How to Move Photos from Google Photos to OneDrive?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Move Photos from Google Photos to OneDrive?

Moving your photos from Google Photos to OneDrive can be a great way to consolidate your photo storage and take advantage of OneDrive's features. While Google Photos offers free unlimited storage for photos up to 16MP and videos up to 1080p, OneDrive provides 1TB of storage for Office 365 subscribers. OneDrive also makes it easy to access your photos across devices and share albums securely.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk through the entire process of moving your photos from Google Photos to OneDrive with step-by-step instructions. We'll cover preparing for the move, using the right tools and settings to transfer your photos efficiently, uploading to OneDrive, and how to handle both one-time transfers and continuous backup. Follow along to learn how to move photos from Google Photos to OneDrive seamlessly.

Preparing for the Move

Before you start moving all your photos and videos, take some time to prep so the transfer process goes smoothly. Here are a few things to do ahead of time:

Clean up Google Photos

  • Delete blurry photos, accidental screenshots and other low-quality images you don't need to transfer. This will reduce the number of items to migrate.
  • Organize your photos into albums if you want to maintain that structure in OneDrive.
  • Check backup quality of photos and videos. You may want to download original quality files to your device before upload.
  • Free up Google Drive storage if you're close to the 15GB limit.

Check OneDrive storage

  • Office 365 subscribers get 1TB of space. Check how much you have available.
  • Consider purchasing more storage if needed for all your photos and videos.
  • Create new photo albums in OneDrive to match Google Photos album structure (if applicable).

Download and install apps

  • Get the OneDrive app for your computer and mobile devices if you don't have it already.
  • Install the Google Takeout app to download archives from Google Photos.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of apps before transferring.

Once you've cleared out unnecessary photos, organized your albums, and installed the required apps, you're ready to start moving your photos!

Transferring Photos and Videos

When you're ready to transfer your photos from Google Photos to OneDrive, you have a couple options:

Download archive from Google Takeout

Google Takeout lets you export your Google Photos library as a downloadable archive file. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to and deselect all except Google Photos.

  2. Choose export frequency (one-time or periodic) and file type. TIFF gives full quality.
  3. Click on Export and wait for the archive to be created. This may take hours for large libraries.
  4. Download the archive files when ready. There may be multiple files for large archives.
  5. Import the photo archive files into OneDrive. Make sure to maintain the folder structure when uploading to OneDrive so albums transfer correctly.

This method gives you full quality original photo and video files, which is great if you want to preserve that. However, it can be time consuming preparing and downloading the archives.

Use app integration

A quicker way is to use app integrations to directly transfer Google Photos to OneDrive. Here's how:

  1. Open the OneDrive app and go to Settings. Click Add accounts and select Google Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google account so OneDrive can access your photos library.
  3. In OneDrive, create new albums to match the album structure you have in Google Photos (if applicable).
  4. Go to the Google Photos section in OneDrive and click on the albums you want to transfer. Choose Import to copy them over.
  5. The app will automatically transfer your Google Photos albums and folders into OneDrive. The upload progress will be shown.
  6. Once finished, check that all photos and albums moved correctly in OneDrive.

This method is much quicker but doesn't transfer original quality files. However, photos should retain enough quality for most uses. If you have a lot of photos, do small batches at a time instead of your whole library.

Use another cross-platform tool

There are various third-party apps you can use to transfer files from Google Photos to OneDrive as well:

  • MultCloud: Supports direct transfer between cloud services with no downloads required. Can keep album structures intact.
  • CloudHQ: Allows you to copy or sync folders between Google Drive and OneDrive. Simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • EaseUS MobiMover: App specifically for transferring photos, videos and music between accounts and devices. Provides progress reporting.

These tools can streamline the cross-platform transfer process without downloads, though confirm they are reliable and don't have transfer limits before using.

Uploading to OneDrive

Once you've exported your photos and videos from Google Photos, it's time to upload them into your OneDrive library. Here are some tips for a smooth upload process:

  • Maintain your Google Photos album structure in OneDrive for easy organization. Create new albums in OneDrive before transferring photos.
  • Upload folders gradually instead of your entire library at once, especially for large transfers.
  • Use OneDrive's Import feature when uploading folders rather than dragging in. This ensures album metadata transfers.
  • Check upload settings in OneDrive and adjust to maximize transfer speeds. Disable image processing for fastest uploads.
  • Let uploads run overnight or when you don't need your internet connection if transferring a large number of high-resolution photos and videos.
  • Verify all your content was imported correctly into the proper folders and albums in OneDrive once finished.
  • Share any photos or albums with others directly within OneDrive now that everything is in one place.

OneDrive makes it easy to import and organize your Google Photos library. Take advantage of features like search, tagging and automatic album creation to further enhance your imported collection.

Managing Transfers Ongoing

If you want to continually backup new Google Photos to OneDrive going forward, you have a couple options:

  • Use Google Takeout periodically - Run Google Takeout exports on a schedule (weekly, monthly etc) to get new high-quality downloads from Google Photos, then upload the archives to OneDrive.
  • Enable app syncing - Allow the OneDrive app to continuously sync your Google Photos library so new content automatically appears in OneDrive. Less work but doesn't transfer original quality.
  • Use a sync tool - Configure a cross-platform sync tool like MultCloud to regularly check for new Google Photos and copy them over into OneDrive albums in the background.
  • Upload manually - Periodically upload any new photos/videos from your device into OneDrive albums. Less automated but ensures full quality transfers.

Set up the method that best matches your needs for ongoing backups. For most, regularly enabling app syncing or using an automated cross-platform tool will be the easiest way to continuously backup Google Photos into OneDrive.

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. 

Download PicBackMan

Simply Download PicBackMan (it's free!), register your account, connect to your online store and tell PicBackMan where your videos are - PicBackMan does the rest, automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and uploads those too. You don't have to ever touch it.

Tips for Transferring Google Photos

Here are some additional tips to ensure your Google Photos library transfers successfully into OneDrive:

  • Double check all photos moved correctly and aren't missing after transfers complete.
  • Delete the originals from Google Photos only after confirming they've fully uploaded to OneDrive.
  • Transfer over Google Photo creations like movies, animations, photo books etc., not just static photos and videos.
  • Update sharing permissions on albums and photos in OneDrive if previously shared via Google Photos.
  • Try to match your Google Photos and OneDrive album structures closely so organization is maintained.
  • Use OneDrive's Import function when bringing over folders for the best metadata transfer.
  • Transfer a small test folder first before moving your entire library to check the process.
  • Edit metadata like captions, keywords and location info to further organize in OneDrive.

Maintaining Photo Organization in OneDrive

OneDrive has great photo album features that can enhance organization of your imported Google Photos library:

Use auto-albums

OneDrive can automatically create albums based on timeframes or people detected with facial recognition. Take advantage of this to automatically split up large imported libraries.

Tag faces

Use OneDrive's face tagging feature to name people detected across your photo library for easier searching and automatic album generation.

Add captions, locations, dates

Enhance imported photos with detailed captions, geotags, dates and other metadata for better organization.

Utilize search

OneDrive has powerful search allowing you to instantly find photos and videos in your library using natural language queries.

Create shared albums

Share albums with specific people and customize viewing and edit permissions as needed, similar to shared albums in Google Photos.

Integrate with other apps

Use OneDrive's integration with other Microsoft apps like Word or Teams to easily use your photos in documents, presentations, chats and more.

With the right tools and settings, you can move your Google Photos library to OneDrive while maintaining or even enhancing your photo organization system.


Moving your photos from Google Photos to OneDrive may take some time and preparation but is worth it for the expanded storage capacity and features provided by OneDrive. Follow the steps in this guide for best practices when transferring your photo library. Automate ongoing backups so new photos get copied over on a regular schedule. And take full advantage of OneDrive's album features to keep your expanding photo collection neatly organized. With your photos now in OneDrive, you can securely access them across all devices and seamlessly integrate them into other Microsoft apps for work and creativity.

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