How to Disable Auto Photo Sync and Backups on Android

If you’ve never loaded Google Plus, Google Photos, or Google Drive on your phone, you might not know about the photo syncing happening in the background. When enabled, pictures that you take, or save, are backed up automatically. While this is convenient if you ever need to recover pictures, it can put them at risk.

Related: Android Backup

In most recent devices, the only auto sync you have to worry about for photos is buried in your Google Photos app. Even if you don’t remember downloading Google Photos, it’s likely that you have it stock in your app drawer somewhere. Whether or not you have this feature enabled by default, it’s important to know where it is to keep it in check.

How to Disable Google Photos Auto Sync and Backup

While Google Plus itself used to have this feature, it’s not split off into the app Google Photos. If you don’t use the backup feature, it essentially turns the app into another gallery for what you record with your camera.


1. Open the App

Head into your app drawer and swipe through until you find Photos, or load it in your recent apps if you’ve been there recently.


Here’s a step by step on how to disable it.

2. Open Your Settings

Once the app is open, tap the hamburger or horizontal menu to open up a new options slate from the left side.


From there, go all the way down to your Settings.

3. Backup & Sync

Right at the top of the screen in Google Photos’ Settings menu is the Backup & Sync option.


Give that a tap, and now you can toggle the setting on and off to stop your pictures from automatically being backed up.

How to Disable Google Plus Auto Sync and Backup

In most cases, the option that used to be a part of Google Plus for photos has been put into Google Photos, but on the off chance you’re using an older version, you’re still in luck. The process to disable auto photo syncing in Google Plus is the exact same for Google Photos.


In a more recent version of Google Plus, you can even see how it directs you to Google Photos for it. Follow the same steps above for Google Photos for Google Plus if you’re using an older version.

How to Disable Google Drive Auto Sync and Backup

While Google Drive doesn’t sync your photos automatically, it does have a setting that puts files from Google Photos into your selected Google Drive. You access this option the same was as the other Backup & Sync settings in your Google Drive app.


This should be off by default, but if isn’t, now’s your chance to disable the function.


There are multiple reasons why you’d want to stop your pictures from being uploaded elsewhere, with one of the biggest reasons being security. With all of these syncing features turned off, your photos will only go exactly where you want them.

If you want to make sure they’re secured even further, check out some great apps that’ll keep your photos safe and hidden.

If you need any more help disabling photo related features, please ask any questions you have down below.

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    1. Hi Val. Could you clarify a couple things for me? Are you wondering how to only get push notifications for the arrival of certain emails? Which email app do you use?

  1. I followed the instructions precisely. My phone is still automatically backing up my photos to Goggle Photo, even though I have explicitly told it not to by disabling the Backup and Sync option in Google Photo. Is there a second, hidden setting that I need to disable as well? Thanks!

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