Category: Photo Life

Scheduling Google Photos Backup

Like many amateur photographers, I take photos every day and use Lightroom to edit them on my computer. I like to use Google Photos Backup to make a secondary backup of my photo directory which can be useful because I can take advantage of Google’s amazing image search algorithms to find photos quickly. Say I want to find a photo of some sushi I know I took, but don’t know exactly when I took it, I can just search for “sushi” or the place I was at when I ate it, and after Google finds the photo, I can go to Lightroom and zero in on the date to find the original photo. Saves a lot of time! Just the other night, we wanted to know when we adopted our dog, Lani, and by simply searching for “dog” we were quickly able to find out the month and year we brought her home.

However, there are two drawbacks to using Google’s automatic photo backup.

  • First, when it is uploading photos, it kills our Internet bandwidth here at home. (“Papa! Why is the Internet so slow?!”)
  • Secondly, it will automatically start uploading photos as soon as I import them into Lightroom. This happens before I delete the unwanted photos, so my Google photos online library gets cluttered with photos I don’t need. For a while, I dealt with this by pausing the backup using the system tray icon (I use Windows) before I imported, but that is a hassle, and I sometimes forgot to do it.

So, to solve both of these issues, I set up an automated task to run in the wee hours of the morning. It took a bit of trial and error, but I finally got it working using Task Scheduler. Here’s how I do it. (I am using Windows 10)

Scheduling Google Photos Backup

First, we’ll create the task that starts the backup:

  1. Open Task Scheduler by opening the Start Menu, typing “Task Scheduler”, and selecting it from the list.
  2. From the Action drop-down menu, select “Create Basic Task”.
  3. In the dialog box, give the task a name. I went with “Photos on”. Then click “Next”.
  4. For the Trigger, select “Daily”, then click “Next”.
  5. Select the date and time you want the backup to begin, set it to recur every 1 day, then click “Next”. I went with 3 AM.
  6. Select “Start a program”, then click “Next”.
  7. Browse to the Google Photos Backup application. Mine was at “C:\Users\barro\AppData\Local\Programs\Google\Google Photos Backup\Google Photos Backup.exe”. Click on “Next”.
  8. Click on “Finish”.

Secondly, we’ll create the task that ends the backup:

  1. From the Action drop-down menu, select “Create Basic Task”.
  2. In the dialog box, give the task a name. I went with “Photos off”. Then click “Next”.
  3. For the Trigger, select “Daily”, then click “Next”.
  4. Select the date and time you want the backup to end, set it to recur every 1 day, then click “Next”. I set mine to 5 AM, giving Google Photos Backup 2 hours every day to do its thing, although it probably only needs a few minutes. YMMV depending on how much you are backing up.
  5. Select “Start a program”, then click “Next”.
  6. In the Program/Script box, type “TASKKILL /IM “Google Photos Backup.exe” /F” (minus the outside quotes), click “Next”, then click “Yes”.
  7. Click on “Finish”. That’s it!

If you want to test that it is working correctly, you can edit the times in steps 5 & 4, after first making sure Google Photos Backup is not currently running.

I hope this helps someone who wants to automate their backup. Just to add, Google Photos is not my primary means of backup. I have two separate backups of all my data on external hard drives, one of which I keep at the office. Also, I’m not an expert at Task Scheduler, so if there’s a better way to do this, please let me know!

Day in Granada

"The Alhambra" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO200
“The Alhambra” Granada, 2017

We spent the entire day in the city of Granada, starting with a leisurely 5-minute walk to the Catedral de Granada. It was pretty spectacular inside, and there’s even a free audio tour to enjoy. I’m not really much for churches or cathedrals, but you have to be impressed by how much effort and devotion goes into these monuments. It’s amazing.

"Catedral de Granada" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO1600
“Catedral de Granada” Granada, 2017

Next up was lunch, since we didn’t have anything to eat yet. Near the cathedral, we found El Pescaito de Carmela and enjoyed some coffee, seafood, and paella. Delicious!

"Calamares" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO2500
“Calamares” Granada, 2017

"Boquerones" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO1250
“Boquerones” Granada, 2017

"Cafe" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO1250
“Cafe” Granada, 2017

After lunch we headed back to our hotel to meet our tour company which picked us up around 13:30 and took us up to the tour office that is next to The Alhambra. I had procrastinated on this part of planning, so failed to buy tickets online beforehand for the “must-see” attraction in Granada, but luckily back in Morocco I sent an email to our hotel to see if they could find any tickets for us. They came through and booked us for the English tour! It cost about €52 per ticket, and included hotel pickup/dropoff, entry tickets to The Alhambra, and an English tour guide. A stand-alone ticket would cost €18.70, so for our visit to one of the top attractions in Europe, it was a no-brainer to go for the tour.

Our guide spoke good English, was funny, and had a ton of interesting information. For instance, we found out about the origin of the dollar symbol. The grounds were spectacular, and very well-maintained. I’d totally recommend the tour to anyone.

"The Alhambra" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/950 sec, ISO200
“The Alhambra” Granada, 2017

"The Alhambra" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/16, 1/125 sec, ISO200
“The Alhambra” Granada, 2017

"The Alhambra" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/16, 1/240 sec, ISO200
“The Alhambra” Granada, 2017

After the tour, we returned to the hotel and Mariko had a pedicure/massage, then it was time for an evening stroll and dinner. We ended up exploring the area near the cathedral again, and visited two tapas bars, the first Los Giardinos where we enjoyed pizza, pasta, and potatoes while sitting outdoors and people-watching. The cold beer was just what the doctor ordered!

"Early Dinner" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/140 sec, ISO200
“Early Dinner” Granada, 2017

"Cold One" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO200
“Cold One” Granada, 2017

Next we wandered to Plaza de bib Rambla for some shopping and more tapas! This time we stopped and ate outside at Gran Cafe Bib Rambla. We ordered a nice pitcher of sangria, and I also enjoyed my first gazpacho. Mariko and the kids think it’s gross, but I thought it was good! But, not something I’d order again. I’d much rather have some savory tapas than the veggie smoothie. We also got jamon and queso, and some other yummies that I cannot remember. We enjoyed the pleasant evening weather while sipping on cold drinks… it was heaven!

"Queso, Jamon, and Gazpacho" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/60 sec, ISO500
“Queso, Jamon, and Gazpacho” Granada, 2017

"Holy Sangria" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/60 sec, ISO640
“Holy Sangria” Granada, 2017

"Plaza de Bib-Rambla" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/150 sec, ISO200
“Plaza de Bib-Rambla” Granada, 2017

After that, we decided to go back to the hotel, but not before a dessert of helado (ice cream) at Golosita Italiana. What a great day in Granada!

"Helado" Granada, 2017

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/60 sec, ISO640
“Helado” Granada, 2017

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