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Google Photos export guide

As of Jan. 16, 2024, the Google Photos is no longer available on Virginia Tech Google accounts.  

The information below offers guidance for navigating this change.

Photos information for university employees

I still have data in Photos. What should I do now?

You can no longer delete data from the Photos app on your own, and data remaining in Photos will continue to count against your storage allocation. However, you can still take the following steps:

  1. If you still had syncing or automatic backups going from your devices to your VT Google Photos app, those connections are now disabled. If you wish to continue backing up photos from your device(s) to another account, take some time to explore how best to do that.
  2. Use Google Takeout to export a copy of your photos that you can upload to an alternative storage location.
  3. If you are a student, retiree, or employee, and the amount of data that you have in Photos is going to cause your account to remain in a read-only mode due to being over storage limits, reach out to 4Help ( or call 540-231-4357) to discuss options. 

How can I export photos now that we don't have access to the Photos app?

You can export photos using Google Takeout, after which you can upload to another cloud service or move to a personal device.

What can be done about storage left in the Photos app?

Virginia Tech has no administrative control over the data in users’ Photos apps. Therefore, the university cannot delete data from the app on users’ behalf. Now that access to the Photos app has been removed, there is no way to delete data left behind (though you can still export a copy of that data using Google Takeout). That data will continue to count against users’ individual storage allocations. 

For employees, if this causes you to exceed your assigned Google storage allocation, the university may be required to charge additional storage costs to your department. For retiree and students, the university may need to delete and recreate your VT Google account with zero data and default settings to ensure compliance. Please contact 4Help if you have questions.

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 is no longer 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. Although the app has been removed as of Jan. 16, if you still had photos in the app that you wish to retrieve, you can export a copy using Google Takeout. Keep in mind, though, that the storage within the Photos app can no longer be deleted.

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.