Google Photos can seem a little creepy. All of your pictures show up in albums. The last thing you want to do is accidentally make private photos public. It’s not inherently obvious how to remove Google photos, and if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you can actually make some pretty big mistakes. This is how to remove Google photos the safe and correct way.
Stop Before You Delete
Don’t just delete photos from Google. When you delete photos and videos from your Google Photos account, you’re actually deleting photos from your device. All Google Photos really does is sync photos from your device and help you sort them into albums. You can arrange those photos and videos and share them with people (or choose to keep them private). When you delete photos from Google, you’re deleting them from their point of origin. Google Photos is essentially just an aggregator.
Only delete photos you intend to permanently delete. Anything you delete via Google Photos will be completely removed from your phone. Deleting the app itself (and getting rid of its permissions) are a completely separate process.
How to Remove Google Photos
Deleting the Google Photos app will not take away its permission to sync and store your images. In order to do that, you must first log in to the Google Photos app. Sign in with your Google photos account, open the menu on the upper left, then choose the arrow next to your Google photos account name. Select “remove active account.” Do this for every account associated with the app.
To verify that your Google photos account was successfully removed from the app, restart your phone. Take a few pictures, and see if they appear in the app. If they don’t, then photos and videos will no longer sync to Google Photos. Then, uninstall the app the same way you would uninstall any other app. Since you no longer have a Google Photos account connected, photos from your device will no longer be stored in albums.
Always Check App Permissions
Many people who started using Google Photos weren’t sure what it did. It seemed like it was made for something else. A lot of people have accidentally deleted important photos from their devices, believing they were only removing them from Google Photos.
Before you start using an app, be sure you know what it does. Understand why an app would need certain permissions and access to specific features of your phone. If you don’t understand what an app does or you don’t know why you might need it, research it. Delete it if it doesn’t serve your needs or if you feel as though it invades your privacy.