How to Bring Back the Sync “Only While Charging” Option in Google Photos

Google Photos is probably the Google app I use the most after Gmail. In fact, it’s one of my favorites among the many apps Google has to offer. Google Photos has made my life relatively easy. All the photos I take on my Android device are automatically synced across all my devices. The app is smart enough to automatically categorize all my photos, and best of all, it makes photo sharing easy. I can even share whole albums with my family or friends and they will also be able to see the photos in high quality. There is no obvious compression that occurs in other apps (WhatsApp). Also, I don’t need to use multiple apps, all my organization, backup and sharing is handled by this app alone. Add that to the fact that I got 15GB of free storage, I’m happy. However, in recent updates, Google has removed a feature from the Photos app, namely the ability to sync only while charging.

I understand that this is not a sleeper feature, but I really liked it as I don’t have to worry about my smartphone losing its charge while the Photos app loads pictures in the background. If you are also someone who missed this feature, this article is all about bringing it back.

note: I tested this feature on Nexus 5X (Android Nougat) and Google Pixel (Android Oreo) and it seems to work on both.

Restore Sync Only While Charging

As mentioned earlier, you will need a rooted device for this method to work. This is because we are modifying a file contained in “./data directoryInaccessible on unrooted devices”.

1. First, you will need a file explorer that will allow you to access the root directory of your smartphone. I love “Solid Explorer” (free trial / in-app purchases) and we used the same for this tutorial. You can download this app from Play Store by clicking the provided link.

2. Now start the application and navigate to the following directory, “/data/data/\_prefs“. Before you do this Tap on the hamburger menu and then tap on “Root”.

3. Here, tap the search button and search for “photos”. Now, tap on “” and then tap on shared_prefs”.

Stage 3

4. Here, “photos.backup.backup_prefs.xml” file in a text editor.

step 4

5. Now look for the text that says “name="backup_prefs_only_when_charging"value="false'/>” and change the value from “false” to “true” and then press save.

step 5g

6. Close Solid Explorer and navigate to: Settings->Applications->Photos and tap on “Forced Stop” and restart the Google Photos app.

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step 6

7. Now you will find this “Sync only while charging” option came back and it is enabled by default. Just confirm Launch Google Photos and go to Settings->Backup & sync and scroll down to find “Only while charging” choice.

step 7

SEE ALSO: How to Enable Night Light in Chrome OS

Enable Sync Only While Charging in Google Photos

As I mentioned at the beginning, this isn’t a make-or-break feature, it’s just something useful if it exists. Even without it, I think Google Photos will continue to be the best photo backup and sharing app to use. Do you feel the same? I would like to know your view on the subject. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and let us know your favorite photo management and backup tool you use.

This tutorial was originally published at: XDA Developers. We tried it and it works fine.

Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.