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Samsung and Xiaomi can’t ruin your Google Photos backups in Android 12

Samsung and Xiaomi can’t ruin your Google Photos backups in Android 12

According to a leaked document obtained by XDA Developers, Google is working on a solution to a well-known issue among Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Realme users. The problem, which has been ongoing for several years, caused every screenshot and screen recording to be automatically backed up to Google Photos, and thus littered your pics with lots of stuff you might not want.

XDA obtained a preliminary revision of the Android 12 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), which all manufacturers must agree to and abide by before shipping devices that run this software version. A new section states that devices that can save screenshots or recordings must store these in Pictures > Screenshots, and not under DCIM > Screenshots.

Therein lies the big difference, and the solution to our Google Photos woes. Since the backup service is set up to automatically upload all files in the DCIM folder (which is supposed to be reserved for “Digital Camera IMages” by name), and since some Android manufacturers had chosen to store screenshots inside it, that caused all of them to be backed up along with your camera shots. This was a big annoyance for many users, since it cluttered their proper photos with unnecessary screen snaps that they didn’t want to see or save for later. The workarounds were to either go through them diligently every few days and delete what you didn’t need, or set up an app to instantly move any screenshot out of the DCIM folder so it doesn’t get backed up.

If the Android 12 CDD gets approved with this new rule, all manufacturers will have to follow Google’s guidelines and do what Pixels have been doing for years: save screen snaps and recordings in another folder. That solves the problem for those who didn’t like the compulsory backups, but leaves the choice open for those who did. They’d simply add the new Screenshot folder to their Photos backups and things will go back to the way they were.

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