How to rearrange photos in Google Photos in 2 steps

Some users were wondering (Google Forums thread) if is it possible to rearrange photos in Google Photos. It is, but this functionality is available only in albums.

Although Google Photos became synonymous with a cloud tool where you can back up your photos and videos, it’s more than that. It’s actually quite a good gallery, too. With photo and video tweaking tools, sharing options, and AI Search and machine-learning powered face grouping — Google Photos has a lot of positives. Sadly, you can sort photos only in albums and not in the complete library. Learn how to do it below.

How to move photos in a Google Photos album?

You can move photos in a Google Photos album with Edit Mode. This menu brings out a few options. It allows you to add new photos and rename the album. You can also change the location of photos in the album, and change the order/assortment (older first, newer first, or recently added). Also, it allows you to quickly remove entries (the X sign) or manually rearrange photos/videos in an album.

On the other hand, you can’t move or rearrange photos in the Photos Timeline (the main tab) and they always come in chronological order. Not based on the time of adding them, but on the photo/image metadata (based on the date when a photo is taken or created). So, if you really need to change the order, you need to change the date on individual photos or videos.

In my experience, rearranging photos in a Google Photos album is simpler on Google Photos for Web. Unlike the Android/iOS app, the web client shows visual queues while moving the photo. This makes things a bit easier as you get to see where exactly the photo will land. A small but important UI perk, for sure. Still, you can probably do it on Android or iOS with some patience.

To rearrange photos in Google Photos on Android or iOS, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Select Library from the bottom and open an album.
  3. Tap on the 3-dots menu and select Edit.
  4. Tap and hold and then drag and drop a photo to move it to another place in the album.
  5. Once you’re done rearranging photos, tap on the checkmark icon at the top left corner to confirm changes.
  6. You can undo changes if you tap on the Sort icon and choose any option other than Custom.How to rearrange photos in Google Photos

The story is the same on Google Photos for the Web with the only difference being a blue line showing where exactly the photo you are moving is getting placed. This should make things easier since you also have a better preview on your PC monitor than on a handheld device. That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in July 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.


You can't change the order of photos on the main Google Photos Timeline, but you can do it in albums if you tap 3-dots, select Edit, and then tap the Sort icon at the top right corner. Photos on Timeline are automatically sorted by the date they are created, based on metadata. What this means is that you can edit dates on photos to rearrange them, which can take some time and effort.

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