What is the best workflow for moving a set of Google Photos between accounts?

As I understand there are two ways. Google Takeout or rclone only.

For those who have done this or know how to with either method, please can you advise of some sample commands and perhaps mention if you have any tips or things to be aware of.

The Google photos API changes the photos - removes geotagging and downsizes videos.

So I'd use Google takeout to download the images. You can then use rclone to upload them to the new account.

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Thanks. So I literally need to unzip the google takeout file and run

rclone move unzipped-takeout-folder photos-remote:/upload

and it will eventually populate exactly as in the other account?

Yes that looks good. This will upload the photos to the general upload area not to albums. rclone move will delete the local file when the upload is complete.

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I don't use albums at the moment.

My other concern is the face recognition. Will my named groups automatically transfer or if not is there a way to do this?

I think you'll have to re-create those. The Google Photos API is very poor and I don't think there is API for that.

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So the Takeout file seems to categories my photos in subdirectories such as "Photos from 2022", "Photos from 2021".

  1. Can I upload with this folder structure to photos-remote:/upload or do I need to make it a flat folder structure first?
  2. I also get al the json files. Do I upload these as well?

You can upload in any folder structure - google photos will ignore it.

No, rclone doesn't know what to do with those.

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Brilliant, thanks. So my optimal rclone command should now be:

rclone move "Takeout/Google Photos" photos-remote:/upload --exclude *.json

What are the ".json" files called? I would have thought --exclude "*.json" would be what is needed but you seem to have written --exclude *.json*.jpg which doesn't look right?

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Sorry error corrected. Do I need the double quotes?

You don't need them unless you have a file called something.json in your current directory, in which case weird stuff will happen! So putting them in is good practice.

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I've run into an issue. After uploading 200 GB of photos, it seems that the date information is lost. Everything is showing as from the last week so you can't scroll back through a chronological history of photos. You can search by date so that information isn't completely gone.

Am I missing something or is there a way to restore the dates from EXIF or similar?

(another issue I'm having is that the upload slows to a literal halt after a couple of days and needs to be restarted).

Also there seems to be a max file size limit of 10GB? Do I have to manually upload these over the web interface? If so, is there a reason the --max-size filter isn't automatically applied to save time uploading files that are too big?

As far as I know google reads the data information from the EXIF. Rclone doesn't upload it. Perhaps google will catch up on those files and date them properly?

That is probably a rate limiting thing.

I've just discovered this is documented here

So rclone could reject immediately all files > 10 GiB - a --max-size will do that for you for now.

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So I've finally moved all my photos across with rclone. But while I did this, obviously lot of new photos were generated and uploaded to Google Photos.

  1. Is there any way to use takeout to upload just these photos to the new account or is it impossible?
  2. Is Google Photos now capable of deduplicated or will photos/videos show up twice if I accidentally upload them twice?

Not as far as I know :frowning:

Google photos does deduplicate the pictures if they are identical I believe. Try a small test.