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Script that organizes the Google Photos Takeout archive into one big chronological folder

Project description

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Google Photos Takeout Helper

What is this for?

If you ever want to move from Google Photos to other platform/solution, your fastest choice to export all photos is Google Takeout

But when you download it, you will find yourself with hundreds of little folders with few photos and weird .json files inside. What if you want to just have one folder with all photos, in chronological order? Good luck coping all of that :confused:

This script does just that - it organizes and cleans up your Takeout for you :+1:

It will take all of your photos from those tiny folders, set their exif and last modified, and other properties correctly, and put it in one big folder (or folders divided by a month)


  • If you have new "year folders" (that is, few folders named like "Photos from 2012") (+albums) - use the newest version
    • pip install -U google-photos-takeout-helper
  • If you have old "date folders" (that is, ton of folders named like "2012-06-23") - use version 1.2.0
    • pip install -U google-photos-takeout-helper==1.2.0

I don't know if new version fully works, so let me know if it doesn't :+1:

How to use:

  1. Get all your photos in Google Takeout (select only Google Photos)
  2. pip install -U google-photos-takeout-helper
  3. Extract all contents from your Google Takeout to one folder
  4. Run google-photos-takeout-helper -i [INPUT TAKEOUT FOLDER] -o [OUTPUT FOLDER]

If you want your photos to be divided by a year and month, run it with --divide-to-dates flag.

How to use for dummies (non-programming people):

This script is written in Python - but if you have Windows, and don't want to bother installing it, you can download a standalone .exe :tada:

  1. Go to releases->latest release->assets and download takeout-helper.exe

  2. Prepare your Takeout:

If your Takeout was divided into multiple .zips, you will need to extract them, and move their contents into one folder

  1. Open cmd, and type:
cd C:\Folder\Where\You\Downloaded\takeout-helper
takeout-helper.exe -i [C:\INPUT\TAKEOUT\FOLDER] -o [C:\OUTPUT\FOLDER]

// Ps note: Don't use the "[ ]" in the command above.


If you have issues/questions, you can hit me up either by Reddit, Twitter Email:, or if you think your issue is common: Issues tab

If I helped you, you can consider donating me:

I spent a lot of time fixing bugs and making standalone .exe file for Windows users :sparkling_heart: - would be super thankful for any donations

But, be aware if you move your photos on you Android phone...

Beware, that (99% of the times), if you move some files in Android, their creation and modification time is re-seted to current.

"Simple Gallery" app usually keeps original file creation time when moving and coping (but I don't guarantee it). It's also pretty cool and you can check it out:

What to do when you got rid of Google Photos? What are the alternatives?

  • I really recommend you using Syncthing for syncing your photos and files across devices. It does so through your local WiFi, so you're not dependend on any service or internet connection. It will also keep original file creation date and metadata, so it resolves Android issue that I mentioned before.

  • If you want something more centralized but also self-hosted, Nextcloud is a nice choice, but it's approach to photos is still not perfect. (And you need to set up your own server)

  • Guys at Photoprism are working on full Google Photos alternative, with search and AI tagging etc, but it's stil work in progress. (I will edit this when they are done, but can't promise :P )

Other Takeout projects

I used this tool to export my notes to markdown - you can then edit them with any markdown editor you like :)

This one saves them in format ready for Evernote/ClintaNotes:

TODO (Pull Requests welcome):

  • Videos' Exif data
  • Gps data: from JSON to Exif - Thank you @DalenW :sparkling_heart:
  • Some way to handle albums - THANK YOU @bitsondatadev :kissing_heart: :tada: :woman_dancing:
  • Windoza standalone .exe file - Thank you, me :kissing_heart:

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