Downloading Pictures From Google Photos to your Phone

When moving between phones, if you use the same Google account on both phones, items synced with Google will usually move between phones. One item that’s an exception is your photos. While the photos will be accessible through Google Photos on the new phone, they aren’t downloaded to the phone (in order to save space in addition to other reasons).

In some cases, you may want to have some or all of your photos on your new phone directly. This prevents you from needing an internet connection to view them, or from using data to show off your new puppy or baby to the guy stuck next to you while you wait at the DMV.

Unfortunately, Google hasn’t made it easy to do this, making it so that you can download only one picture at once from Photos. Thankfully, a 3rd party developer has stepped in with an App that works very well for this. I’ve tried this app on two phones, and it has worked very well, without ads or constant nagging that I pay for it. The app can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=link.standen.michael.phonesaver

Here are the instructions for downloading your Google Photos using the app:

  1. Install Phone Saver from Google Play.
  2. Open the app and tap the ‘Allow’ option when asked to grant storage access.
  3. Tap the + button and choose a directory where you wish to save your downloaded photos.
  4. Hit the three dots on the top right to open the menu and select Settings.
  5. Enable the “Register with media scanner” option. This will cause the the downloaded files to appear in the gallery.
  6. Open Google Photos.
  7. Select all the photos you’d like to have locally on your phone
  8. Tap on the share menu (looks like :share: at the top of the screen) and choose ‘Phone Saver’.
  9. Tap either Large size or Actual size option TIP: Large is probably all you need if you’re just going to be viewing the images on the phone screen. Actual isn’t really needed unless you’ll be casting them to a large TV screen or printing them from the phone.

Let the process complete and you’ll be done!

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