Only upload once (Google Photos)

First question

What attribute dus rclone us to determine --max-age?

Second question

would running rclone copy --max-age 39659s (11hours and 59 seconds) every 12 hours from my NAS to Google Photos be a good way to:

  • prevent uploading files I deleted in Google Photos;
  • include files that I uploaded to my NAS more than 12hours after creation?
  • include files that I uploaded to my NAS more than 24hours after creation?

What is the problem you are having with rclone?

I recently uploaded my photo/video library from my NAS to Google Photos. I backup everything from my phone to the NAS (mostly) daily, except for when abroad or when I don't charge my phone at night.

The upload to Google Photos is for the unique features only Google offers at this quality (recognition, sharing, Chromecast ambient mode, etc.).
I don't need all the pictures that are uploaded though. For example, I delete the blurry pics, or accidental pictures when uploaded to Photos.

I am trying to figure out how to prevent re-uploading by Rclone because it finds out the file is missing when running rclone copy (twice a day). I thought about using --max-age, but I am expecting problems with what age rclone checks;


Synology, Android or Syncthing are not handeling the backup well. As far as I can tell the last picture whas taken on the 19th at 19.28 and uploaded to my NAS on the 20th at 01.30. So --max-age should use created date to work in my situation at all.

If so; would running rclone copy --max-age 39659s (11hours and 59 seconds) every 12 hours be a good way to prevent both uploading deleted files and including files that I upload more than 24hours after creation?

What is your rclone version (output from rclone version)

rclone v1.55.1
- os/type: linux
- os/arch: amd64
- go/version: go1.16.3
- go/linking: static
- go/tags: none

Which OS you are using and how many bits (eg Windows 7, 64 bit)


Which cloud storage system are you using? (eg Google Drive)

Google Photos

The command you were trying to run (eg rclone copy /tmp remote:tmp)

rclone copy --max-age 39659s

The rclone config contents with secrets removed.

type = google photos
token = {"access_token":"token"}
client_id =
client_secret = sescret

A log from the command with the -vv flag


Thanks in advance!

You could do that. Personally what I do is I have a 'staging' area where my phones sync photos to google drive. Then I have a 'regular photos' area that I sync regularly with google photos. I periodically review all the photos in the stage and just move what I want to the regular volume and let the sync do its thing.

That being said, you could use a time to prevent the upload again. Using a max age will upload any photos that are newer than your time. I just dont like doing this because if you miss a day or something happens, it would be a pain to reconcile. Because photos API is crappy, I tend to prefer a concrete way to prevent the junk from getting there in the first place.

Plus on my pixels, when I 'delete' photos in the photos app, they don't delete. They get renamed to '.trashed' or something which is annoying sometimes.

Thanks for sharing!

For me the staging area would be the NAS. But honestly I don't think I will make time often enough to review all of them that way. I do agree that preventing junk getting on Photos in the first place would be preferable. Maybe I should start curating them on my phone during the day (my phone doesn't have play services so I don't use the photos app anyway)...

I still can't picture all of the possible complications with my suggested schedule for rclone copy. Specifically if it would effectively prevent uploading files I deleted on Photos already and simultaneously not skipping new files that I uploaded to my NAS later than 12 or 24 hours after making them.

Yeah. The problem here really is that the photos API is so limited and the API requests so strict that its hard to do more programatically. You could also just have the calling shell script create an exclude file with deletions so that they are always skipped.

I have the same issue. i just reviewed 8 months worth. :expressionless:

I am thinking about this solution instead.

Would there be a way to delete files from that list after a week or a month (with also using a --max-age filter with the same age as the files on the list or the list itself)?

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