How to create a slideshow from Google Photos or Google Drive

Learn how to show a set of images from Google Photos or Drive with Chrome or iOS or Android apps.

Drawing with Google Photos and Google Drive logo (upper left) with projection action lines drawn toward a screen with an image on it (green mountain, blue sky, yellow sun) with arrows on either side of the image

Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

If your images are in Google Photos or a folder on Google Drive, you have several ways to show a series of these images. Each method allows different degrees of control. For example, not every option lets you control auto-advance timing or play specific music or audio files with specific images. Any of the following options will help you create a slideshow of images.

SEE: G Suite: Tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to create a slideshow from a Google Photos album in a browser

From a web browser, Google Photos offers a slideshow option. If you share a Google Photos album and allow other people to add photos, this can be a great way to display photos from different people.

To display a Google Photos album as a slideshow, first create an album and add photos. Then, with the album active, select the vertical three-dot menu and choose Slideshow (Figure A). The images will auto-advance every five seconds. An on-screen display includes pause, back, and forward controls. To show images in a different sequence, you may adjust the arrangement of the images within the album.

Figure A

Screenshot of photo album ("Trip to Italy and France") with menu in upper right showing Slideshow (and other menu items).

With an album open in Google Photos on the web, select the vertical three-dot menu in the upper right, then choose Slideshow.

How to create a movie with Google Photos

The Google Photos web and mobile apps (Android and iOS) let you make a movie using photos and/or videos. To create a movie in mobile apps, select the three-dot menu in the upper right, then choose Movie. To create a movie from Google Photos in a browser, select the +Create option (to the right of the photo search box) then choose Movie. Select up to 50 photos and/or videos to include in your movie (Figure B). After you've selected your images, adjust the slider next to each item to change the on-screen duration of each, if you wish. 

Your movie also may include music. You may choose the stock music offered within the app, or select and add your own audio file. Of course, you also may choose the No Music option.

Figure B

Screenshot of web browser with Movie menu option from the +Create menu displayed.

In Google Photos in your browser, select +Create, then Movie in Google Photos, and then choose up to 50 images or videos. The process works similarly from the three-dot menu (upper right) in the Google Photos mobile apps.

How to select and show images with Chrome OS Gallery

If you use a Chromebook or other Chrome OS devices, the Files app includes a gallery feature with a slideshow option. To access it, open the Files app, which has a white folder with a blue background as an icon, then Ctrl-click on one or more images to select a set. 

Right-click when you're done, then choose Open With Gallery from the options. Wait a moment for the images selected to appear in the Gallery. Next, select the rectangle with an arrow that points to the right (in the upper right corner area) to display the images as a slideshow (Figure C). As within the Google Photos app, the images auto-advance every five seconds. You also may choose to pause or select right or left arrows to move through the images.

Figure C

Screenshots: (left) Files app, with four images select and "Open with Gallery" open displayed, (right) small versions of images display, with arrow pointing to slideshow icon.

On a Chromebook or Chrome OS device, use Ctrl-click to select images, then right-click and choose Open With Gallery, as shown on the left. In the Gallery (right), choose the slideshow icon (upper right corner).

How to create a slideshow with Google Slides

For more precise control, you might use Google Slides. Although it takes a bit more work to add each of your images to a separate slide, you may find the timing options worth it. Where Google Photos and Chrome OS Gallery slideshows both auto-advance every five seconds, Slides offers auto-advance options of 1 minute or 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes. To enable auto-advance, select Present while in Slides on the web, then choose the sprocket (for settings). Choose Auto-Advance (When Played), then select a timing option (Figure D). You also may turn on the Loop option to cycle through the slides until manually stopped. 

Google Slides also lets you insert audio on individual slides, with a variety of controls. See the "How to insert audio in Google Slides" section in How to use Google Slides enhancements for presentations for details.

Figure D

Screenshot of menu showing the various timing options (1,2,3,5,10,15,30, or 60 seconds). Photo in background is of a laptop and small projector.

You might also add images in Google Slides. After you select Present From Slides in a browser, select the sprocket (for settings), then Auto-Advance (When Played), then choose how many seconds each images displays.

How to make a slideshow with mobile apps

Third-party apps for Android and iOS give you greater control over auto-advance image pacing than Google's own Photos, Gallery, or Slides options. On iOS devices, SoloSlides ($1.99) lets you select a Google Photos album for your slideshow and specify nearly any auto-advance time you desire. On Android, pFolio ($3.99) includes a slideshow option for Google Photos albums, where gFolio ($3.99) displays images from a folder you choose on Google Drive (Figure E). 

For precise control over all aspects of images and music, you might turn to your preferred video editing app, such as Adobe Premiere Rush, Apple Clips, iMovie, KineMaster, or LumaFusion, among many others.

Figure E

4 screenshots from left to right: SoloSlides home screen with Google Photos button; SoloSlides options, including 9 second timing, full-screen option, and clock selected; pFolio settings screen, showing Display Time, Animation, Albums, and more; pFolio display time buttons (1,2,3,4,5,7,10,20,30,40, and 60 seconds).

Third-party mobile apps offer additional options. SoloSlides on iOS (left two images) and pFolio on Android (right two images) let you not only choose a variety of auto-advance timing options, but also customize several other slideshow settings.

What's your experience?

What is your preferred method to create a slideshow with images in Google Photos or Google Drive? Do you prefer to show photos from a Google Photos album, or do you prefer a method that lets you adjust auto-advance timings? If you prefer an alternative slideshow app, share that as well—either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

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