How to optimize notifications for Google Photos

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I’m deleting Facebook. I’m replacing it with the “Sharing” tab on Google Photos. I think you should, too.

And if you do try this, here’s what you need to know about Google Photos notifications.

When you create a shared folder, you invite people to Join that folder. You can also get a URL so that anyone — including those who don’t Join, and also those who aren’t even logged into Google.

Other people may invite you to Join their albums, or they may send you a link to their albums.

The act of Joining an album simply means that you’ll be connected to that album in potentially three ways:

  1. Mobile phone notifications

  2. Email notifications

  3. You’ll see any album you’ve joined in the “Sharing” tab of Google Photos listed in order of most recent activity first.

If you’re annoyed by mobile phone notifications, you don’t have to “un-Join” albums. You can simply turn them off. Likewise for email notifications.

If you turn off both mobile phone and email notifications, you’ll see activity on the shared albums you’ve joined in your “Sharing” tab of Google Photos whenever you happen to open it. For many, this is the preferred approach.

Anytime you’re in Google Photos, you’ll see what’s called a “hamburger menu icon” in the upper left corner. This looks like three horizontal lines. Click on the “hamburger menu icon,” then click on the “Settings” option.

In a desktop or laptop browser, you’ll see the option for “Browser notifications” with a switch for turning those on or off.

In the Android Google Photos app, you’ll see under “Settings” “Notifications.” Tap on “Notifications.” Now tap on “Notification settings on this device.” At the top you’ll see “On” with a switch for turning on or off all Google Photos notifications. If this is on, you’ll see at the bottom a “Sharing” switch for turning “Sharing” notifications on or off.

In the iPhone Google Photos, you’ll see under “Settings” “Notifications.” Tap on “Notifications.,” then on “System notification settings.” Tap on “Notifications.” Now you can toggle the switch for “Allow notifications” on or off for Google Photos.

(Personally I keep mobile phone notifications off, but keep email notifications on.)