Images uploaded to Google Photos are private and can only be viewed by you. The only exception is if you decide to share some of them with others like your friends or family. You can use Google Photo’s “Shared Album” feature to do this. With all the stories of online hacks and leaked photos, you might ask if it’s possible to know who has viewed images you have saved to Google Photos.
In this article, we will seek to answer that question.
Let’s find out if others can access your photos on the platform. We’ll look into how much control you have over photos uploaded to Shared Albums and how to check who has viewed your images on Google Photos.
Can You See Who Viewed Your Google Photos?
Google keeps all photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos private. You are the only one who can see them unless you decide to share the images.
The app will create an invite that you can send out to make your content visible to others. You will get to choose the specific people you want to invite. This way, you maintain control of who has access to your photos. Once they receive their invite, they can view your images by going to the “Sharing” tab located in their app.
Their profile photo will appear on the shared album but will remain faded until they view it. That’s one way to know who has seen your Google Photos. The profile icon of anyone who has viewed your photos will be clearly visible.
Once they have viewed your album, their profile photo will appear next to the latest album seen or comment made.
Google also sends you a notification that a particular person views the shared album for the first time. However, there will be no notification if the same person views the photo again.
If the person you would like to share your images with doesn’t have Google Photos, you can send them a link generated for the specific photo or album you would like them to view. In this case, you will only get a notification if the person joins the album. You otherwise have no way of knowing if someone with a link views your photos.
Anyone with a link to your album can share it with others. Therefore, you should be careful about who you share this information with, as you will not be notified when the link is shared.
How to Control Who Views Your Google Photos
To limit access to your shared photos, you can decide who gets permission to view your shared albums. To do this, you simply add them specifically to the album instead of sending out a general invite.
It’s important to note that anyone added to the album can add others to view the contents. With your notifications turned on, Google will let you know when a new user has been added.
In this scenario, only those whom you have invited (and anyone that they might in turn invite) will be able to view your Google Photos.
You also get to decide if the other users can add photos to the album. If you prefer to bar them from adding images to the album, you can turn “Collaboration” off in the Settings option. If you remove someone from a shared album, the photos that they contributed will also be removed.
Please note that you can’t stop a single person from adding to an album. You can only block all album participants from doing so.
How to Control Who Views Google Photos Through Link Sharing
Google generates a unique URL that allows you to share your images with people who don’t have Google photos. Although convenient, you should know that this link can be shared with others without your knowledge.
In your Google Photo settings, you can turn link sharing off, preventing anyone from using the URL to access your images. You can do this by following the steps below:
- Go to “Library” and select the shared album.
- Navigate to the three-dot menu in the top right corner and pick “Options.”
- Access “Link Sharing” then “Delete Link.”
The link will no longer be active.
If you still want to share the photo but not with everyone who has the link, you can always reset it. To do this, turn link sharing off and then back on again. Google will have generated a new link for your album. Bear in mind that if you remove someone from the album but still have “link sharing” turned on, they can use the original link to access your images.
How to See Who Downloaded Your Google Photos
Unfortunately, there is no way to know if anyone has downloaded your Google Photos. Even after you stop sharing the album, anyone who has previously downloaded a photo will still have it with them.
How to Stop Someone From Viewing Google Photos
You can prevent a specific person from viewing your images on the platform. To revoke their access, follow the steps below:
- Open Google Photos and navigate to “Options.”
- Select “Members” and scroll to the person’s name.
- Click on the three-dot menu next to their name and tap “Remove Person.”
- You will be asked to confirm by pressing “Remove Person” again.
The user will be removed from the album, along with their comments or any photos they shared.
How to Prevent a Single Photo From Being Viewed in Google Photos
It is possible to prevent a single photo from being viewed on your shared Google Photos album. To do this:
- Open Google Photos and navigate to the top left corner.
- Tap on “Message” and choose the image you want to be blocked.
- Scroll to the menu in the top right corner and select “Options.”
- Click on “Link Sharing” then “Delete.”
Your image will no longer be available for viewing.
How to Stop Sharing an Album
To ensure that nobody can view your Google Photos, you could always stop sharing the album. First, you will need to remove everyone from the album and then turn link sharing off. The steps outlined below will show you how to do that.
- In Google Photos, open the album you would like to stop sharing.
- Tap “More” then “Options.”
- Scroll to the first person on the list and click “More.”
- Press “Remove Person.”
- Repeat this for all the album participants
- Navigate back to “More” then “Options” in the album.
- Head to “Link Sharing” and toggle it off.
You will now be the only person able to view your album.
Stay in Control of Your Google Photos
Google Photos is a great place to store and share your photos. Its’ “Shared Album” feature makes showing others those vacation pictures effortless. Images can be very private, though, and keeping them safe should be prioritized. Google has tried to give you control over who can access your photos and how.
After this article, you should have a pretty good idea about sharing your memories safely. If you feel you would like to rescind access to your images, then you now know how to go about doing that too.
Do you share your Google Photos? Let us know how controlled your viewing settings are in your “Shared Album.”
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