Tip: How to migrate Google Photos images between accounts

TL;DR: Use shared albums to migrate without downloading/uploading.

There’s no one-click way to move images from one account to another. In the past I’d suggest the following:

  1. Browse to photos.google.com in Account 1.
  2. Select the first photo.
  3. Scroll scroll scroll to the end.
  4. Shift-click last photo.
  5. Click “Download.”
  6. Browse to photos.google.com in Account 2.
  7. Drag all the downloaded images into Account 2 to upload them.

That works, but here’s a better way:

  1. Browse to photos.google.com in Account 1.
  2. Create a new album.
  3. Add up to 2000 photos.
  4. Invite Account 2 to the album.
  5. Browse to photos.google.com in Account 2.
  6. Select all photos.
  7. Choose to add to account.

 The big advantage is that you don’t have to download, then re-upload everything. Slightly nerdy details:

  • Make sure that Account 1 isn’t set to remove geo info when sharing.
  • Make sure that upload quality for Account 2 is set to “Original.”
  • Any edits you make in Account 1 (cropping, etc.) are baked into pixels when adding images to Account 2.

17 thoughts on “Tip: How to migrate Google Photos images between accounts

    1. It sounds like you’re running into a problem with the auto uploader, not with a data cap. I’ve asked the team to investigate.

  1. What if you want to MOVE the photos. The MOVE function in a Windows sense cuts the items from one account and moves them to another.

    So basically I want to delete the photos and all linkage, metadata, etc. from Account 1 and make Account 2 the only location with those photos. I do want to keep all of the “hidden” information about the photos such as date taken, device used, etc.

    Can that be done?

    1. So far I’m finding that I’m going to have to download all the photos I want to move and then re-upload on the other account. If I share, I can’t delete them from the original account without them getting deleted on the new one.

      1. I’m trying to do the same thing and have reached the same conclusion. We’re you successful with the download and transfer? Did you find a short cut? I have thousands of photos to move and trying to find the fastest/easiest way. Thanks!

    2. I want to do the same exact thing. I no longer want Account 1 only Account 2…and of course all my photos are on Account 1. Easy way to do this?

  2. My fone is dead now m using my son’s tablet , i want to migrate my google photos app to this tablet and m struggling . I want to sign in here but it shows my son’s email address

  3. I want to migrate my Google photos to this tablet because my phone is dead , but m struggling it say wrong password or changed username, this is my son’stablet

  4. I’m trying to get photos from odd Gmail acc. With 2 step ver. Don’t have phone or number. Have new g mail simular to old one

  5. Hi. This article is from 2016. Is there any better way to do it in 2020?
    I added to Account 2 library by sharing the album from Account 1, but the thing is that I didn’t want to set upload quality for Account 2 to “Original.”., because it fills up my 15 GB google storage.
    And when I choose “High Quality Free Unlimited” option, imported media files from Account 1 get compressed and it makes them double compressed, because they were already compressed while uploading on Account 1.

  6. Selecting all photos is so hectic if you have thousands of photos. Easy solution is to go to google photos settings, under Export your data choose backup an archive of your data and you will be able to export all the data in one go in the background. You should be able to import the same when download link is shared by google. Hope this helps!!

    1. I’ve used Google Takeout before. And I’ve just downloaded all the zip files for my Google Photos on my Google Workspace account that will be cancelled (moving jobs.) I’m wondering if the jpgs and the json files (metadata) will be somehow remerged or made useful for searching within Google Photos if I upload them to a new personal account.

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