I have a samsung (android) device and I use samsung gallery app. Question: Does deleting a photo from the gallery app also delete it from Google Photos in which I have my backup and sync turned on. And if yes, then how to prevent it. ie I want a photo to stay in Google Photos even after I delete it from Samsung Gallery app.

PS: If the solution is to turn off sync then how to Turn on just backup on Google Photos without turning on sync.

  • Does this answer your question? Google Photos deletes copy and original on device
    – alecxs
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 22:14
  • I am using samsung gallery app to delete my photos and not google photos app.
    – Slofi
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 22:19
  • you know that pictures are stored locally? let's say /storage/emulated/0/DCIM/Camera/IMG_20210115_233018.jpg and another copy in cloud. you want to delete it local (it doesn't matter which app deletes this) while keeping the cloud backup. i am afraid the above method is the only workaround (so far)
    – alecxs
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 22:30
  • Yeah but having a more convenient way to delete it locally from samsung gallery and still allowing it to stay in the google photos as a backup would be great. Because visiting google photos every time just to delete something would be too hectic.
    – Slofi
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


Yes, Google Photos does send it to the bin.

You can prevent this from happening by tapping the "Free up space" feature in Google Photos, which will delete all the photos on your phone that have already been backed up to Google Photos.

  • But I dont want to delete all the photos on my phone. I just want for the deleted photos on my phone to still stay in google photos as a backup.
    – Slofi
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 17:47
  • I'm interested to know why you want the photos on your phone. The main disadvantage I've found with having photos only in the cloud is that downloading the photo in Google Photos also re-uploads it again. So, I try share photos directly from the Google Photos app, to get around that.
    – ahorn
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 7:02

If you want to delete specific photos from your device without deleting them from your Google account, the following steps should do it:

  1. Remove your Google account from your phone:
    1. Go to Settings
    2. Tap Accounts
    3. Tap your Google account
    4. Tap Remove account
  2. Delete the desired photos from your phone.
  3. Re-add your Google account to the phone.

Note: this might result in some minor inconveniences the next time you launch various other apps that use your Google account. And it's certainly much more of a hassle than using the method alecxs provided.

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