How to Stop Google Photos Backup


Have you ever scrolled through your phone’s overflowing photo gallery, feeling a pang of frustration? Google Photos backup, a feature designed to be your digital photo savior, might be the hidden villain behind your storage woes. While automatically uploading your photos to the cloud can be tempting, it’s not always the ideal solution. How to stop Google Photos from backing up?

How to Stop Google Photos Backup
How to Stop Google Photos Backup

This guide will equip you with the knowledge to stop Google Photos backup and explore alternative options for managing your precious memories.

Why Consider Disabling Google Photos Backup?

Several factors might make you reconsider Google Photos backup. Here are some key reasons to take control:

  • Storage Space Squeeze: Google Photos backup taps into your free 15GB Google Drive storage. This space can vanish quickly, especially if you have a vast collection of high-resolution photos and videos. Before you know it, you’ll be scrambling to free up space for essential apps or new memories.
  • Privacy Under the Microscope: Uploading your entire photo library to the cloud raises privacy concerns for some users. Perhaps there are photos you’d prefer to keep safely tucked away on your own device, outside the reach of the virtual world.
  • The Duplication Dilemma: Backing up photos that already reside on your computer or external hard drive creates unnecessary duplicates. You might end up wasting valuable storage space online for photos you already have secured elsewhere.

How to Stop Google Photos Backup on Mobile Devices

The process to stop Google Photos backup is a breeze on both Android and iPhone/iPad devices. Here’s a breakdown for each:


  1. Launch the Google Photos app. Locate the app icon on your home screen or app drawer and tap it to open it.
  2. Access Settings. Look for the three horizontal lines stacked neatly in the top left corner of the app’s interface. Tap on them to reveal a menu.
  3. Navigate to Backup & Sync. Within the menu, scroll down and find the “Settings” option. Tap on it, and then select “Back up & sync” from the subsequent menu.
  4. Turn Off the Backup. Locate the toggle switch labeled “Back up & sync.” Simply tap the switch to turn it off. When prompted to confirm your decision, tap “Turn off” to stop Google Photos from automatically uploading your photos.


  1. Open the Google Photos App. Just like on Android, find the Google Photos app icon and tap it to launch the app.
  2. Reveal the Settings Menu. Next, tap the three horizontal lines in the top left corner to access the menu options.
  3. Locate Backup & Sync. Scroll down within the menu and find the “Settings” option. Tap on it, followed by “Back up & sync” from the submenu.
  4. Disable Backup. Look for the toggle switch labeled “Back up & sync.” Tap the switch to turn it off. Confirm your choice by tapping “Turn off” when prompted.

How to Stop Google Photos Backup on Desktop

If you prefer managing your photos on your computer, here’s how to stop Google Photos backup from the website:

Step 1: Head to Google Photos Website:

Step 2: Access Settings:

  • In the top right corner of the website window, locate the gear icon (it usually resembles a cog or a wheel).
  • Once you see it, click on it to access the settings menu.

Step 3: Find Backup & Sync:

  • Within the settings menu, locate the option labeled “Back up & sync.”

Step 4: Disable Backup:

  • Find the toggle switch associated with “Back up & sync.” Click on the switch to turn it off and stop Google Photos from automatically uploading your photos from your computer.

That is it! Your Google Photos will automatically stop uploading your photos from your computer.

Alternative Backup Options

While Google Photos offers a convenient solution, other avenues exist for backing up your photos. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • External Hard Drive: For those who prefer a tangible solution, an external hard drive provides a reliable and secure way to store your photos offline. You have complete control over the device and can physically disconnect it from your computer when not in use, offering an extra layer of security for sensitive photos.
  • Cloud Storage Services: Several cloud storage services like Dropbox or Amazon Photos offer free or paid storage plans. These services allow you to upload your photos online, making them accessible from any device with an internet connection. However, carefully research service features, security protocols, and pricing plans before choosing a cloud storage provider.

Remember, the best backup option depends on your individual needs and priorities. Consider factors like storage capacity, security measures, accessibility, and cost when making your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why would I want to stop Google Photos backup?

There’s a multitude of reasons why you might consider pressing pause on your Google Photos backup. Perhaps you’re feeling the squeeze on your cloud storage space, watching that precious gigabyte count dwindle away with each snapshot. Or maybe you’re becoming more privacy-conscious, preferring to keep your cherished memories solely on your device rather than floating in the cloud.

Will stopping backup delete my existing photos in Google Photos?

Rest easy, your existing photos in Google Photos are safe and sound. Turning off the backup feature is like closing the door to new arrivals – it doesn’t kick out the guests already inside. Your previously backed-up photos will continue to reside comfortably in your Google Photos account, ready for you to view, edit, or share at your leisure. The only change is that new photos won’t automatically join the party in the cloud.

If I turn off backup, can I still use Google Photos?

Absolutely! Turning off backup doesn’t mean breaking up with Google Photos. Think of it more as changing the nature of your relationship. You can still swipe through your memories, apply those funky filters, create albums, and share your favorite shots with friends and family.

The only difference is that new photos won’t automatically make their way to your cloud storage. It’s like having a photo album that you manually add to, rather than one that fills itself.

Will my photos be deleted from my device if I stop backup?

No. Stopping Google Photos backup only affects the cloud uploading process. It’s like closing the pipeline between your device and the cloud, but it doesn’t drain what’s already in your phone. Your local photos will continue to live happily on your device, taking up the same amount of storage as before.

Can I back up specific folders instead of everything?

Google Photos offers a nuanced approach to backups, allowing you to cherry-pick which folders get the cloud treatment. This feature is particularly handy if you want to backup your cherished family photos but can do without uploading every meme or screenshot. By exploring the “Device folders” section in the app, you can tailor your backup strategy to fit your specific needs, giving you granular control over your cloud storage usage.

What happens to shared albums if I stop backup?

Shared albums in Google Photos operate in their ecosystem, separate from your backup settings. These collaborative spaces remain accessible and functional, regardless of your personal backup choices. You can continue to view, add to, and interact with shared albums just as before. It’s like having a group chat that keeps going even if you’ve muted notifications for your other conversations.

Can I restart backup later if I change my mind?

Absolutely! If you decide that cloud backup is something you want to revisit in the future, reactivating the feature is just as simple as turning it off. Your backup settings are not set in stone, allowing you to adapt to your changing needs or circumstances. Whether it’s a week later or a year down the line, you can always opt back into automatic backups.

Will stopping backup affect my Google storage quota?

Stopping your backup is like putting a pause on your storage usage, not reversing it. The photos and videos you’ve already backed up will continue to count towards your Google storage quota. However, you won’t be adding to this tally with new uploads.

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