Google is deleting some old Hangouts photos this week – Ars Technica

Friendly PSA: Google may delete some of your photos this week. If you’ve ever used some specific entries in Google’s long IM list, like Google Talk (2005-2013) or Google Hangouts (2013-2022), the photos you shared with contacts landed in a space called “Albums Archive.” Album archive is it is closed This is Wednesday, July 19th, and the data on it is being deleted.

Google’s communication about this hasn’t been great. The support page says: “Only content available in album archives will be deleted from July 19, 2023,” but it’s unclear what that data is. Google says that “some Google Hangouts data will be deleted from the album archive,” but also that “most photos and videos on Google Hangouts are still available and migrated to Google Chat.” (Google Chat is Google’s current instant messaging platform, which launched and replaced Hangouts in 2021.) Other content that may be deleted includes “rare instances such as small thumbnails, album comments or likes” and “background images loaded in a theme chooser”. Gmail prior to 2018.”

Album archive.  Blogger pictures don't actually go anywhere, but Hangouts pictures do.  I have no idea where the 2012 album came from.
Zoom in / Album archive. Blogger pictures don’t actually go anywhere, but Hangouts pictures do. I have no idea where the 2012 album came from.

Ron Amadeo

The bottom line is that you can view your albums archive data here And download it all over Google Takeout.

Some people reported getting emails about this about a month ago, but I probably have hundreds of photos in my album archives and never get any notification. I’m also a regular user of Google Photos, so everything I sent to people was probably captured with my phone and may have been stored in Google Photos. Better safe than sorry, so maybe you should just take a look while you still can.

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