Android 101: Learn how to obtain or share a Google Images album

One thing Google really wants you to do is, well, stay in Google — because the more you do things the Google way, the more data the company can monetize. The result is that while it is possible to pull your emails, photos, and other material outside of the Googleverse, it’s just a little bit more difficult.

For example, let’s say you want to show an album of family photos that are stored on Google Photos to your favorite grandparent. If they’re reasonably Google-savvy, it’s not a problem at all; you just share the album with them.

Share a Photos album on the web

  1. Click on “Albums” in the left menu.
  2. Hover the cursor over the album you want to share and click on the three dots.
  3. Click on “Share album.”

photos share album

Another way to go:

  1. Click on “Albums” in the left menu.
  2. Select the album you want to share.
  3. Click on the “Share” icon in the upper right corner.

Share an album using the mobile Photos app

  1. Tap on “Albums” at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Select the album you want to share.
  3. Tap on the three dots in the upper right and select “Share.”

However, let’s say your grandparents don’t like to go online and simply want copies of the photos to put on their computer. Then things get slightly more complicated.

Download a Photos album on the web

Actually, complicated may be the wrong word. It’s not difficult to download an album; you just have to know where to look.

  1. Click on “Albums” in the left menu.
  2. Select the album you want to share.
  3. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Download all.”
  4. Google will then download a zip file containing the photos from your album.

google photos download album

You can also download multiple albums (or all your albums) by using Google Takeout, which lets you export data being held in your Google Account:

  1. Go to the “Download your data” page of your account.
  2. Click on “Deselect all” (because this page automatically checks every Google service you use).
  3. Page down to Google Photos and select it by clicking in the check box.
  4. Click on the button that says “All photo albums included.” Again, click on “Deselect all” and then check the boxes of those albums you do want to download.

Download an album using the mobile Photos app

The answer to this is very simple: you can’t. There are, however, a couple of workarounds that you can use. For example, you can use Google Takeout using your mobile device’s browser and the steps listed above. You can also share the photos within the album to email or Google Drive, and then download them from there. This second method is pretty awkward, but it does work.

Here’s how you share to email or Drive:

  1. In the Photos app, select Albums from the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap on the album you want to download.
  3. Press and hold onto the first photo until you see a check in the box in the upper left corner of the photo. Then drag your finger down until all the photos in the album are checked.
  4. Tap on the “share” icon on the top right of the screen.
  5. From here, you can either email the photos to yourself (an oldie but goodie), or save them to Google Drive and download them from there.

Google Photos album

As more people work using their phones rather than on laptops or other larger systems, the inability to do certain tasks on a mobile device — for example, download an album — is going to become, to say the least, irritating. Hopefully, Google will take note.

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