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Similar to this, but Google has somehow wormed their way around my settings:

  • Photos → Settings → Backup & sync is off.
  • Photos → Device folders → Camera → Back up (sic) & sync is off.
  • Camera → Settings → Data storage is set to "Save picture to phone."

Even so, this morning I got a creepy reminder that Google Photos has my image, and that they have "helpfully" post-processed it. Short of breaking my phone in half (or rooting it), how do I stop this from happening?

  • One option I'm not sure you like probably is disabling that app. As you're short of rooting, installing LineageOS with F-Droid instead of GApps… OK OK, I won't go any further :) Works fine for me many years now, but YMMV. – Izzy Apr 1 at 20:03
  • Thanks, I've disabled it and taken away its storage privileges :) Do you mind posting that as an answer? I did go down the alternative OS a couple times, but the pain was excruciating. – l0b0 Apr 1 at 20:09
  • Sure – done with additional details for those who don't know where to do so. // No pain for me at all with LOS, and the battery lasts much longer without GApps. Not sure what hit you as excruciating; be welcome to talk in our chat room, I'll see that I can respond (even if asynchronously). Maybe that can be tackled, too. – Izzy Apr 1 at 21:06
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The easiest option (and maybe hence easiest overlooked) is disabling the Google Photos app altogether (in Settings › Apps make sure you show "all apps", scroll to Google Photos and tap the "disable" button).

Revoking storage permissions from this app cannot hurt (who knows what might still invoke one of its intents; still in Settings › Apps tap the "wheel" icon in the upper-right corner, select "Permissions", then "Storage", scroll to the app, and toggle it off; you might have to do that before disabling the app as afterwards it might no longer show up here).

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