Fix: Google Photos not showing all photos on iPhone

Google Photos is a great alternative to iCloud Photos. Many would even say that it’s a better option. But it really depends on personal preference, and how deep you’re inside of a certain ecosystem.

Those who choose Google Photos have good reasons for that, as it provides better integration with platforms outside Apple’s roof. However, if you’re using Google Photos on your iPhone, you also have to deal with its potential problems.

The problem we’re going to discuss here is when Google Photos doesn’t show all photos in your library. If you’ve encountered this particular issue, keep reading.

Table of contents:

  1. Check your internet connection
  2. Enable Backup & sync on another device
  3. Update Google Photos
  4. Don’t look at Google Drive
  5. Check folders, archives, and trash
  6. Check the permissions
  7. Offload Google Photos

Solution 1: Check your internet connection

Google Photos is the best cross-platform photo storage service. No matter from which devices you upload a photo or a video, everything will be stored in your library. However, if you’re not properly connected to the internet, it’s possible that photos you uploaded from say your computer won’t show because there was no valid internet connection to sync everything properly.

So, before trying anything else, make sure there’s nothing wrong with your internet connection. Preferably, you should be connected to WiFi, because Google Photos may not sync properly on cellular data due to possible restrictions or data-saving measures.

Solution 2: Enable Backup & sync on another device

Make sure the Backup & sync feature is enabled on every device you access Google Photos from. Because if it isn’t enabled on one device, Google Photos won’t sync photos and videos from that device to the library, therefore you won’t be able to access them on other devices.

Here’s how to make sure Backup & sync is enabled:

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap your picture in the upper right corner, and go to Photos settings.
  3. Head over to Backup & sync.
  4. Make sure the Backup & sync option is enabled

Solution 3: Update Google Photos

Google updates its apps and services almost on a weekly basis. And while most of the updates actually make the apps better, there are also some that (unintentionally) cause problems. Which may well be the case here.

If you suspect a recent update ruined the Google Photos app on your iPhone, make sure to regularly check for new updates. If Google is aware of the problem, it will deliver the fix as soon as possible.

To check for new updates, go to the App Store, and search for Google Photos. If there’s a new update, install it and see how the app behaves after.

Solution 4: Don’t look at Google Drive

This one is not about the Google Photos app itself, but about Google Photos as a service. Not too long ago, Google Photos was connected to Google Drive. That’s why you can see the Google Photos folder inside Google Drive. This folder contained each photo or video the app contained, so many people used Google Drive to access their media instead of the Photos app or website. Simply because it was more convenient on the PC.

However, Google separated Google Photos from Google Drive some time ago, so the photos and videos you now upload don’t go to that Google Photos folder in Google Drive. The folder is still there, and it contains all your old photos and videos, but no new ones. So, make sure you don’t confuse the two, and keep in mind that you can only access your most recent photos/videos from the Google Photos app (and the Google Photos website).

Solution 5: Check folders, archives, and trash

iPhone users can’t choose which folders to sync, as Google Photos can only access media through iOS’ default Photos app. And while it isn’t practical on one side, it also means that you won’t miss anything because you didn’t sync a certain folder. Something that Android users have to think about, for example.

However, that can’t be said for Archives and Trash. If a certain photo is in the Archives folder, it won’t appear in Google Photo’s library. Obviously, the same goes for items in Trash. So, if you’re missing one particular photo or video, make sure to check Archives and Trash to make sure it isn’t hidden there.

Solution 6: Check the permissions

If Google Photos shows no photos or videos from your iPhone’s storage, it’s possible it doesn’t have the necessary permissions to access them. The first time you installed and opened Google Photos on your iPhone, you were asked to permit Google Photos to access iPhone’s default Photos app. There’s a chance you accidentally denied it, and now the app shows no photos.

Here’s how you can grant the necessary permissions for Google Photos to function properly:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Privacy.
  3. Tap Photos.
  4. Tap Google Photos, and make sure the All Photos option is enabled.

Solution 7: Offload Google Photos

In case none of the previous solutions worked, and you still can’t see some or all of your photos inside the Google Photos app, try re-installing it. (One of) the good thing(s) on iOS is that it allows you to delete an app from storage, but keep its data and documents, so you don’t have to, for example, log in when you install the app again. That method is called Offloading.

Here’s how to offload Google Photos from your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to General iPhone Storage.
  3. Scroll down until you find Google Photos.
  4. Tap the Google Photos app and go to Offload App.
  5. Tap Offload App to confirm.

Now, head over to the App Store, and install Google Photos again. Maybe a fresh install of the app will resolve the missing photos problem.

That’s about it. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more articles like this.

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