Deciding to take your photos off Google Photos or another cloud-based storage app can feel as intimidating and life changing as a breakup. There’s the inertia, fear, and figuring out how the heck to do it. Rest assured: You have great options.


Since June 2021, Google Photos charges for extra storage. You only get 15GB of storage for free, and it includes Gmail and Drive. That “you’re out of storage” notification can bring everything that was once so simple to a screeching halt.

After six years of free unlimited storage, the news wasn’t surprising. But it wasn’t welcome either. Though no storage service is entirely free, there are others to consider including Apple iCloud, Amazon Photos, and Mylio

Learn more about why you may want to consider alternatives to Google Photos and other cloud-based services.

Google Takeout is your exit ramp from Google Photos

Moving your photos between services doesn’t have to feel like a painful break-up with a jilted lover. You can get it done without stress or worry, and quickly.

Google Takeout is the way to download all your photos.

screenshot of Google Takeout

The bad news: Google Takeout’s export process can be confusing. Google packages your files into batches that it compresses to create a number of zipped folders. As you set up the download, Google asks you what size you want your exported .zip files to be, from 1GB to 50GB. If your internet can be slow, you may want to choose a smaller size, which will mean more .zip file downloads.

The folders pile up quickly. Each photo has a duplicate file ending with “.json.” That’s because Takeout removes the metadata and puts it in a separate file. Reorganizing and finding specific photos again is time-consuming and difficult.

The good news: Mylio can automatically import the images from your download folder. You don’t even have to open the zip files: Just point Mylio to them. Read on for an overview of the process, or get step-by-step instructions on the Mylio Support site.

Screenshot of download folder on computer

Mylio simplifies the transition from Google Photos

What is Mylio? It’s a photo organizing application that allows you to manage your photos, videos, and documents privately on your own devices.

“Mylio has a neat way of bringing in your Google library in a really efficient manner,” said J.C. Figueroa, customer champion at Mylio. “It lets you download your photos via Takeout first. Once you have downloaded them, Mylio will bring those photos in for you.”

Mylio’s in-app solution means all your photos can be quickly back under your full control to organize, with the option to encrypt your files in specific settings. You’re the only person who can view your photos — in the Mylio app on your own devices.

Screenshot of online import services on Mylio, the photo organizing app

How to move your photos from Google to Mylio

To move your photos to Mylio just click “Import” from the top right corner in the Mylio application and select “Online Services,” then “Google Photos Library.”

Follow the instructions, then locate the zip file you receive from Google Takeout. Mylio will import everything with the original metadata and reconstruct your Google albums as Mylio albums. Get step-by-step instructions on the Mylio Support site.

Screenshot of the Mylio photo app's easy way to import from Google Takeout folders

How does Mylio work?

Mylio is the only photo manager where you can edit, organize, sync, and protect a lifetime of photos and videos – keeping your files private on your own devices. Mylio helps turn your computers, phones, tablets, and external storage devices into a smart and powerful organization and storage system. It catalogs images from any source (phone, cameras, external drives, flash drives, scanned family prints or slides) into one unified library that’s accessible on all your devices.

Mylio does not depend on cloud storage, in order to better ensure your data privacy and security. Here’s another benefit of freedom from the cloud: Mylio works great without an internet connection. That makes it ideal for travel and other times you don’t have reliable access to broadband.

How do Google Photos and Mylio compare?

Search and organization. Everyone loves finding their photos quickly on Google Photos. Google Photos relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to tag faces and organize your photos. That seems great at first but has drawbacks in terms of data privacy, since that data is used to help advertisers better target you with ads.

Mylio’s customizable features allow you to organize and view your photos in many ways. You can see them chronologically in Calendar view, by People using smart face recognition tags, and by geography with Map view. Google Photos doesn’t allow you to create folders or customize organization.

Image compression. “When you import your photos with Google Photos, you might be unknowingly reducing the size of the photos. Google Photos will down-resolution your photos unless you pay extra to keep the full size.” Figueroa said.

Mylio keeps your original, full-size files safe on a primary backup like a computer or external hard drive (aka a vault). It syncs all the photos on your phone at an optimized size to save space. “You have full control of your photos with Mylio,” he added.

Internet, broadband, and the cloud. Cloud services like Google Photos need an internet connection to work. Mylio doesn’t require the internet or WiFi because your photos live on your devices. Mylio users often add an additional cloud backup but are never reliant on either the internet or the cloud.

Try Mylio today

After a breakup, it’s always going to be tempting to go back to a familiar place but deep down you know it’s for the best — because there really is a better fit out there.   

Download Mylio for free today to bring all your photos together — and start making your life easier and more organized. Want more info before taking the leap? Check out our Getting Started page