How to turn off Google Photos
February 14, 2015 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I don't think there's any way to uninstall the Google Photo bloatware on my unrooted Android phone, which is super-annoying. I've turned off "upload to Google+" but am angsty that one day, after an update or whatever, it might re-default to upload. I don't want Google saving copies of my stuff, and I am not reassured by their help materials, which talk about me "not seeing" the images anymore if I delete them. That's not the same as Google not having them, which is what I'm trying to avoid. Without rooting my phone, is there a way I can delete the app, or stop it from storing my stuff?

I could probably figure this out with an hour or so of additional searching online, but I'm posting this hoping someone already knows the answer. And also in case it's useful for anyone else in future. Thanks in advance if you can help :)
posted by Susan PG to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you go into Settings, then Apps, and click on the relevant app, are you given the option to disable it?
posted by Solomon at 2:21 PM on February 14, 2015

Response by poster: No but ha, maybe this is solved anyway.

1) The app doesn't appear in All Apps under Settings.

2) I can however access it through the Apps screen. If I drag it to the trash there, it doesn't offer the normal uninstall option, just App Info. But if I click on App Info and then Uninstall, it tells me it won't uninstall, but offers me the option to revert to factory default settings.

I did that, and then clicked to delete all data from it. And now the app no longer appears under all apps on the Apps screen.

So maybe it is gone. Or maybe I am just "not seeing" it any more :/
posted by Susan PG at 3:28 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

You're going to want to go into system settings > apps > slide over to "all" (not downloaded). I'm guessing you are just looking at your downloaded apps. I don't think Google allows you to remove or disable things like Google+ or Google Photos on Android.

I would recommend you just root your phone. Go to on your phone and you can root it like that. Then when your phone reboots, see if it rooted properly with Root Checker (available in the Google Play store for free). If it's rooted, then you can use an app to remove all the crap you don't want. Personally I use Titanium Backup Pro (available in Google Play). It's $6 for the full version where you can uninstall anything you want or "freeze" any apps so Android doesn't see them without you removing them. Not sure what the free version offers or if there are free alternatives. But $6 is worth not being annoyed, haha.

There's also an awesome free app called Disable Service, which also requires a rooted phone, but it can stop certain services within apps that annoy you, without forcing you to remove or freeze the whole app. I used it to turn off update notifications. You could probably ensure the service for backing up your photos is disabled.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:34 PM on February 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

Just to add, one other option is to download Kingo Root on your computer and then connect your phone to your computer and let it root that way. I've done it that way and via towelroot -- both are incredibly easy.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:41 PM on February 14, 2015

Yes you have to revert it to factory settings as you have now dove and then you can disable it. If/ you can find it again you should get the option "disable" now when you try to uninstall
posted by lollusc at 5:09 PM on February 14, 2015

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