Google Photos: Don't delete them accidently!

Welcome back... to the second post on Google Photos! I hope yesterday's post 'Are your photos eating into limited storage of your Google account' helped in understanding how storage works and how Google Photos can be set-up for Free unlimited storage backing-up lifetime of photos. In this post, you can learn about the features around 'DELETE' functionality. I believe these features are among the most important due to the devastating effect of their consequences. They have evolved over a period of time and now they are safer than ever before.

Google has rolled out many wonderful features one after another making Google Photos the best in cloud photo storage. With the earlier releases, it was possible to mistakenly delete your photos both from your device and photos library on cloud. I have seen messages in forums where people inadvertently deleted their photos and were looking for any ways to somehow recover them. Now there is Photo Assistant to help powered by artificial intelligence(AI). Google has added one feature through Photo Assistant which makes it unnecessary for you to manually delete your photos after you have backed-up to your Google Photos library. Google Photos library is the back-up of your lifetime of photos/ videos in the cloud.

Delete Photos 

Assuming you are using Photos App on your phone and logged-in your Google account, you can delete items (photos or videos) from your device and/ or Google Photos library in a number of ways with various possible outcomes. Let us discuss them one by one:
1- Whenever your device runs low on memory, Photos Assistant displays the card: 'Device storage almost full'. It suggests you to Free up space and when you choose to do so, it will show you how many items would be deleted. It will delete photos and videos older than 30 days though they will still be backed-up. This is to allow you to still see your recent collection without the need of downloading them.

2- If you have closed the card (or you don't want to wait till the storage gets full), you can access 'Free up space' from the menu (click on  in top-left) in your app:


Selecting 'Free up space' will have the same effect as we discussed in the first point.

3- You can manually delete your photos by selecting them in Photos view. You can select the view from the tab strip at bottom in your Photos app:


Select the items to delete and hit the Delete button. Photos will display warning at the bottom asking for your confirmation:

4- You can manually delete the album/s by selecting them in Album view. Deleting an album won't delete any photos in it and they will still be there in your Google Photos library. You just won't be able to access them through that album. You can select the view from the tab strip at bottom in your Photos app. Select the album/s to delete and hit the Delete button. Photos will display warning asking for your confirmation:


What If you have deleted any photo/s by mistake?

Don't panic. You can find them in trash. You can click on  in top-left to open menu and find Trash. They are in trash for 60 days before being permanently deleted. 

- If you want to delete them right away, you can do so by clicking on 3-dots icon in top right and select 'Empty trash'.

- To retrieve any photo/s, select them and click on icon for Restore (circular arrow icon) and they will be restored. Don't hit on 'Delete' button which is next to it. In that case, it will show warning: "Deleting item from trash is permanent". So you can't delete anything without doing two things wrong in sequence :-)

If you have a question or liked the info here or happen to find or know about any more way/s to delete photos on your phone, please share your thoughts in the comments below. Pay it forward by sharing with others. Thanks for your interest. Enjoy your time with Photos!

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