How to download photos and videos

Remark: there have been reports of errors when trying to download. See this thread.

There are several options how to do this.

Download a single picture or video


OPTION 1:
  1. Find a picture or video, then left-click to open it
  2. Click "More options" (3 vertical dots icon at the top-right corner)
  3. Click "Download" or "Download original" (the original is the unedited version)
OPTION 2:
  1. Select a picture or video by hovering over it and clicking the check mark in the top left corner. A blue bar appears on the top.
  2. Click "More options" (three vertical dots in the top-right corner), then select "Download"
    Note: This option is not possible in an album shared with you. You must either use "Download all" or first add the photo to your library or to an album (which also adds it to the library).

OPTION 3:

  1. Find a picture or video, then left-click to open it
  2. Drag and drop the photo to File Explorer (Windows 10)

In Album Archive
  1. Open a photo
  2. Click "More option" (three vertical dots in the top-right corner)
  3. Click "Download Photo"


    Download up to 500 selected pictures or videos using Google Photos

    This method has a limitation of up to 500 pictures and/or videos that can be downloaded at one time
    1. Select multiple photos: see here how to select.
      Note that you cannot download a selection in an album shared with you.  
    2. At the top right, click "More options" (three vertical dots in the top-right corner)
    3. Click "Download" or Shift+D
    The pictures will be downloaded in a zip file.
    When a photo is edited in Google Photos, only the edited copy will be downloaded.

    Download albums using Google Photos

    Download your own albums (for people having a Google account)
    1. Go to https://photos.google.com or https://photos.google.com/albums and sign into your Google account
      In  https://photos.google.com you can click the Albums icon at the left.
    2. Open the album by left-clicking on the album you want to download
    3. Click "More options" (three vertical dots in the top-right corner)
    4. Click "Download all"
    5. Save the zip to your computer. All files in the album will be downloaded in a zip file. See below for how to extract images from a zip file.
      Note: When a photo is edited in Google Photos only an edited copy is downloaded
    Download an album shared with you
    1. Click the link you were provided
    2. Click "More options" (three vertical dots in the top-right corner)
    3. Click "Download all"
    4. All files in the album will be downloaded in a zip file

    Download albums using Album Archive

    1. Go to your Album Archive at https://get.google.com/albumarchive 
    2. Click "More options" (three vertical dots in the top-right corner)
    3. Click "Download album"

    Download albums using Picasa3 (disabled)

    Google disabled this option in March 2018

    Download using Google+

    Using Google+ in "Classic" view (includes pictures and videos) 
    Note: currently "new Google+" does not have a Photos tab
    1. Go to https://plus.google.com and sign in
    2. On the lower left corner, if you see "Back to classic G+" - click it. 
    3. Make sure your G+ profile in Classic view is set up to show the Photos tab
      1. Go to Settings: https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings
      2. Scroll down to "Profile"
      3. Select "Photos" under "Show these profile tabs to visitors"
      4. Note: The photos in the Photos tab include photos that you shared, albums that were shared with you, Blogger photos, but may not include photos recently added to Google Photos. 
    4. At https://plus.google.com/u/0/, click "Home" then "Profile"
    5. Click the Photos "tab"
    6. To download all photos in an album: Find an album and click the down arrow on the right side, then click "Download"
      1. All photos in the album will be downloaded in one zip file to your computer 
    7. To download one photo or video, click the photo/video.
      1. Click "More" then "Download photo" 
      2. The file will download to your computer
    8. To leave Classic view, click "Try the new Google+" on the lower left corner. 

    Download using Google Takeout

    Using Google Takeout to download all your pictures and videos including backed up files from Android and iOS mobile uploads (Google Photos app) or from a computer.
    1. Go to https://www.google.com/settings/takeout and login using a desktop computer
    2. Under "Select data to include," click the "Select none" button 
    3. Scroll down to "Google photos" and select it (the circle will be blue)
    4. Click the small down arrow
    5. "Include all photo albums" is pre-selected
      If you want to select specific albums, click "Select photo albums" and see the "note" below.
      When ALL your photos are in albums you made you can ignore the dated folders.
    6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Next"
    7. Choose how you want to get the data 
      1. "File type" - choose Zip format
      2. "Delivery method" - Send download link by email
    8. Click "Create archive"
    9. After awhile, you'll receive an email that says your Zip file is ready to download. Download and unzip the file into a drive that has enough room to store it. The file size could be quite large depending on how many photos are in your collection. 
    Notes
    1. In takeout you find many albums with a date as title. That is how they are stored. You may have to unpack them all and move to one folder.  ExifTool is quite effective for moving photo files into new folder organization. See a step-by-step blog post by I. Gouy.
    2. When a photo is edited in GP the ZIP folder includes both the original and the edited photos.
    3. The ZIP folder als includes .json files with metadata, for examples descriptions added in Google Photos. Google does not provide any tools to add them to the photos, but I found these articles online: EXIFTool seems able to do it.
    4. Photos that are in your own albums may or may not also be present in the dated albums. Thus when you download everything using Takeout there may be duplicates between the "Auto Backup" albums listed by date and your own albums.
    5. Takeout does not remove photos from Google Photos.

     Download using Google Drive

    Remark: the "Google Photos" tab in the left column is no longer active.

    Downloading manually from "Google Photos" folder in "My Drive".

    This folder is only present when the option is activated in the settings of Drive.
    Photos uploaded from the computer using "Backup & Sync" are NOT added to this folder. 
    1. Go to https://drive.google.com and sign in to your Google account
    2. Click "Google Photos" on the main panel. Select a folder or one or more photos.
    3. In the top right corner of Drive, click the 3 vertical dots ("More actions"). 
    4. Click "Download"

    Sync using Google Drive
    • When you have activated Create a Google Photos folder in the settings of G drive you will have a "Google Photos" folder in MyDrive, with year/month folders. 
      Note that syncing between Google Photos and the Google Photos folder on Drive may be incomplete

    • This folder can be synced with the computer when you download and install the Google Drive app to the computer.
      Remark: in july 2017 the Drive App has been replaced by the new "Backup & Sync". You can use the new app for syncing the Google Photos folder with the computer. Note however that testing showed that photos synced from computer to Drive using the new B&S are NOT added to the "Google Photos" folder, but to the new synced folders. These photos are uploaded from the computer, thus may not have to be downloaded anyway. 

    How to determine if a photo or video is stored in Google Photos or in Google Drive

    1. Go to Google Photos settings (https://photos.google.com/settings)
    2. Under "Google Drive" select "Show Google Drive photos & videos in your Photos library" (the selection button will turn blue when selected)
    3. Go to Google Photos (https://photos.google.com)
    4. Click into the search bar (https://photos.google.com/search)
    5. Scroll down and click the first "Show more" then "Google Drive" (https://photos.google.com/search/_td_)
    6. You will be shown all the photos from Google Drive which are also visible in Google Photos.
    Check your Google Drive quota: https://drive.google.com/drive/quota

    ZIP files

    1. After downloading a .zip file using any of the methods above, your browser prompts you to save the .zip file. You can also rename the zip at this time
    2. Click "Save" and specify a location to download
    3. Unzip the zip file
      1. In Windows Explorer, right click the zip file, click "Extract All" then "Extract" 
      2. When unzipping is finished, you may delete the zip file

    How to preserve "Captions" ("Descriptions" in Google Photos)

    In Google Photos "Captions" are called "Description" and found in the Info panel (click i)

    Captions added in Picasa Web Albums (PW) or Google Photos (GP)  are lost when downloading from Google Photos. 
    Captions added before uploading are not lost, but after editing in PWA or GP you get the original caption, not the edited version.

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    If you know other ways of downloading pictures and video from Google products, please let us know in the Google Photos Help Community: https://support.google.com/photos/community

    Shortened link: https://goo.gl/hJxwoM