Recently we have been talking about abandoning Google Photos for other services, mainly because it is a bit shocking to see how this super useful free storage service changes subscriptions (once it reaches the 15GB storage limit in all Google services). However, this is how it is. If you still prefer the convenience of Google, such as paying for iCloud, Apple has a new tool that you can use to copy your photos and videos from its cloud service to competitors.
Back Up iCloud Photos and Videos to Google
To get started, visit the Apple Data and Privacy website and sign in with your Apple ID. You will see a screen like the following:
Click on the link “Request to transfer a copy of your data” under the heading with the same name. Then, you will see a screen where you can select the transfer destination (Google Photos) and choose if you only want to transfer photos, videos, or both:
You’ll then be asked to sign in with your Google account and permit Apple’s tool to dump data into your photo library:
As part of the copy confirmation process, Apple noted that the transfer to full digital life can take three to seven days. You also need enough free space in your Google account to store all your files; otherwise, if all your storage space is full, not everything will be copied. Apple tries to give you a reasonable estimate of how much space you need to clean, but if you need to do some data, it makes a mistake in “a little more than you need” instead of cutting “money” on your Google account.
And you also need to make sure you know what is transferring before taking drastic action like deleting your Apple account (or at least all the photos and videos you saved before). As Apple notes:
- The transfer includes copies of photos and videos that you store in iCloud Photos, associated with your Apple ID. Formats include: .jpg, .png, .webp, .gif, some RAW files, .mpg, .mod, .mmv, .tod, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .divx, .mov, .m4v, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m2t, .m2ts, .mts, and .mkv files.
- Only the most recent edit of the photo is transferred and not the original version. Duplicates appear as just one photo.
- Whenever possible, photos are transferred with their albums. Videos are transferred separately, without their albums.
- Once transferred to Google, the filenames of albums and videos start with “Copy of.”
- Some content—including shared albums, smart albums, photo stream content, live photos, some metadata, and photos and videos stored in other folders or locations—is not transferred at all.
There are many rules for this, so if you really want to archive all the media stored in iCloud, you may need to use Apple’s “Get a copy of your data” option instead. You can then decide what content to upload to Google Photos and what content should be archived elsewhere. And yes, this means that you will use bandwidth for streaming, but you will have more control over the data.
That is, if you have free space, or a virtual Google account, it will never hurt to make a secondary Back Up iCloud Photos and Videos to Google.