How to upload photos from a Mac to Google Photos

With all the cloud services available, you don’t need to store photos locally on your Mac. That memory space can be used for other items. Services like Google Photos allow you to upload and store an unlimited number of photos and videos in the cloud as long as you meet their quality requirements.

Google Photos offers many ways to sync photos from your Mac to the service. You can let it upload all of your Mac photos, or you can choose which ones you want to upload. Additionally, you have a web version available to use in case you don’t want to install an extra app on your Mac.

Upload all your Mac photos to Google Photos using the “Backup and Sync” app

Google offers an app called Backup & Sync that allows you to upload files from your computer to your Google account. You can use it to upload all the photos contained in the iPhoto and Photos apps on your Mac. It allows you to choose custom folders to upload photos to.

To take advantage of the free unlimited storage on Google Photos, you need to allow Google to:

  • Compress your photos so they have 16MP resolution.
  • Resize your video for a maximum resolution of 1080p.

You don’t need to manually resize or compress your content as Google will do it for you.

  1. Download and launch the Backup & Sync app on your Mac.
Back up and sync in Spotlight Search
  1. Enter your Google username and click Next.
Backup and Sync login window
  1. Enter your Google account password and press Log in.
Password field in login window
  1. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, enter the code on the screen and click Accomplished.
Two-factor authentication screen
  1. The app will now let you choose what you want to upload to Google Photos. Tick ​​the option for Pictures folder and then tick both Photo library as iPhoto Library.
Photo folder option checkbox
  1. Choose High quality (free unlimited storage) right to buy.
  2. Tick ​​the box that says Upload photos and videos to Google Photos.
  3. Finally, click Next at the bottom.

Upload Mac photos using the web version of Google Photos

If you only have a few photos to upload to Google Photos and you don’t want to install an app to do that, you can use the web version of Google Photos to do this. It will let you create albums and upload photos – all from your web browser.

  1. Open a new tab in your browser and go to the Google Photos page. Sign in with your Google account if you are not already signed in.
  2. Click on the option that says Create at the top and select Albums. This is where your uploaded photos will be stored.
Create a new Album menu in Google Photos
  1. Enter a name for your new album and click More photos to add photos to it.
Add Photo Button
  1. This will take you to a screen where you can add existing Google Photos photos to your album. Since you want to upload photos locally from your Mac, click Choose from calculator in the upper right corner of the screen.
Choose from calculator options
  1. Select the photos you want to upload from your Mac to Google Photos.
  2. If you want to add photos later, you can return to the newly created album at any time and click More photos option to upload new photos to your account.

Upload selected photos from iPhoto to Google Photos

If you use the Backup and Sync app to upload photos, you’ll find that it only allows you to upload your entire iPhoto library to your account. There is no option to select photos from your gallery to upload manually.

Fortunately, there is a solution to accomplish this.

  1. Right click on your Mac desktop and select New folder. Use iPhoto as your folder name.
iPhoto Photos folder
  1. Launch iPhoto application using your preferred method on the Mac.
iPhoto in Spotlight Search
  1. Select the photos you want to upload to Google Photos. You can select multiple photos from any album you want.
  2. Once you’ve selected a photo to upload, click File at the top and click Export.
File > Export ” class=”wp-image-9502″  /></figure>
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  • If you want to adjust any quality-related settings, do so on the following screen. Then click Export to get your photos out of iPhoto.
  • Export button in the Export window
    1. Choose iPhoto folder on your desktop and click ALRIGHT.
    Selected iPhoto Photos folder and marked OK button
    1. Escape iPhoto apps on your Mac by clicking iPhoto Followed by Exit iPhoto at top.
    Exit iPhoto in menu option
    1. Launch Backup and Sync app and sign in to your Google account.
    2. On the screen where it asks what you want to upload, uncheck all the boxes and click Select folder.
    Select the Folder button
    1. Choose iPhoto folder on your desktop.
    2. To hit Next and the iPhoto photo you selected will be uploaded to your Google Photos account.

    Upload selected photos from the photo app to Google Photos

    If the Photos app is your primary photo management app, you can selectively upload your photos from it to Google Photos. You’ll need to use an alternative to do this because the Backup & Sync app doesn’t let you do that by default.

    1. Create a new folder on your desktop by right clicking and selecting New folder. Use My picture as your folder name.
    My Pictures folder
    1. Open Picture app on your Mac.
    Search bar photo app
    1. Select the photos you want to upload by clicking on them. You can choose as many photos as you want in your album.
    2. Once you’ve made your selection, click File menu at the top and select Export Followed by Publish the original unmodified photo X where X is the number of photos you have selected.
    File > Export > Export unmodified original for 2 photos ” class=”wp-image-9509″  /></figure>
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  • Unless you want to change the name of your photo, click Export to save them with their default names in a folder on your desktop.
  • Export button
    1. Choose My picture folder is on your desktop and click Original Publishing.
    Original publish button
    1. Close Picture app on your Mac.
    Exit the Picture menu option
    1. Access Backup and Sync app and log in to your account.
    2. Click Select folder options and choose My picture folder on your desktop.
    Select the Folder button
    1. Continue with the upload process and the photo you selected will be uploaded to your account.

    Do you save photos locally on your Mac? If so, what’s holding you back from uploading them to services like Google Photos? We’re curious to know in the comments below.

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