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Google Photos export guide

Temporary access to Google Photos provided only for users who had data left in the app after Jan. 16

On Jan. 16, 2024, the Google Photos app was disabled for Virginia Tech Google accounts.

However,  Virginia Tech has temporarily re-opened the Photos app from Feb. 5, 2024 until 8 a.m. on March 5, 2024 exclusively for users who had data remaining in Photos after the Jan. 16 deadline. This was done to provide one final opportunity to delete the data, so it does not permanently count against their storage limit. 

Users in this group were notified by email on Feb. 5. If you are in this group, you have until 8 a.m. on March 5 to do the following:

  • Export photos using Google Takeout, or download copies of photos from the app manually. You can then upload them to another cloud service or move to a personal device.
  • Go back and delete everything from the Photos app. Select and delete the photos to move them to the trash, and then empty the trash. 

If you have a lot of photos, deleting them could take time. Do not wait until the last minute, as this is your final opportunity.

Once this temporary grace period has concluded, there will be no way to delete Photos data without deleting your account.

Since the university has no ability to remove photos data without deleting the account altogether, you need to be aware that if you continue to have data in your Photos app after March 5, 2024, you may be required to have your entire account removed and re-created.

This process will remove all Gmail, My Drive, and Photos data from your account and reset all settings back to default. This process will also break any third-party logins or access management you may have set up and interfere with access to Google Play purchases or other permissions that depend on the account’s current configuration.  

If you had zero data in the Photos app on Jan. 16, 2024, your access to the app will not be restored during this period. 

Why has Google Photos been discontinued at Virginia Tech? 

While the Google Photos app became available on Virginia Tech Google accounts several years ago, the Photos app was never part of our core license, which means that Virginia Tech has no administrative control over the app. Under the new Google Workspace for Education contract, the Photos app will no longer be available on Virginia Tech Google accounts.  

We understand that this change may be significant for many of you who have been using Google Photos through your Virginia Tech accounts for years. 

Where can I store university photos?

If you were using Google Photos to manage photos for university business or research purposes, you need to save these photos to a new university-approved location. Please talk to your supervisor or department leadership to discuss how best to store these photos, as there isn’t a “one size fits all” option. This document provides a list of possible storage solutions for university photos.

If you have any questions or need help with Google Workspace at Virginia Tech, please contact 4Help.