What is the difference between Google Drive and Google Photos?

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage service designed for users to store different types of files, including photos. Google Photos, on the other hand, is strictly a photo backup and syncing storage service designed for users to store, manage, and edit photos and videos.

If you are new to Google’s storage services or you are looking for the best method to back up your photos? You may find yourself asking: Google Drive or Google Photos: Which is better to back up my photos?

This guide reveals the differences between Google Drive and Google Photos. You’ll also discover a better alternative to Google Photos and Google Drive for backing up photos.

In this article
    1. What is Google Drive?
    2. What Is Google Photos?

Part 1: Basic Introduction to Google Drive and Google Photos

This part briefly describes the basic information of Google Drive and Google Photos, such as their roles, features, and supported data types.

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a web-based storage and syncing service designed by Google to allow its users to keep, sync, and share different types of files. Just as Apple has its iCloud, Google has its Google Drive.

You can upload different types of files to Google Drive from multiple synced devices. This includes contacts, texts, audio, PDF documents, photos, and other files. On Google Drive, your photos are just another type of file. You can organize these files into different folders and share these folders or collaborate on them with other people.

However, Google Drive doesn’t offer any photo-specific feature or editor that allows you to modify your photos. You can only save photos on the cloud, organize, collaborate, and share them with other users.

What Is Google Photos?

Google Photos is an online tool designed to help users store, manage, edit, and sync photos and videos. Google Photos was part of Google Drive until Google separated both tools. You can only store photo and video files on Google Photos as the tool will not recognize any other type of file format.

When you launch the Google Photos app or website on your device, you’ll see all the images on your phone on there. If you connect your computer, camera, or scanner to Google Photos, the images on each of these devices will also be backed up and synced to Google Photos.

Image and video files in Google Photos are sorted according to dates, so you can easily find an image by scrolling through the dates or years. You also have photo-specific features on Google Photos. For instance, you can rotate, crop, and use filters on your images. You can also sort photos into different albums if you want.

Next, let’s check out the differences between Google Drive and Google Photos.

Part 2: Differences Between Google Drive and Google Photos

Google Photos and Google Drive are both online storage tools designed by Google to allow users to store and manage files across multiple devices. Originally, Google Photos was part of Google Drive as a filter you could use to view photos stored in the cloud. Then Google split the two and made Google Photos a separate tool for storing and organizing media.

Google Photos and Google Drive give users 15GB of free storage space but you can upgrade to get more storage. You can also store, manage, and organize photos, videos, and audio files on Google Photos and Google Drive.

Here are the differences between Google Drive and Google Photos:

Google Drive supports many file formats and allows you to store more types of files than Google Photos. While Google Drive allows you to back up your contacts, images, audio files, ZIP files, and PDF documents, Google Photos only allows you to store photos, videos, and audio files.

Google Drive can save multiple types of files

Google Photos, however, has an AI-assisted search feature that makes it super easy to find pictures and videos in your Google Photos library. The AI feature allows you to search for images using several options including photo file names, colors, objects, person faces, animals, dates, location, and so on.

For instance, if you want to find the family photos from your last vacation, just enter the location you visited and Google Photos will display all the images taken at that location.

find images using the location

Google Photos has a photo and video editor. You can rotate, enhance, edit, crop, and mark up photos using the photo editor. You can also add effects to the videos and add filters to images. Google Drive doesn’t have a photo or video editor.

Google Photos has more storage options. You

use filter to modify photos in Google Photos

 can either upload the original high-resolution copy of your images or a lower-resolution copy. If you want to save your device storage or make space for other important files, you can upload low-res copies of your photos and videos.

The Express storage compresses your original res photos down to 3 megapixels while the High-quality storage compresses your photos down to 16 megapixels. The Original storage doesn’t compress your photos or videos.

save photos in different resolutions

Google Drive allows easy collaboration and file sharing with friends and colleagues. If you are working on office photos, you can easily create folders and share them with colleagues.

Part 3: Which Is Better: Google Drive or Google Photos

Google Drive and Google Photos are both good tools for storing files. The decision on which to use depends on your purpose and the type of file you want to back up.

You should use Google Drive:

  • When you want to collaborate on images and share photo files. Google Drive’s file-sharing feature will come in handy when you want to exchange and work on photo files in groups. You can also use other Google tools integrated into Google Drive to group photos into folders and share them.
  • If you want to back up other types of files, use Google Drive. It supports several types of file formats, so you can save virtually any type of file easily on Drive.

You should use Google Photos:

  • When you want to edit and enhance your photos. Google Photos’ photo and video editor allows you to make changes to your image files, enhance their display, and even create special albums.
  • If you want to optimize device storage, use Google Photos. You can choose from different storage options on Google Photos, making it easy to save space on your device for other files.
  • If you want to sync your photos and videos across all your devices. Google Photos syncing service will keep your image library updated and you can find any image using the AI-assisted search feature.

Part 4: Another Option: Back Up Photos to PC

While both Google Drive and Google Photos are great photo backup tools, you can also try backing up your photos to your computer. On your computer, you can organize photos into folders, edit them more delicately, and keep them safe. To upload your photos to the PC, we recommend Wondershare MobileTrans, an easy and user-friendly transfer and backup tool.

Choose MobileTrans to save photos to PC for better security
logo trustpilot 5 stars 4.5/5 Excellent

Wondershare MobileTrans is a safe and secure tool that allows you to store and back up your photos and videos to your PC using a USB or lightning cable. It is compatible with over 6000 types of mobile devices, including the latest iOS and Android devices. Also, it can run on MacOS and Windows systems.

The best part about MobileTrans is that you can also move photos from device to device in just a few simple steps. So, you can access, edit, and restore your photos and videos anytime you want and to any type of device.

  • MobileTrans never keeps any data without the user’s permission.
  • MobileTrans allows you to restore your photos to any device and without Internet or Wi-Fi connection.
  • MobileTrans doesn’t overwrite your data during photo backup, so your images are kept in their original formats.

Final Verdict

In summary, Google Drive and Google Photos are different storage tools. Google Drive allows users to store and manage different types of files, including archive files, texts, audios, photos and videos. And Google Photos is primarily designed to allow users to edit and organize images according to dates and years.

You should use Google Photos to store and organize your image library. And you should also use Google Photos to edit photos and change how you view them. Google Drive, on the other hand, should be used to store and manage other types of files. If you want to share image folders or collaborate on photos, you can also use Google Drive. Choose the one that fits you best.

Navkiran Dhaliwal
Navkiran Dhaliwal Dec 15, 23
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