sync the folders I want.
    This way it is easier to keep both mine and my wifes photos organized.

    I might try to connect me and my wife to the same dropbox account and then sync the photos to my computer as well.

  6. I use this Sync option so Google+ maintains the folders.

    Issue 1: Initially I load all the photos from my camera to Picasa. Then I sync that folder to Google+. When I have time, I go through the Picasa album and erase photos I do not want. Does this erase them from Google+ as well.

    Issue 2: The problem is my hard drive is almost full. I want to erase old albums from Picasa but keep them on Google+. How can I do this? How can I have a solution for issue 1 and issue 2 simultaneously?

    • 1. Yes, if folders are sync’ed then deleting them from one (Picasa on your computer) – deletes them from the other (Google+ Photos online.)
      2. If you remove the Synchronizing setting, you can erase from computer and still have them on Google+. But I would not be comfortable with that – you just never know when pictures on the web may disappear. I recommend moving them to an external hard drive. Look thru the articles on this site – I’ve written about that sometime.

  7. I have planned to take this approach, but I do have two questions:

    1) If I have a Photo in Picasa that is also synced to Google+ Photos, and then I make an edit in Picasa to that photo, do the changes get reflected/synced to the photo on Google+ Photos?

    2) Similarly, if I edit that photo on Google+ Photos, do those edits get reflected back to Picasa the next time I start the program up?

    • Kyle, if they really are being Synced – you will see a circular arrow next to the folder or album in Picasa – then the answer is Yes, edits will be synced. But, if you are just using the Auto Backup feature, then No. Auto Backup just takes the pictures the first time they are seen.

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