What just happened? Google is simplifying the experience for users of its Photos and Drive cloud storage services. Starting next month, cross-syncing between the two apps won't happen automatically as the company has heard feedback about the confusion it can create for file management. Although those who've been using this feature to store and secure media seamlessly across both products might be irked by this update, they can still make use of the company's Backup and Sync app for Windows and Mac to upload files to both services.
Google is making a few changes to how its Photos and Drive services sync together. The automatic syncing that happens between the two may be convenient for many but it's also caused some confusion among users who, for instance, might have deleted some photos from their Photos app only to discover later that they're gone from their Drive as well.
In a bid to make things simpler, for regular users and G Suite customers, Google will now implement a more "granular control" over the services to prevent accidental changes and deletion of items across these two products.
All new photos and videos and any deletions done in the Drive folder will not reflect in Photos and vice versa. Instead, if someone wants to add files from their Google Drive to Google Photos, there'll be an option to "Upload from Drive" on the Photo's website (photos.google.com) which "lets you manually choose photos and videos from Drive, including “Shared with Me” items, to import into Photos. Once copied, these items are not connected between the two products. Since photos and videos will no longer sync across both products, items copied in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos."
The company also mentioned in its blog post that the Backup and Sync app for Windows and Mac will continue to work. "As before, items uploaded in High Quality won’t count against your account storage quota, and items uploaded using Backup and Sync in Original Quality to both services will count only once towards your quota."
Although these changes will take effect from July, all existing media in both the apps will remain unaffected. The new change will disable automatic syncing between the two so modifications or deletion in one app won't affect the same files in the other app.
"Our goal with these changes is to simplify some features that caused confusion for our users, based on feedback and our own research. We’ll continue to look for more ways to help support Drive and Photos users going forward."