Why do deleted Google Photos keep coming back?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Deleted Google Photos may reappear for several reasons:

1. Shared Collaboration Folders: One possible reason is that the photos you deleted are part of shared collaboration folders. When you delete files from these folders, they may reappear because other collaborators still have access to them. Any changes made by others can cause the deleted photos to re-sync and reappear in your Google Photos.

2. Backup and Sync Settings: Another reason for deleted photos reappearing is the Backup and Sync settings in Google Drive. If you have enabled the “Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive” option, deleting photos from Google Photos may not remove them from the Google Drive folder. They might still exist in the respective Google Drive folders and show up again in Google Photos.

3. Trash Folder: When you delete photos from Google Photos, they are moved to the Trash folder, similar to the Recycle Bin on your computer. These photos remain in the Trash folder for up to 60 days before being permanently deleted. If you notice deleted photos reappearing, it’s possible that they were not yet permanently removed from the Trash folder.

4. Synchronization Issues: Sometimes, synchronization issues between devices can cause deleted photos to reappear. For example, if you delete photos from your phone’s Google Photos app, but there is a syncing problem with your Google account, the photos may reappear when the sync issue is resolved.

5. Third-Party Apps or Services: If you use third-party apps or services that are connected to your Google Photos, they may have their own syncing mechanisms. Deleting photos from Google Photos might not remove them from these apps or services, causing them to reappear.

To avoid deleted photos from reappearing, you can take the following steps:

1. Check Shared Collaboration Folders: If the photos are part of shared folders, communicate with other collaborators to ensure they also delete the photos or remove them from the shared folders.

2. Adjust Backup and Sync Settings: In Google Drive, review the Backup and Sync settings and disable the option to automatically put Google Photos into a folder in My Drive. This will prevent deleted photos from reappearing in Google Photos.

3. Empty the Trash Folder: Make sure to permanently delete photos from the Trash folder in Google Photos. Open the Trash folder and select the photos you want to remove permanently, then click on the “Delete forever” option.

4. Check Synchronization: Ensure that all your devices are properly synced with your Google account. If you notice synchronization issues, try signing out and signing back in or force syncing your devices.

5. Review Third-Party Apps or Services: If you use any third-party apps or services connected to Google Photos, check their settings to ensure they are not causing deleted photos to reappear. You may need to remove the app’s access to your Google Photos or adjust its syncing preferences.

Deleted Google Photos may reappear due to shared collaboration folders, Backup and Sync settings, presence in the Trash folder, synchronization issues, or third-party app integrations. By understanding and addressing these factors, you can effectively prevent deleted photos from coming back.