Move your Google Photos

How to move your Google Photos from your University Google Drive

1. Choose your new photos location

Select the service you will use. All the cloud services listed have a free service with the ability to pay for additional storage if required.
This is just a small selection of other services - there's plenty of others you can use.
None of them are affiliated or supported by the University - this is your choice to make.
  • University OneDrive - not recommended as your photos will be automatically deleted when your affiliation with the University ends
  • Personal OneDrive - free 15GB storage
  • DropBox - free 2GB storage
  • Degoo -  free 100GB storage
  • Local computer

Watch the instruction video

2. Use Google TakeOut to download your photos

Google TakeOut can be used to export individual photo libraries or your entire photo collection in Google Photos.

  1.  Go to
  2.  Sign in using your address and usual password
  3.  Under 1. Select data to include, click the blue Deselect all link
  4.  Put a tick in Google Photos. If you want to only choose specific libraries then click on All photo albums included and tick the libraries you want to copy
  5.  Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Next step
  6.  Choose the Delivery method (normally this is send download link via email). Note that Add to OneDrive will not add to OneDrive for Business (the University's OneDrive)
  7. Change the file type and size to 10 GB
  8. Click Create Export

A zip file will now be created that you can open on your computer.This may take up to 24 hours. Once it's been created you will be emailed at your email address.

Note that for each photo there is a JSON file. The JSON files are only useful if you've added comments, descriptions etc. in Google Photos. 

Click on the download link.

3. Delete the JSON files

For each file there is a JSON file. This file is only useful if you have added any information like captions or descriptions to the photo within Google Photos. The information about where and when a photo was taken and any camera settings are stored in the photo file - they don't need the JSON file.

  1. Open the zip file(s) and extract them to folders on your computer
  2. Search for JSON
  3. Select all the files that are found (in Windows this is CTRL-A)
  4. Delete all the JSON files

4. Copy the files to your new service

Once you have removed the JSON files you can now copy the files to your new service. Instructions will be different for each. Your University OneDrive is only available to you while you are affiliated with the University so is not a good location for your personal photos. Here's some guides for common services, but you're not limited to using the list here - choose a service that works best for you.

5. Delete the old files

Google Transfer copies your files - it doesn't move them. Once you have checked and are happy that you have all the files you need please remove the originals from your University Google Drive.

To remove files and folders in Google

  1. Highlight the file or folder
  2. Right-click and select Remove
  3. Click Move to bin

Delete the folders and zip files from your local computer

I’ve accidentally deleted folders from Google Drive, how do I get them back?

  1. Go to Bin on the left-hand side
  2. Highlight the folder or file to restore, Right-click
    and select Restore