With Lightroom CC all your photos are now able to be stored on Adobe's creative cloud. However this only allows for 100gb of free photo storage. Google on the other hand offers Google Photos which is free unlimited "High Quality" photo storage.

Is there a way to use google photos with lightroom CC seamlessly?

I would love to be able to take photos from google photos and use them directly in lightroom for editing etc. Basically replacing lightroom's cc storage with google photos.

Here's what I'm thinking...

A few ways it might be possible.

  1. A user created plugin for Lightroom CC to work with google photos

  2. Storing photos on the desktop with with google "backup and sync" and using that library in Lightroom

Anyone have a current solution or better idea?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Even if its possible IMO "High Quality" from Google is now always enough, its limited to 16MB and do not support RAW (for unlimited storage). You can also check this question: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4557/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 5:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agree with Romeo. You won't get the full value of lightroom without raw files. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16259
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 6:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure to understand your purpose - Do you want to put your photos on Google Photo because you want to be able to review them from the web and mobile? Or are you expecting to be able to sync them with Lightroom on another desktop? Keep in mind that Lightroom usually doesn't directly modify originals on your disk, so you won't be able to see your edits in Google Photo until you export them. \$\endgroup\$
    – gerlos
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 12:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ if adobe allowed this, they'd ruin their own business. the whole reason they are pushing the cloud is so they can sell you storage plans. \$\endgroup\$
    – ths
    Commented Apr 24, 2018 at 12:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to second that opinion there, "high quality" from google photos is very bad. It's way too compressed and full of artifacts. Personally, I use gphotos for "indexing", so I can browse it, find the right file and download it from the real CR2/jpg files from backblaze's B2 storage. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 25, 2019 at 14:26

4 Answers 4


Dude, buy a NAS and pay only one time for tons of storage that you'll own forever.

Imports to LR will be slower over a wireless network but that never really bothered me. All of these ridiculous cloud storage plans - they bother me.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wired Ethernet is a thing, so the wireless transfers can be entirely avoided if a person wants to. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the answer but the question is focused on cloud solutions. Plus, google photos is free. \$\endgroup\$
    – CTOverton
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 22:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ > storage that you'll own forever.: that is, until a piece of hardware fails, or gets hacked, or gets stolen... OP specifically asked for cloud storage. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 23:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ A NAS unit that you buy is not a substitute for an off-site backup. \$\endgroup\$
    – K. Minkov
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 9:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider a fireproof NAS. That's about as close to being a substitute for off-site backup as you're going to get without paying through the nose on an ongoing basis, and odds are, if that gets destroyed, you won't be alive to care. If you're really paranoid, then also buy a few external drives and keep them at work. Whenever your photo collection gets too big for your laptop and you move files permanently to your NAS, grab the oldest backup, bring it home, wipe it, and clone everything (including all your new photos) to that drive, and take it back to work. \$\endgroup\$
    – dgatwood
    Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 1:24

a NAS is a great option for in home storage, and having an offsite backup, (not in the cloud) is also recommended but there is nothing wrong with the cloud as a 3rd backup.

depending on what camera you shoot with, and if you shoot in JPEG, free google photos may be a good option for you. However if you do continue with your photography, and start to learn more, produce better images, and want to do more, and have full raw files, or even true HQ jpegs, google photos isn't going to cut it, and you may regret going the free route. a great saying in life is "you get what you pay for" and free is the bottom of the barrel. Storage is constantly getting cheaper, but cloud storage is still not really an option for any serious photographer, and a lot of companies that you pay for "unlimited storage" or "all the storage you need" have limits on photographers using their cloud storage for large library backups. that's why a NAS is the best option, with a secondary backup store offsite, say in a lockbox at a post office or bank.

again you could always get yourself a google photos account to store some decent quality jpegs as a "just in case" option" but I would not suggest that to store your main library.

another thing to think about is the bandwidth limitation google will place on large uploads or downloads, which will take quite a bit of time.

portable hard drives are a cheap option to get you started out and keeping the highest quality of your files as you can, until you decide to make the leap, 4tb of storage is around $120 and will last you long enough to make a decision.

you also cannot depend on your photos always being on google, as a lot of people depended on myspace years ago to host their music, and myspace lost it all. at any given time google could decide to do away with the google photos, or charge for storage space, which would mean you are stuck downloading all of your photos onto at home storage systems.

the only other option beside a NAS I could suggest that would actually be a viable storage option in the cloud would be Photoshelter. you can use it to create a site to display your images and have customer galleries and sell prints, and you can also store raw files on there as well. its a little bit on the pricy side, but very much worth it if cloud storage is what you are set on. just beware, upload times are not quick, as again, all sites will limit upload speeds to users.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the post, personally I have GSuite with unlimited storage and max quality. The purpose of using google photos is that it’s wonderful for searching and organizing and sharing. It’s easy enough to replicate the storage to a local NAS but I’d like to use google photos for what it has to offer. And I’d like to use Lightroom for what it has to offer too. \$\endgroup\$
    – CTOverton
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ you could always just make a script that auto exports files to jpeg to be under the 16mb size limit, and then uploaded them to google photos. it would be a pretty straight forward workflow. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 18:46

There is a free plugin already available for this purpose. Here is the link to in GitHub. Seems quite popular with 217 stars. This allows one way save of photos from Lightroom to Google Photos.


Google on the other hand offers Google Photos which is free unlimited "High Quality" photo storage.

This question is now moot:

Starting June 1, 2021, High quality and Express quality content will count toward your Google Account storage. Once you reach your storage limit, you can either subscribe to Google One (where available) for additional storage, or delete content in order to continue with the free storage option in Photos.
Storage changes for Google Photos - Google Photos Help

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah sadly. That being said I think the question is more relevant to the fact of syncing between the two mediums and not just that one is better than the other etc. Good update though thanks :) \$\endgroup\$
    – CTOverton
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 18:35

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