How to Stop People to Download your Google+ Photos?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Stop People to Download your Google+ Photos?

Sharing photos online comes with certain risks, including the possibility that someone may download your photos without your permission. This can feel like an invasion of privacy. If you've posted photos to Google+ that you want to protect, there are steps you can take to make it more difficult for others to download them. This article will walk you through How to Stop People from Downloading Your Google+ Photos.

Make Your Account and Photos Private

The easiest way to prevent unauthorized downloading is to make your Google+ account private. This means only people you've added to your Circles can see your posts.

To make your account private:

  1. Open the Google+ app or go to
  2. Click on your profile picture and select Settings
  3. Go to the Privacy and permissions tab
  4. Check the box next to Enable lockdown mode
  5. Click Done

Now only people in your Circles can view your posts and photos. This significantly limits who can access and download your pictures.

Adjust Individual Photo Settings

For finer control, you can set viewing limitations on individual photos. When uploading a photo, click the lock icon in the lower left. This gives you options like:

  • Public - Anyone can view and download
  • Limited - Only people in your Circles
  • Extended Circles - People in your Circles and their Circles
  • Your Circles - Only those you've added to Circles

Set photos containing personal images or information to Your Circles to limit downloads.

Disable Downloading on Photos

Unfortunately there is no direct way to disable downloads for Google+ images. However, you can make saving your pictures more difficult using these methods:

Remove EXIF Data

EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data in a photo contains information like date, time, camera settings and location. Some download tools rely on this metadata to grab images. Removing it can thwart them.

Use an EXIF editor app to wipe the data before uploading. Some options:

  • ExifCleaner - Free app for Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Strip EXIF - Free web-based tool

The downside is losing potentially useful info like when and where the photo was taken.

Lower Resolution Before Posting

Uploading smaller, lower resolution versions makes your pictures less appealing to download. Use image editing software like Photoshop to reduce the size and definition.

A good option is to resize to around 800x600 pixels or lower. This provides enough quality for web viewing while greatly reducing download appeal.

Disable Right Click Saving

You can't fully prevent right click saving, but you can make it more difficult. Upload images as part of an album rather than individually.

On the album page, right click saving is disabled. Users have to open the photo itself and then right click to download. This extra step can deter casual saving.

Watermark Your Photos

Watermarks make images less attractive to download and share by overlaying a visual distraction.

Create a text or logo watermark and apply it in a photo editor before uploading. Make sure it extends across the entirety of the image.

Be careful not to obstruct the main focus of the photo. A subtle transparency keeps the photo visible while still watermarking it.

Limit Link Sharing

When others can access one of your Google+ photos via a direct link, it makes saving the image trivial. They don't even need a Google account to download it.

You can prevent links to individual photos by disabling link sharing in your Google+ settings. To do so:

  1. Click your profile picture and select Settings
  2. Go to the Sharing on Google tab
  3. Uncheck the Share your posts and photos using links option
  4. Click Done

Now your photos and posts won't generate direct links. This puts a barrier between your images and unauthorized downloads.

Set Photo Permissions by Circle

Google+ lets you share with different circles of people. Take advantage of this by being selective in which circles can view your more personal photos.

When first creating a circle, check the box marked Share only selected posts and photos. Any pictures restricted to that circle will not be visible to outside circles.

For example, you may create an inner circle for close friends and family. Upload personal images only visible to them, hiding the photos from acquaintances or the public.

Report Photo Privacy Violations

If you find your private photos being shared without consent, take action by reporting it:

  • On Google+, click the downward arrow on the post and choose Report abuse
  • Select the reason and submit your report

Google will review and take appropriate action. Continued violations can get accounts suspended.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I completely prevent Google+ photo downloads?

Unfortunately there is no way to fully disable downloads. As long as someone can view your image on the web, they can also save a copy of it. You can only make unauthorized saving more difficult.

What about sharing photos privately in Google Drive or Photos?

Google Drive and Photos do allow setting strict viewing limitations. However, if you share a private album link with someone, they can still pass it on to others. The precautions in this article are still recommended for fully private sharing.

Is it illegal to download Google+ photos without permission?

Strictly speaking, saving Google+ pictures or reposting them elsewhere without the owner's consent does violate copyright. However, Google has limited ability to pursue copyright claims on behalf of users. The best recourse is to report violations to Google as recommended.

What happens if someone ignores my Google+ privacy settings?

When you discover photos or information posted in violation of your privacy settings, file a report with Google. They will review and take action according to their privacy policies, which can include account suspension.

Will these tips prevent screenshotting?

No, these precautions can't protect against someone taking screenshots of your photos. Screen capture bypasses download prevention. The only 100% effective method is to share photos privately with only trusted individuals.


It takes extra care and effort to maintain privacy on a public social network like Google+. While you can't control other people's actions, the steps in this guide make it much more difficult for anyone to download your Google+ pictures without approval. Taking proactive measures greatly reduces the risks.

By understanding and properly utilizing Google's sharing options, you can find a balance between keeping your memories and life moments safe while still participating in an online community. With continued awareness and caution going forward, you can interact online while maintaining your peace of mind.

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