This wikiHow teaches you how to download Google Photos to a computer using the Google Backup and Sync tool.
Part 1 of 3: Install Google Backup and Sync
Step 1. Navigate to
This is the home page of Google Backup & Sync, a free application that makes it easy to download Google photos to your computer.
Step 2. Click Download
A pop-up window will appear, asking where you want to save the installer.
Step 3. Choose a folder and click Save
Make sure to choose a folder that you remember, as you will have to run the installer soon.
Step 4. Double click on the installer
It's the file you just downloaded. The installer will download and install the appropriate software.
- If you see any warning popup, click Run to approve them.
Step 5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation
Depending on the settings, it may be necessary to restart the computer to finish the installation.
Part 2 of 3: Set up Google Backup and Sync
Step 1. Go to
If you are signed in to your account, this will open the Google Drive content.
- If you are not logged in, click Go to Google Drive and log in.
Step 2. Click on the gear icon
It's in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 3. Click Settings
Step 4. Check the box next to "Create a Google Photos Folder."
This will tell Google Drive to display a link to the photos directly on the drive.
Step 5. Click Done
It's in the upper-right corner of the screen. You can now close or minimize the browser window.
Step 6. Right click on the Google Backup & Sync icon
If you are using Windows, it will be in the application tray on the right side of the taskbar. If you are using a Mac, it will be found in the menu bar at the top of the screen. It will look like a cloud with an arrow.
Step 7. Click Login
This will open a window containing a Google login screen.
Step 8. Log into your Google account and click Next
You will see several screens that will guide you through the installation process later on.
Step 9. Select Backup Photos and Videos and click Next.
Step 10. Select the folder where you want to store the Google photos
Click on the box next to the folder you want to select it.
- If you don't see the folder you want to use, click CHOOSE FOLDER to select one.
- You will be able to select a folder that already contains images (such as the folder Images), just keep in mind that the photos in that folder will be backed up by Google.
Step 11. Select a cargo size
This refers to uploading photos to Google, not downloading them.
- Choose High quality to select high quality with small file size. This should work well for most users, although if you are a professional photographer working with giant RAW files, you will notice some degradation in quality. This option will also allow you to store unlimited photos and videos without paying for additional storage.
- Choose Original quality to keep the original size and resolution of the photo. This is best for people who need extremely high resolution photos, but this is against Google's quota.
Step 12. Click Get Started
Now Google Backup & Sync will start uploading files to Google Drive from the selected folders. This can take time, depending on how many photos need to be uploaded. It's good to do other things while, like download photos.
Backup and sync will always be running on the computer, ensuring that files are always backed up to Google Drive
Part 3 of 3: Download the Photos
Step 1. Right click on the Backup & Sync icon
Again, it is the cloud with an arrow in the application tray (Windows) or in the menu bar (macOS).
Step 2. Click Preferences
Step 3. Click on Google Drive
It's in the left column.
Step 4. Click Synchronize only these folders…
A list of folders will appear.
Step 5. Select Google Photos and click OKAY.
Google photos will start downloading to your computer. This can take a long time, especially if you have a lot of large photos (and a slow internet connection).
- If you want to download other folders from Google Drive, you can select them at this time.
- To view downloaded photos, open the Google Drive folder on your computer, and then double-click the folder Google Photos. Photos and videos will be in this folder, usually separated into subfolders by date or name.