Difference Between Google Photos and Google Drive

Google is a multinational company that specialises in internet-related products and services that was started in America.  It is one of the biggest technological companies in the world.

Google has several applications like G-mail, Google Docs, Google Photos, Google Drive, etc. that have different functions.

Google Photos and Google Drive are two applications that work as storage applications for files. You can view your files online as well as offline.

Google Photos automatically syncs all images from your phone to the application but you have to manually add files to Google Drive.

Google Photos vs Google Drive

The difference between Google Drive and Google Photos is that while Google Photos only saves images and videos, Google Drive also saves other various kinds of files like PDF, EPUB, ZIP, etc. 

Google Photos vs Google Drive

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGoogle PhotosGoogle Drive
FunctioningGoogle Photos is a photo gallery that can save photos, videos and gifs, which can be saved in online cloud storage.Google Drive is a back-up and storage application for various files. For example PDF, ZIP, videos, photos, etc.
User InterfaceThe application resembles any other gallery application. When the app opens, you are greeted with various photos and videos on your phone.Google Drive is similar to any file managing application. When the app is opened, it shows various files present in the device.
OrganizationPhotos are organised in particular folders and cannot be moved to other folders.The files can be saved in folders and they can be moved to other folders.
Storage SpaceGoogle Photos provides unlimited storage space for the photos.Google Drive provides 15 GB of storage space for saving files and more space can be bought later by the user.
Photo EditingPhotos can be cropped, rotated and can be made into a collage.Photos cannot be edited in Google Drive.
Photo ScanGoogle Photos does not enable photo scanning from the application itself and requires downloading of an additional app.Google Drive can scan photos, files and documents.
Google LensGoogle Photos has a feature called Google Lens that uses artificial intelligence to identify the elements in a photo.Google Drive does not have Google Lens.
SharingGoogle Photos can share its contents only with one person at a time.Google Drive can share its contents with multiple people at a time.

What is Google Photos?

store photos up to 16 megapixels and videos in 1080p resolution. The app was free up until now but it was recently announced that Google Photos will become a paid service.

Google Photos can automatically recognize faces, analyze photos and sort them into folders. The app will end it’s a free version on June 1, 2021.

The paid version will give more storage space to users and the ability to upload photos in higher resolutions.

While Google Photos does help save images, it does not provide an option for capturing an image with the camera or advanced editing.

If your main goal is to store images and videos, then Google Photos is a better option than Google Drive.

google photos

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a file synchronization and storage service developed by Google on April 24, 2012. It can store data worth 15 GB for free.

Users can change privacy settings for individual files and can choose who can and cannot view, edit or share them. Google Drive can open excel sheets, documents, photos and power-point presentations.

Google Drive has 800 million users all around the world that store about 2 trillion files on the application. Google also offers 30 GB of storage space for those who have purchased the Starter pack of Google Workspace or G Suite.

Gladly for all the users, Google Drive remains free of cost. 

Google Drive also provides an option for editing files alongside saving and storing them. 

google drive 1

Main Differences Between Google Photos and Google Drive

  1. Google Photos works like a gallery and saves only photos and videos while Google Drive acts as a file manager and saves PDFs, ZIP files, photos, videos, etc.
  2. Photos cannot be moved from one folder to another in Google Photos, but Google Drive allows the organization of files as per your requirement.
  3. Google Drive only gives 15 GB of cloud storage space but Google Photos gives unlimited cloud storage space (with some limitations).
  4. Google Drive allows you to edit files but it cannot edit photos or videos. Google Photos, on the other hand, provides the service.
  5. Google Photos does not have the feature of scanning photos or documents while Google Drive does.
  6. Google Lens comes additionally with Google Photos, but not with Google Drive. It helps in identifying aspects of a photograph.
  7. While Google Drive enables sharing with multiple people at a time, Google Photos does not.
Difference Between Google Photos and Google Drive


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1084804513002051
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8485238/
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