Something annoying happens if you use Google Photos on non-Pixel phones. You have to give the app permission to delete photos every time you do . Fortunately, you can put an end to this.

Why did this happened?

Android 11 introduced a major revamp in the way apps can access your device storage . Previously, storage permission gave apps access to basically all your files. The new feature, called “Scoped Storage,” splits up which apps can access.

Scoped Storage divides files into two buckets: “Media” (images, audio, and videos) and “Downloads” (PDFs, documents, etc.). You’re no longer giving an app all-or-nothing access to all your files.

Apps get permission to access only the types of files that are relevant to them. However, gallery apps that are not pre-installed have to constantly ask your permission to modify files. That is why this problem is only present in Google Photos on non-Pixel devices.

How to give Google Photos permission to delete photos

With Android 11, I needed to run some commands in ADB to fix this annoying issue. Fortunately, it’s much easier to do with devices with android 12 . We’ll do a demo on a samsung galaxy phone but it also works on other android devices .

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First, swipe down once or twice, depending on your device, and tap the gear icon to open Settings.

Scroll down to the “Applications” section.


Next, tap on the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner and select “Special Access.” On some devices, “Special Access” is available here without opening the additional menu.


Now search for “Manage Media” or “Media Management Apps”.


Turn on the switch for “Google Photos”. You may need to select it to see the switch on some devices.


It’s as simple as that. The next time you want to delete a photo using Google Photos, it will simply do so without asking for permission first. This also applies to photo edits that appear “out of sync.” Hopefully this makes using one of the best google apps be a bit better.

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