1. Android Central Question's Avatar
    I have to start by saying that I don't want my photos uploaded to the cloud. I know this is not typical, but I don't want my pictures being uploaded to Google's servers. I don't want Google's bots analyzing my photos and categorizing my family members. I don't want it on a train or on a plane or with green eggs and ham either. I feel like I have to mention this now, because I'm sure one of the answers to my problem will be "just turn on sync, and upload everything to Google Photos, and everything will be fine". But I don't really want to do that. I'm a photographer and I have a technical work-flow. I don't like my images possibly being scaled or sharpened or processed by any online service. I like manually categorizing my photos into folders. It works for me. I really just want to take pictures with my phone, have them saved to the SD card, and back them up myself on my desktop where I can merge them with the other digital image files from DSLRs or scanners.

    My last phone was a Galaxy S4. I took lots of pictures on the SD card. I created folders for the pictures, and edited them on the phone, and sorted them into the folders (work, travel, family, technical, etc). I backed the SD card up every morth or so. Everything was great.

    The S4 died and I got a Moto X4. I popped my SD card in, and that's where the problems started. None of my folders showed up on my Moto X4 in Google Photos. I can see the folders on the SD card in the "files" app, but Google Photos doesn't see them. Not having time to fix it, I soldiered on and figured I would figure it out later.

    Well, the second problem is that my new phone doesn't play well with the SD card. Whenever I edit a photo, and I edit almost every single photo I take, it would not save the edited photo back to the SD card. Instead it would always save into a new folder on the phone storage called "edited photos". This is completely un-workable for me, because I have to go and move the photo back to the Camera folder afterward, every single time. So, in the short term, I switched the SD card off and started taking photos on the phone storage. I figured I would move photos from the phone storage to the SD card later.

    Now, I've had the phone for several months, I have hundreds of photos on the phone storage, I still can't see my old folders that are still on the SD card. What should I do? Should I un-install Google Photos completely and install some other photos application? How can I get my SD card folders to show up? Can I get the phone to save edited photos right back into the same SD card folder?
    05-19-2019 09:55 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Based on your preferences, I'd say it's best to look for another gallery app besides Google Photos. What you're describing is pretty much the way Google Photos works, and I'm not aware of a way to change it to how you prefer. Google Photos isn't really designed for your kind of album organization (i.e., different storage directories representing different albums) -- instead, it relies on virtual albums created in the cloud (since most people utilize Google Photos backup/sync). I'm not sure if there's a problem with Google Photos being able to recognize the SD card in the first place -- what happens if you open Google Photos, tap Menu>Device Folders? I just tested it on my Lenovo Tab 4 8", and Google Photos is able to display folders from the SD card that have images. The Device Folders option in the menu is the best way to see your album folders, but it can be a little clunky.

    If you want to try a 3rd party gallery app, be careful, since there are a bunch of annoying app developers who realize that gallery apps are popular, and therefore shove lots of ads and possibly worse into the gallery apps they offer. Francisco Franco's Focus is a good one to try (since Franco is a well-known ROM developer). Simple Gallery Pro is another consideration.
    05-19-2019 11:04 PM
  3. BetterSense's Avatar
    "Google Photos isn't really designed for your kind of album organization (i.e., different storage directories representing different albums). instead, it relies on virtual albums created in the cloud (since most people utilize Google Photos backup/sync)."

    The problem I have with this is that maintaining my albums is important to me, and it's also important to me to maintain separation between e.g. work photos and personal photos. So, if I just use Google Photos albums, then in some future where I decide that I don't want to use Google Photos anymore, it will be completely impossible to migrate to anything else or to go back to directories. On the other hand, if I continue to maintain a filesystem directory structure then I basically have control of my photo organization independently of any particular app or program. I would love somebody to re-assure me enough to use Google Photos, but I used to use Picasa and then they killed that, and other database-using programs, so I'm pretty wary of becoming dependent on any system.

    "I'm not sure if there's a problem with Google Photos being able to recognize the SD card in the first place -- what happens if you open Google Photos, tap Menu>Device Folders? "

    When I do that, SOME folders show up. It seems to be two types of folders show up--device folders created on my old phone (for example the Camera folder from my Samsung), and folders that I have created on this phone (I created a test folder, and it shows up). But none of my other folders (work, travel, etc) that I created on my old phone show up. If there is any way to change the permissions or add them to a whitelist or something so they just show up in Google Photos, then I think I will have something work-able. I will just have to copy photos to my SD card folders at some frequency like weekly or something, which isn't that big of a deal. I would be ok to take photos onto my phone storage and edit them on the phone storage because I only save them after I edit them anyway. Again, if I go into file browser to the SD card I see them there plain as day, and I can see they have photos in them, but Google Photos won't pick them up.
    05-20-2019 10:55 AM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    When you use your file browser, do you see a file called ".nomedia" in any of the folders that don't show up in the Google Photos app?
    05-20-2019 09:24 PM
  5. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    Some photo editor apps can write to the SD card, some do not. This is a choice of the programmers that created the app.
    Which photo editor are you using?

    If you don't want the photos uploading to the Google photo servers, you can simply turn off that sync setting, or control it folder by folder.

    Put the micro SD card into a card reader and see if your computer can see what is on the card. Sometimes the cards can go bad, just like a hard drive goes bad.

    If your previous phone encrypted the SD card, the old phone would be the only device that can decrypt it.

    I don't use the Google Photo servers.
    On my LG V30, the camera saves the photos (DNG and JPG) to the SD card.
    Both of the editing apps I have save the edited photos to the internal storage, not the SD card.
    I manually copy the files from my phone to my PC within the day.
    On the PC, the phone pics and the DSLR pics get backed up at the same time.
    For me, the phone pics are more likely to be edited on the PC than on the phone.

    If you need a good photo viewing app, I highly recommend "Piktures" by Diune.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    05-21-2019 01:01 AM
  6. methodman89's Avatar
    Have you made a copy of the SD card on your pc?
    05-21-2019 03:11 AM

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