How to Delete Your Google Photos Account
It’s public knowledge that Google scans your Google Photos content to serve you ads that better match your interests. While some might welcome that, others definitely find that intrusive enough to want to take action.
Depending on the level of your concern, there are a couple of ways to resolve this. But, before you proceed, it’s important to pinpoint the reason why you may want to consider deleting your account in the first place.
The Case Against Google Photos
One of the common reasons people want to delete their Google Photos account is because they’re running out of storage on their main Google account. Deleting all their photos seems like a good way to solve this problem.
Another common and increasingly important reason relates to security and privacy. People just don’t feel comfortable enough to share their personal photos on a cloud storage service that hackers can attack.
Running Out of Storage
Google Photos shares your Google account’s storage space with all the other Google apps. If you’re actively using Google Drive and syncing your phone’s photos, it’s possible you’re getting close to the limit.
If this is the reason you want to delete your Google Photos account, there’s a way around it. Instead of deleting your entire online gallery, you can optimize it.
- Open the “Google Photos” app on your mobile device.
- Tap the hamburger menu (three lines in the upper left corner of the screen).
- Tap “Settings.”
- Right at the top you’ll see “Upload size for photos & videos.”
- Change this setting from “Original” to “High quality.”
You’ll be allowing Google to optimize your photos such that they don’t take up any space. Please note that this will reduce the quality of your photos, but they’ll still be large enough for casual uses.
Keeping Things Private and Secure
There are a lot of people who don’t like to send their personal photos straight to Google. Others might only want to use it offline. Some simply don’t like how it works.
At the far end, there are people that don’t trust Google at all. Whatever the reason, there are solutions for each.
Don’t Upload My Photos
If you don’t want Google Photos to receive the photos taken with your phone, follow these steps.
- Open the Google Photos app on your mobile device.
- Tap the hamburger menu in the upper left corner of the screen.
- Tap “Settings.”
- Tap “Back up & sync.”
- You’ll see a toggle button next to “Back up & sync.” Tap to turn it off.
Please note that all of the photos previously uploaded to Google Photos will remain visible in your mobile app. Also, if you add any images to Google Photos from a computer or any other device, these will appear on your phone app.
Staying Away from Cloud Content
Turning Google Photos into an offline gallery will show only the content that’s on your device. Anything added to Google Photos from other devices will not appear anymore. Here’s how to do it.
- Open Google Photos.
- Tap the hamburger menu.
- Tap the small arrow pointing down next to your account name.
- Tap “Use without an account.”
This will sign out of all your accounts. If you ever want to use the app, simply sign in to the desired account.
No Google Photos on My Phone
If you like to use your phone’s Gallery app to manage your photos, you can remove Google Photos from your device entirely.
- Open the “Google Play” app.
- Tap the menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Tap “My apps & games.”
- Tap the “Installed” tab.
- Scroll down to the “Google Photos” app and tap it.
- Tap “Uninstall.”
- Confirm by tapping “OK” and wait for the app to uninstall.
If the Google Photos app somehow finds its way back to your phone, it won’t be working until you start it and allow it to access your photo gallery.
Removing My Presence on Another Device
If you’ve used your Google account on someone else’s device, you’ll want to remove your account from that device. This will prevent anyone from accessing your Google Photos content.
- Open the “Google Photos” app on the device you want to remove from.
- Tap your account image.
- Tap the arrow next to your account name.
- Tap “Manage accounts on this device.”
- Tap the Google account you want to remove.
- Tap “Remove account.”
If you don’t have access to the particular device, you can do it remotely too.
- Open the “Google Play” app on your device.
- Tap your profile image in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Tap “Manage your Google Account” beneath your account name.
- Scroll to the left until you see “Security”. Tap it.
- Scroll down to “Your devices,” where you can see all the devices you’re currently signed into with your Google account.
- Tap the device name that you want to remove your account from.
- Tap “Sign out.”
- Confirm the action by tapping “Sign out.”
- A notification will pop up and inform you that you’ve successfully removed your account from said device. Tap “OK.”
Now you can rest assured nobody else has access to your Google Photos account.
Managing Google Photos
Now that you know how to keep Google Photos in check, you can easily manage the level of your personal involvement with the service. Although it’s nice to keep a backup of your photos somewhere in the cloud, you may not agree that Google Photos is the right service for that. Besides, there are plenty of alternatives you can explore.
Have you managed to set your Google Photos access to your liking? Which option works best for you? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.