Google Photos will no longer backup social media folders by default

Google Photos will no longer backup images and videos saved from folders created and managed by social media apps by default (via Android Police). Previously, Google’s photo backup platform would automatically upload all images saved to your Android or iOS device, including those files stored in folders created by apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Now, Google says that feature is turned off, and you’ll have to toggle it on for specific apps or run manual backups on specific folders.

Google is citing the surge in image sharing happening since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “People are sharing more photos and videos due to COVID-19. To save internet resources, backup & sync has been turned off for device folders created by messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik. You can change this anytime in settings,” reads a support page detailing the change.

Google is stressing that any photos already backed up and organized via social media apps are unaffected by the change, and that you can still go to individual folders within the Google Photos app and turn on the “back up & sync” feature. Google has a handy guide here for finding your existing social media-related images and videos on Google Photos, for running manual batch backups, and for turning on the automatic backup feature. Some of the affected platforms include Facebook’s family of apps, the default Messages client on Android, Snapchat, and Twitter, among others.

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