Google Photos is a great service for storing, backing up, and sharing your photos. However, it does have certain limitations. For instance, there’s no way to rename synced photos and videos.
If you’re like me, you don’t pay attention to files’ names, so having your photos named something like IMG_20190519_025921 doesn’t bother you at all. But I have a feeling it matters to you. For example, it makes searching for photos and videos possible and allows you to better organize your memories. You can search by some tags (e.g. selfie, dog, beach, etc.) but that’s of use solely in Google Photos.
So, how do you rename pictures and videos in Google Photos? Well, it’s not exactly a walk in the park. As a matter of fact, it’s not possible to rename your photos and videos in-app, as Google Photos, for some reason, doesn’t even have this option.
You can add descriptions to photos and videos, but this will help search for them solely in Google Photos and nowhere else. If you download them and store them locally or transfer them to your PC storage, descriptions won’t be of any use.
The only thing left for users to do, besides spamming Google’s forums with requests for introducing the renaming feature to Google Photos, is to turn to an alternative, less convenient, more painful solution.
How to rename files in Google Photos
Here’s how to rename your photos and videos in Google Photos:
- Open the image you want to rename in Google Photos.
- Tap the menu (three dots) in the upper right corner.
- Select Save to Device.
- Open your File manager app, and find the Photo you just downloaded in the Downloads folder (Files by Google is the best option for this).
- Long press the image or video to select it (don’t open it).
- Tap the three-dot menu, and choose Rename.
- Re-upload the renamed photo or video to Google Photos.
- Delete the original file from Google Photos to prevent duplicates.
You can also mark and download many photos and videos on your PC (via the Photos for Web, here) and rename them there if that’s a more convenient approach for you. There are some Windows utilities that can be used to batch rename a lot of files.
There you go. I know it’s not what you’re looking for, but at least it’s something. This surely works when you need to rename a file or two, but if you have to rename a bunch of photos and videos one by one, well, it’ll either take hours, or you’ll simply give up.
I hope Google will eventually allow users to rename their files inside the Google Photos app. Until then, you can only use the hard method and hope to check for Google Photos updates frequently.
This article is a part of our Google Photos coverage. If you want to learn more Google Photos tips and tricks, or you have a certain problem with this app, visit our Google Photos Hub for more content.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2019. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.