Starting in July, Google is changing the way Google Photos and Google Drive interact with each other because frankly, it was a confusing mess. "Our goal with these changes is to simplify some features that caused confusion for our users, based on feedback and our own research", the company said.
It is worth noting that you'll still be able to sync photos to both Photos and Drive - but only with the Google Backup & Sync tool.
Today, new photos and videos that appear in a user's Google Photos automatically appear in that user's Google Drive as well.
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The automatic syncing will be replaced with an "Upload from Drive" feature, which will allow users to manually select images or footage from their Drive folders - even shared media - and import them to Photos, at which point they'll be unaffected by any changes made to them in Drive. Likewise, new photos and videos added to Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive too. But since the two are no longer syncing, items copied in Original Quality will be subtracted toward your storage quota in both. Users claimed that the system was confusing and led to some accidentally deleting photos and videos from the Drive folder not knowing that the file would also get deleted from Google Photos (or vice versa). Items you delete in Photos will not be deleted in Drive and vice versa.
Backup and Sync will continue to work as before using the Windows and Mac clients. With the new changes, that goes away and you'll have to manually download photos every single time you want to use them on a Chromebook, complicating what was a mostly seamless process.
Luckily, one thing about all of this is very straightforward: when July 10 comes along, all your current files in both Google Drive and Google Photos will remain unchanged.