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You’ve got an image that you need access to from all of your devices. What do you do? The smart answer is to save it to the cloud, and if you’re someone who uses Google Drive extensively, you’re in luck as this cloud storage system is great for saving, sharing, and using images.
It’s simple to upload images to Google Drive, from any popular platform, where they will be stored securely.
To share your images via Google Drive on Windows, you’ll need to have the app installed (available from www.google.co.uk/drive/download), although you can also upload through your web browser.
Manually Upload to Google Drive
On Windows, a manual upload to Google Drive can be achieved by finding the image you wish to upload, copying and pasting it into the Google Drive folder which you’ll find listed in Windows Explorer under Favorites.
With the item copied to Google Drive, it will take a few moments to sync to the cloud before you can share it. Right-click, and in the context menu select Google Drive > Share to open the Share Settings dialogue. Here you can add recipients for the share file, set their permissions (edit/comment/view) and also include a note. You can even Get shareable link to paste into an email. Click Send to share when you’re done.
Automatically Send Images to Google Drive
Need your images to be automatically uploaded from Windows to your Google Drive?
Open Windows Explorer, identify your Pictures library, and right-click, selecting Properties > Location. From here, click Move, and select Google Drive. Click Select Folder to make the change, and wait as your images are moved and then synced to the Google Drive cloud storage.
Now, whenever you save an image to the Pictures library on your Windows PC, it will be automatically synced to your Google Drive space. Our guide to using Google Drive on Windows shows more tricks like this, but note that if you want to upload a photo sent as a Gmail attachment, don’t save it to your computer, just send it straight to Google Drive. The Save to Google Drive Chrome extension is also useful for fast image uploads.
Android users have the benefit of Google Drive every step of the way, and with photo syncing available, images are automatically uploaded to Google Drive, from smartphone or tablet.
Easily Copy Photos to Google Drive
You’ll find the Drive app in the App Drawer, and once opened you’ll see a list of any files that are currently stored in your Google cloud. You can organize files by tapping, dragging, and dropping them into folders.
To upload your photos manually, you’ll need to open the Google Photos app, find the image you want, and long-tap to select. At this stage you can select others by single tapping, and when you’re ready, tap on the Share button. In the following window tap Drive, then use the Save to Drive dialogue to assign a new name if necessary, and then Save. These photos will be automatically dropped in the root of your Google Drive.
Use Automatic Sync to Upload Images to Google Drive
Automatic syncing is managed using the Photos app. Open the Menu, go to Settings > Backup and sync, and confirm that backups are set to On. If you use multiple Google accounts on your phone, ensure the correct account is selected. Once backup is complete, you’ll find your uploaded images in the Photos folder in the Google Drive app.
Various options are available in the Photos Settings screen. You can set a Wi-Fi only option for backup up photos, for instance, as well as disabling and enabling Roaming and While charging only backups. With the backup enabled, each photo you snap will be automatically uploaded to the Photos folder on your Google Drive. Other Android apps with automated cloud upload are also available
iPad & iPhone
While iOS users might have the choice of Apple’s iCloud, they can still access Google Drive. If you’ve recently transferred from Android to iPhone or iPad, this can prove extremely useful, as it means you’re not abandoning data (or have to worry about migrating it).
Manually Upload Images from iPad to Google Drive
Own an iPad? If you’ve recently switched to iOS from Android and still want to use your Google Drive, or just want to add to the storage you have with other cloud services, you can manually upload images. Begin by opening the Drive app and tapping the + button in the bottom right corner.
Next, select Upload > Photos and Videos, and accept the permission request. Finish by selecting the image you wish to upload and click the Upload button. The file will be saved in the root directory of your Google Drive.
Sadly, there is no option to automatically upload images from iPhone or iPad to Google Drive. However, if you want to know more, our guide to accessing, creating and sharing documents on the iPad is worth a read.
Sync Photos Manually & Automatically to Google Drive
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a desktop computer or a mobile device, it is easy to set up image uploads to Google Drive. While automatic uploads aren’t available on all platforms, manual uploads are at least straightforward, something that might prove useful to anyone keen on keeping a careful eye on what photos they choose to keep and which they prefer to discard.
While we’ve only focussed on Windows, iOS and Android, it is possible to upload to your Google Drive in your browser on almost any device (although Windows Phone users are limited to browsing the drive, with no ability to upload).
Do you sync your images and photos to Google Drive? Perhaps you prefer an alternative solution? Tell us about it in the comments.