Remove photos from Android phone, keep in Google cloud

9 years ago  •  By  •  3 Comments

1. I am the proud owner of an Android Phone (Moto X) with a reasonable camera.
2. I have three young kids.

Kids + camera = loads of photos and videos.

The phone has 16 Gb of internal storage ergo I run out of storage fast. I use the Google Cloud service (Picassa / Google + photos) to sync these photos and videos. I do want to keep them in the cloud and I don’t want them stored locally on my phone.

Android how to: remove photos and videos from your phone, keep them in the Google cloud

You can delete the files from you Android phone and keep them in the cloud. This is how you do it. An Android phone usually has two default apps for managing photo’s. One app is called Photos, the other app is called Gallery.

If you delete albums using the Gallery app, Google saves these files in the cloud.

If you delete the photos using the Photos app, Google removes the photos and videos from your cloud storage.

Do check if you are actually using the cloud storage 😉

“Does this really work?”

Test it yourself, just to be sure.

  1. Make sure your phone has Wi-Fi.
  2. Go to with your computer
  3. Delete a photo you don’t like via the Photo app on your phone
  4. Delete another photo you don’t like via the Gallery app
  5. Refresh your browser screen, and you’ll see the first photo has disapeared from your cloud storage and the other photo remains

Other options for making space on your phone

Other options for making space on you phone include:

  • Deleting apps you don’t use
  • Clearing the cache
  • Removing old files from the downloads list
  • Disabling local storage on your Spotify play lists
  • Removing downloaded episodes from your podcast app
  • Erase old local file
  • Etc etc

All of these options are great and will save me about a Gigabyte per cleanup cycle. The “remove local photos and videos” usually saves me more than 4 Gb.

Comments 3

  1. Remi van Beekum
    Still searching for a good European alternative to Dropbox or Google photo's because I don't want pictures of my daughter (and my own data) on a datacenter outside the EU. I really love working in the cloud, but without the American spies please. ;-)
  2. For Dropbox users: Personally I use Carousel (a Dropbox app) for automatic photo-backup to my Dropbox (see: Asides from making it possible to acces all your photos available in your Dropbox-cloud, Carousel also has a nifty feature called 'Free up phone space' (you can access it from the settings-page): It makes sure every photo is backed up to Dropbox and afterwards, it will remove your local copies, most of the time freeing up a lot of space.
  3. Jason Hunter
    We still don't have a proper cloud video solution, but we do have a simple one for images and it's called Evernote. When you take a picture with evernote, the image does not take space on your device, it only becomes part of the cache. It lives in cloud immediately. You're also able to tag the photos. We don't have a solution for video, yet, which is why I stumbled upon this site in my search.

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