Download Google Photos for local backup

Use Google Takeout to download your photos

In Google Takeout, choose deselect all and then find photos in the list and select only that. Also in this screen filter which folders you would like to export. Scroll all the way to the bottom for the "Next Step" button.

In the next step, if you choose "Send download link via email", Google will prepare a number of downloads, organizing your photos and metadata into several large ZIP files if necessary. A small export will be very fast, Google doesn't just sit on these.

When you receive the email you can use the link in email to return to find it listed in "Your Exports".

What you get when you download the files is both photo data and, in JSON files, limited photo metadata. For example, the photo metadata file for each photo contains that photo's creation time and upload time, and how many times it has been viewed.

What this solution can do

This solution does provide you with a local copy of all your photos and JSON files of photo metadata.

What this solution does not do

Because the metadata is not part of the photo files, it could be challenging to reunite the photos and the metadata on another service.

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The source code (markdown) for this article can be found on GitHub.