With all the cloud services available out there, you don’t have to store your photos locally on your Mac. That memory space can be used for other items. Services like Google Photos lets you upload and store an unlimited number of photos and videos on the cloud provided you meet their quality requirements.

Google Photos offers multiple ways to sync photos from your Mac to the service. You can either let it upload all your Mac photos or you can choose the ones that you want to upload. Also, you have a web version available to use in case you aren’t willing to install one more app on your Mac.

Upload All Mac Photos To Google Photos With The “Backup and Sync” App

Google offers an app called Backup and Sync that allows you to upload files from your computers to your Google account. You can use it to upload all the photos that are in the iPhoto and Photos app on your Mac. It lets you select custom folders as well to upload photos from.

To take advantage of the unlimited free storage on Google Photos, you need to allow Google to:

  • Compress your photos so they’re 16MP.
  • Resize your videos to have a maximum of 1080p resolution.

You don’t need to manually resize or compress your content as Google will do it for you.

  1. Download and launch the Backup and Sync app on your Mac.
  1. Enter your Google username and click on Next.
  1. Enter your Google account password and hit Sign in.
  1. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, enter the code on your screen and click on Done.
  1. The app will now let you select what you want to upload to Google Photos. Tick-mark the option for the Pictures folder and then tick-mark both Photos Library as well as iPhoto Library.
  1. Select the High quality (free unlimited storage) option.
  2. Tick-mark the box that says Upload photos and videos to Google Photos.
  3. Finally, click on Next at the bottom.

Upload Mac Photos Using The Google Photos Web Version

If you only have a few photos to upload to Google Photos and you don’t want to install an app to do it, you can use the Google Photos web version to do this. It’ll let you create albums and upload your photos in them — all from your web browser.

  1. Open a new tab in your browser and head over to the Google Photos site. Log-in with your Google account if you aren’t already logged in.
  2. Click on the option that says Create at the top and select Album. This is where your uploaded photos are going to be stored.
  1. Enter a name for your new album and click on Add photos to add photos to it.
  1. This will take you to the screen where you can add existing Google Photos photos to your album. Since you want to upload photos locally from your Mac, click on Select from computer at the top-right corner of your screen.
  1. Choose the photos that you want to upload from your Mac to Google Photos.
  2. If you want to add photos at a later time, you can come back to the newly created album anytime and click on the Add photos option to upload new photos to your account.

Upload Chosen Photos From iPhoto To Google Photos

If you use the Backup and Sync app to upload your photos, you’ll find that it only lets you upload full iPhoto libraries to your account. There’s no option to manually select photos from your library for uploading.

Luckily, there’s a workaround to get this done.

  1. Right-click on your Mac’s desktop and select New Folder. Use iPhoto Photos as the name for your folder.
  1. Launch the iPhoto app using your preferred method on your Mac.
  1. Select the photos that you’d like to upload to Google Photos. You can select multiple photos from any albums you want.
  2. When you’ve selected the photos to be uploaded, click on the File menu at the top and click on Export.
  1. If you want to adjust any quality-related settings, do so on the screen that follows. Then click on Export to bring your photos out of iPhoto.
  1. Choose the iPhoto Photos folder on your desktop and click on OK.
  1. Quit the iPhoto app on your Mac by clicking on iPhoto followed by Quit iPhoto at the top.
  1. Launch the Backup and Sync app and log-in to your Google account.
  2. On the screen where it asks what content you want to upload, untick all the boxes and click on Choose Folder.
  1. Select the iPhoto Photos folder on your desktop.
  2. Hit Next and your chosen iPhoto photos will be uploaded to your Google Photos account.

Upload Chosen Photos From The Photos App To Google Photos

If the Photos app happens to be your primary photo management app, you can selectively upload your photos from this app to Google Photos. You’ll need to use a workaround to do this as the Backup and Sync app doesn’t allow you to do it by default.

  1. Create a new folder on your desktop by right-clicking and selecting New Folder. Use My Photos as the name for your folder.
  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  1. Select the photos that you want to upload by clicking on them. You can choose as many photos as you want in your albums.
  2. Once you’ve made a selection, click on the File menu at the top and choose Export followed by Export Unmodified Original For X Photos where X is the number of photos you’ve selected.
  1. Unless you want to change the naming for your photos, click on Export to save them with their default names to the folder on your desktop.
  1. Choose the My Photos folder located on your desktop and click on Export Originals.
  1. Close the Photos app on your Mac.
  1. Access the Backup and Sync app and log-in to your account.
  2. Click on the Choose Folder option and choose the My Photos folder on your desktop.
  1. Continue with the uploading process and your chosen photos will be uploaded to your account.

Do you keep your photos locally on your Mac? If so, what is it that’s holding you back from uploading them to services like Google Photos? We’d be curious to know in the comments below.