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Microsoft Photos vs Google Photos: Which Photo Backup Service Is Better on Windows 10

by Parth Shah
Microsoft Photos vs Google Photos comparison

It’s 2021 and the default gallery apps on mobile and desktop aren’t limited to showcase the latest photos and videos. Services like Google Photos and Apple Photos offer people recognition, a bunch of photo/video editing tools, social sharing, and more. Another gallery app that’s quietly getting updated is Microsoft Photos. If you are confused between Google Photos and Microsoft Photos on Windows 10, read our dedicated comparison to learn all the differences between the two.

Microsoft Photos and Google Photos – Comparison

The comparison below is based on cross-platform availability, User Interface, photos organization, image editing, video editing, sharing, pricing, and more. Let’s get started.

Cross-Platform Availability

An easy win for Google Photos here. The service is available on Android, iOS, and Web. You can access and download media from Google Photos using any device.

It’s a mixed bag for Microsoft Photos here. It’s natively available only on Windows 10. On other platforms, you will have to rely on OneDrive to store photos. It’s technically available on a mobile platform but you can’t really compare the OneDrive gallery view to Microsoft Photos on Windows.

We hope Microsoft releases a native Microsoft Photos app powered by OneDrive on mobile too.

User Interface

No contest here. Microsoft has nailed the UI part of the Photos app. It looks modern, beautiful, and has a native fluent design that Windows carries in other parts of the OS.

microsoft photos home

The iconography is spot on as well. And everything is designed to keep both the mouse and touch inputs in mind.

google photos home

Google Photos for the web just feels like a stretched version of Google Photos mobile apps. Apart from a handful of keyboard shortcuts, there are no major changes to take advantage of a big screen.

Media Organization

It’s the standard stuff for both Microsoft Photos and Google Photos. Both the services can display photos and videos in different views. As for album organization, you can select a bunch of photos and create an album out of them.

microsoft photos album

However, Microsoft Photos comfortably beats Google Photos with more options. For example, in Microsoft Photos, you can create a video with songs, animations, 3D effects, and more.

google photos albums

For some reason, Google Photos offers an option to create a movie on mobile, but the same option is missing from the desktop.

Image Editing

Both Google Photos and Microsoft Photos offer standard image editing options. They are basic and won’t win you any awards.

Starting with Microsoft Photos, you can add a bunch of filters, make image adjustments by playing with contrast, saturation, etc., and use the crop tool to make final adjustments.

microsoft photos image editing

Google Photos is in the same boat but does carry an auto mode to make image adjustments without any manual input. We are not really a fan of it as it mostly brightens up the image unnecessarily, but some people may prefer it.

google photos image editing

Those who have used Google Photos editing options on the mobile are in for a disappointment here. The desktop variant lacks many functions such as markup tools and others.

Video Editing

This section left us in surprise. We tested both the services assuming basic video editing. But oh boy! Microsoft Photos isn’t kidding here.

The default gallery app on Windows 10 has a powerful video editor built-in. You can trim videos, add music, play with different animations, add text, music, and more using a familiar UI. It’s more than capable enough to fulfill a normal consumer’s needs.

microsoft photos video editor

Google Photos video editor on the web is average with the trimming tool and the music add-on. Microsoft Photos takes this one at home.

Sharing – Google Photos and Microsoft Photos

Google’s years of expertise is evident here. On Google Photos, you can simply add the Google ID of the other person and share photos. You can view your previous sharing from the Sharing tab and even chat with the recipient from the same menu.

sharing in google photos

Partner Sharing is another killer feature from Google Photos. It allows you to view your partner’s Google account right from your account. If you frequently share photos with your better half, use partner sharing and automatically share photos.

sharing in microsoft photos

On Microsoft Photos, you can only select photos or albums and create a sharable link.


Google Photos is free for 15GB of storage. It counts against your Google Drive and Gmail storage as well. After that, you need to pay $1.99 per month for 100GB. The paid plans go up to 2TB of storage.

Microsoft offers only 5GB of OneDrive storage. However, you don’t really need photos from OneDrive to start using the Microsoft Photos app. One can easily import photos from a computer to start editing and sharing. Read our detailed post on Microsoft Photos tips and tricks to learn more.

Wrapping Up: Google Photos and Microsoft Photos

The Google Photos vs Microsoft Photos race is straightforward. It’s all about the ecosystem and social sharing. Microsoft Photos has a native app for Windows 10, a capable video editor, and a flawless OneDrive integration. Google Photos hits back with superior social sharing and native apps on mobile.

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