The 9 best Google Photo editing tricks you need to try today
Google Photos started as the default gallery app on Android and eventually became a one-stop solution to back up media files, edit images and videos, and create beautiful memories. Google Photos’ editing capabilities have evolved to a stage where the majority won’t need a separate photo editing app to make small tweaks. Most Google Photos editing features are limited to Android or iOS apps, so you won’t find the same features on Google Photos for web on Windows, Mac, ChromeOS.
Not every Google Photos editing feature is available to free accounts. Some Google Photos editing functions carry a colorful circular icon, requiring an active Google One subscription. You must subscribe to one of the Google One plans to unlock more storage and editing features.
1. Enhance your photos
Google Photos has a default Suggestions tab that offers editing options based on an image. You can check suggestions like Luminous, Radiant, Stormy, B&W Portrait, and Color Pop to make changes with a single tap.
- Launch Google Photos on your phone and select an image you want to edit.
- Tap Edit at the bottom.
- Try the suggestions to improve your photo.
- We used the Color Pop suggestion. Check the final image in the screenshot below.
Dozens of photo editing suggestions can overwhelm you. If you are unsure which option to use, tap the Enhance button and let Google Photos make relevant tweaks to improve an image.
2. Try Google Photos filters
Filters have become a norm for gallery apps, and Google Photos is no exception.
- Open the Google Photos editing menu (refer to the steps above).
- Scroll left to the Filters menu.
- Check the available filters to use. Tap a filter to check the live preview.
- Filters are set to 100% intensity. You can tap the same filter button to adjust it using a slider.
3. Crop or rotate a photo
Do you want to remove your annoying friend who’s making a weird face in a photo? You can easily crop or rotate a photo in Google Photos.
- Open an image in Google Photos and tap the Edit button.
- Select Crop and tap the first rectangle icon to check the available aspect ratios.
- Tap the third icon to crop an image manually to your preference.
You can’t resize an image in Google Photos. The company should add the function in a future update.
Google Photos has several tools to change the sky look, apply a blur effect, remove unnecessary objects from an image, and improve portraits.
- Open the Google Photos editing menu (check the steps in the first section).
- Scroll to the Tools menu.
- Choose a tool.
The available tools are:
- Portrait light: Adjusts the position and light brightness of portraits.
- Blur: Adds a background blur to your images. You can adjust the depth and blur intensity.
- Magic eraser: Removes photobombs from images. It is limited to a few devices.
- Color focus: Desaturates the background and keeps the foreground in color.
- Sky: Select several palettes to adjust the color and contrast of the sky.
5. Adjust photos
Google Photos lets you adjust saturation, shadows, skin tone, white point, HDR, contrast, and more.
- Select an image in Google Photos and tap the Edit button.
- Scroll horizontally to Adjust.
- Select the option you want to adjust. Use the slider to adjust the intensity.
You’ll have a lot of fun once you know how to use all the tools. For example, the Saturation tool is a great way to create eye-catching food photos.
6. Annotate or add text on photos
Google Photos has a dedicated markup tool to add annotation and text to images. You can also use a highlighter to point out important details in a picture.
- Head to the editing interface in Google Photos (refer to the steps above).
- Select Markup and then choose Pen, Highlighter, or Text.
- You have seven color options to choose from. However, you can’t modify the pen and highlighter thickness.
- Tap the Save copy button once you make changes.
7. Export a frame from a video
Google Photos’ video editing features are mostly identical to photos. With the Google Photos export frame feature, you don’t need to press the shutter button while taking videos. The app suggests top shots in a video to spot and export a frame easily. Follow the steps below to check it in action.
- Open any video in Google Photos.
- Play the video or use the timeline slider to jump to a specific part. You may notice white dots above the video slider. It suggests top shots in a video.
- Tap a white dot and select Export Top Shots.
- Select Export frame and save the image to the Camera folder.
- To export any video frame to your phone gallery, use the video timeline below.
- Go to the Library menu and open the Camera folder to check your exported frame.
Google Photos also shows editing suggestions based on the photo or video. You must upload media to the Google Photos servers to let it scan the image and show suggestions accordingly.
8. Stabilize your shaky video
If your phone doesn’t have OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), you may end up with shaky videos. Shooting videos in dark scenarios is challenging without OIS or gimble stabilization. You get blurry videos due to shaky hands too. Google Photos has a neat add-on to stabilize such videos on the go.
- Open any video in Google Photos.
- Tap the Edit button at the bottom.
- Tap the rectangle icon and let Google Photos stabilize the video.
It may take some time to complete the stabilization process. The estimated time depends on your phone’s CPU power. Once the video stabilization is complete, tap the Save copy button in the lower-right corner.
9. Edit the date and time
If you want to change the date and time of a photo or video, you can easily do so in Google Photos.
- Open any photo or video in Google Photos.
- Tap the kebab menu (three-dot) in the upper-right corner.
- Tap the pencil icon beside the date and time.
- Select the date or time from the bottom menu and make tweaks.
When you change the date, the app adjusts the day accordingly.
Google Photos is more than enough for most of us
After slowing down development on Snapseed, Google has steadily brought its features to Google Photos. Apart from editing images, you can create new collages and movies and even hide confidential media in a Locked Folder.