Even though OneDrive (Microsoft) and Google Drive (Google), due to the respective ecosystems where they are first options (Windows and Android), the third-party cloud backup services are still standing strong. And, Dropbox is still quite popular in the quite competitive market. Today, we’ll try and explain how to show Dropbox pictures in Google Photos (and vice versa) and give our two cents on which service is better to use.
Dropbox is a great service, with a competitive price, multi-platform integration, and versatile file-sharing options. However, to make the most of it, you’ll need the premium service and that comes at a price. Google Photos don’t offer unlimited storage for compressed photos anymore so, if you have a lot of photos to save, you’ll probably need to pay a GoogleOne subscription for an extra 100 GB or more.
Photo backup: Google Photos vs Dropbox
Let’s start with Dropbox’s storage space. The free storage is rather limited and stands at 3 GB, which is hardly sufficient for photography aficionados. Since the service doesn’t offer any kind of automatic compression and considering the size of a typical photo, you’ll fill up that storage space quite fast.
On the other hand, that’s the exact file format that lets Google Drive (Google Photos) thrive. Namely, Google Photos offer two options when uploading your photos — High Quality (Storage Saver) and Original.
The High-Quality option will compress your photos a bit to reduce their size. Visually, when compared with the original quality, compressed photos are slightly behind. And that’s how you’ll save up storage space which is, by default, 15 GB. Of course, this storage space includes emails, and Drive files, but it’s still more than Dropbox.
The Original option allows you to keep the original size of the uploaded photos, but you’ll slowly deplete the 15 GB of free storage space. If the resolution of your photos is 16 MP (or less), the differences are barely visible in comparison to the High-Quality option. The Original option arguably sits better with professional photography.
So, with all that said, Google Photos look like a much better option. And many will agree, as the photos migration from Dropbox/OneDrive to Google Photos is quite common nowadays.
This all slowly leads to our subject for today. How to transfer the Dropbox photos to Google Photos and, hopefully, fast? Well, we made sure to provide the two ways (with both pros and cons), so you can choose your preferred way.
Use desktop clients to perform a local transfer (reupload)
Required desktop applications:
This option is the preferred one since it provides reliability and gives you more freedom. The drawbacks are obvious. In case you have tens of thousands of photos, storing them temporarily on your PC will take up lots of space. In addition, prepare for a couple of days of uploading, based on the sheer number of photos and your bandwidth speed.
Here are the complete instructions:
- Download and install both desktop apps. If you have the Dropbox client already installed and all photos are already stored on your PC, move to step 5.
- Open the Dropbox client, sign in, and click Advanced Options.
- Under Selective Sync, click Change Settings.
- Choose only folders with photos and sync them to your PC. Uncheck all other folders.
- When all files are downloaded, open Google Drive for the Desktop client.
- Sign in with your Google account.
- Uncheck Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. Click “Choose folder” and select photo folders in Dropbox local folder.
- Choose Photo quality and check the “Upload photos and videos to Google Photos” box.
- Click Next and uncheck the “Sync My Drive to this computer” box. Then hit Start.
- Wait until all photos are uploaded successfully. Prepare for a long wait if you choose the High-Quality (Storage saver) option as Google Photos automatically compresses photos before storing them in the cloud drive.
Doing the same in reverse is a bit harder but doable. You can download all your Google Photos in a batch from your Google Account and store them on your PC. On your PC, navigate to Google Takeout. Deselect All boxes and check on the Google Photos box. Once you’ve done that, download all photos and store them locally. Upload them to Dropbox with the Dropbox client.
Use MultiCloud to transfer your photos directly
This is a valid alternative to the download/re-upload routine from the first option. However, we’ve tested it only on a limited number of photos, so we can’t claim that MultiCloud is actually faster than the aforementioned routine. Another thing in question is privacy and data infringement, but based on the service reviews, we don’t have many reasons to believe your personal data is in danger.
Follow these steps to transfer your photos from Dropbox to Google Drive with the MultiCloud:
- Install the Dropbox to Google Drive Chrome extension. You can open it from the Taskbar in the top-right corner of Chrome.
- Create a new account and confirm it with the email confirmation link.
- Sign in with the Google Drive account and grant MultiDrive permission to access it.
- Now, click Add Clouds and choose Dropbox.
- Sign in and grant MultiDrive access to Dropbox, as well.
- Now, in the upper bar, select Dropbox and check only folders with photos.
- In the bottom bar, select Google Drive > Google Photos.
- Click on the “Transfer Now” button and brace yourself — it’ll take some time.
- Later on, you can navigate to Google Account Settings and Dropbox Settings on the web and remove all permissions you’ve granted to MultiDrive. Also, you can uninstall the extension if it’s served its purpose.
That’s it. We can only hope that in the future, Google will allow sharing files directly from third-party sources, which will make these operations much easier. Until then, try out the enlisted steps, and don’t forget to share your experience in the comments section below.
Note: This article is a part of our Google Photos coverage. If you want to learn more about 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 July 2018. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.