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Spring cleaning? Here’s an easy solution for old boxes of photos.
Google Photos stores, organizes, and even improves printed images to keep those memories from fading.

For 40 years, Bill Hladik had tucked away thousands of old printed photographs in boxes in a closet.

The photos, primarily from his time as an undergrad at Syracuse University, were so numerous that Hladik could hardly remember where they’d been taken or the names of the people in them. Still, he wanted to preserve the images, and he knew they’d last longer if they were digital. 

It seemed like a tall task. “I thought I’d have to sift through them,” says Hladik. “Thousands of photos – who has the time?”

It didn’t take much time. He opened Google Photos, went to “import photos” within utilities, and reviewed the different options for importing photos. Hladik followed the steps to digitize and import his photos so he could enjoy them in Google Photos. Once they were uploaded, the photos were easily searchable by location, date, and keyword – and face groups helped him search his photos by people, including some of his former classmates. And thanks to upgrading to a Google One subscription with expanded cloud storage, he had plenty of space for all of his photos. 

“It’s hard to look at printed pictures, but much easier to review online and share,” said Hladik after his photo organization. “College days are important to anyone – formative years and good friends.”

As Hladik discovered, Google Photos makes it easy to digitize and organize your photos, whether you have hundreds or thousands of old photos dating back decades, or simply a few albums you want to back up on the cloud. With one app, you can store thousands of images in the cloud, rediscover memories, and share them with your loved ones.

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Amy Bernstein You forget that you cannot duplicate printed photos infinitely. It’s a memory on a piece of paper. You lose it and it’s gone.Keep your memories safe – all in one place

’Tis the season for decluttering, and like Hladik, you can free up space in your closet – and on your phone, with some digital spring cleaning. After you digitize your physical photos, import them into Google Photos and your images will be saved safely to the cloud. No need to choose between all those selfies – just expand your Google Account storage with a Google One membership. With plans starting at 100 GB of cloud storage to use across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos, you can enjoy plenty of space for all your important files and memories. 

Easily find one photo among thousands

Once your photos are safely stored in Google Photos, you can easily find the one you’re looking for by searching for specific names, dates, people, and locations – no manual tagging required. Memories and Recent Highlights will also help you remember where you were and what you were doing on this day a year ago, or last weekend. Use map view to see a map of all the places where you’ve taken images and videos. 

Enhance your photos, new or old

With editing suggestions and tools, Google Photos can help you make old photos new again – or even give new photos a retro style with filters. Plus, as a Google One member, you can unlock enhanced editing features in Google Photos, like Magic Eraser, to make your photos picture-perfect.1

Share memories with family and friends

Viewing family photo albums no longer requires a trip to a relative’s house. Preserve memories with shared albums for important events or of specific people. As you create a new album, you can select who – family, friends, or furry loved ones – you want to include, and Google Photos will add them to the album each time they appear in a new photo.

Without the help of shared albums, some family memories could get lost in time. When Amy Bernstein, who lives in Boston, was clearing out her late mother’s Manhattan apartment, she discovered hundreds of photos, some nearly 100 years old. 

“There were some of my mother at three years old,” she says. And some that were mysteries, like a photograph of four people posing on a crowded beach. “I’m pretty sure it’s at least 90 years old, but I have no idea who these people are,” says Bernstein.

She digitized the photos and shared them with her extended family, including her niece, the “family historian.”

“You cannot duplicate printed photos infinitely,” Bernstein says. “It’s a piece of paper. You lose it and the memory is gone.”

With Google Photos, it doesn’t have to be.

Takeaways
Save your memories by digitizing your photos and storing them in Google PhotosSearch by names, dates, faces, or locations to easily find the photos you’re looking forWith editing suggestions like lighting adjustments or filters, Google Photos can help you make old photos new again – or even give new photos a retro style if you like
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  1. Members of Google One get more editing features through Google Photos. Note that the editing feature availability is subject to the type of photo you have chosen and the type of device you’re using. Editing features are not currently supported on web. See Benefit Requirements for more details.