Problem moving photos from Pixel 3a to desktop

I have transferred photos from my Pixel 3a to my desktop before but just today they show up in my “photos” on my phone but not in the DCIM to transfer.

Hi @debs.jwvpde

I think what happened here is at some point you used the option in Google photos to “Free up device storage”.

This would keep a small file (but not your original) of pictures on your phone so you can still view them. The original (or High Quality if that was your choice), pictures should have been uploaded to Google Photos and would no longer be in the DCIM camera folder (if you freed up space).
See if you see them here from your computer when logged into your Google account:

If so you can download them from there :slight_smile:

Thank you! I see a few in Google Photos, but not all of them. hmmmm…

Hi @debs.jwvpde,

Were you able to move all your photos to your computer? When you say they show up in “photos” are you referring to the app or a folder? If they are in the app but not in DCIM and not online at the link @SuperT shared, they may be on the phone in other folders, like the folder for downloads and for your messaging app. These would still be accessible to move to a computer, you’d just have to browse around until you find them. You can also set the Photos app to backup the additional folders.


The photos I take with my Pixel 3a show up up in the Google Photos app. If I did not have this app where would I access my photos?

I did end up moving the photos from my phone to my desktop with the help of Dropbox. This is the first time I have not been able to transfer the photos with the charging cord directly from phone to computer going to the DCIM folder.

I will need to take a few “practice” photos to try to transfer to see what happens.

I appreciate your reply to this issue.


Hi @debs.jwvpde

Here is instructions for doing that.
Please note the “Additional Notes”, it could be a charging cable issue.

Your camera places your pictures in the DCIM camera folder, but other apps that involve photos or pictures (saved from text messages or another program besides the camera) will save them in different locations on the phone. Try installing Files by Googles. You can browse your phone to see if you can find them:

The screen will look something like this:
(Notice how photos are in “Images” plus there is a location for downloads and screenshots and possibly more.)

Thank you so much for this information.

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