Android Tutorials

April 22, 2013

[How To] Remove G+ Empty and Duplicate Photos in your Phone Gallery

It’s a work-around, but there is a way to delete those empty Google+ albums and any others you want to from your Gallery

Since the implementation of Google+ Instant Upload and its deep integration into the included Gallery app, more and more of the photos you see on your device aren’t actually well, on your device. This all works great until there’s an issue, and what many people have been experiencing is duplicate, blank, and mislabeled albums showing up in their Gallery.

The problem is there’s no way from your phone Gallery to manage these photos, it has to be done on the web. You can delete them on your phone but, they come back again! This is because they reside on your web space. If you’ve been having issues with weird albums showing up in your Gallery, This is where the magic of this work-around comes in.


The first point to make here is that Picasa is a very powerful cleaning tool that sits between your web and G+, hence the reason to use it.

Between Picasa and Google+, lines are crossed and your photos don’t get synced properly to your device. Most of us have never used Picasa properly in our lives but, it is still the back-end syncing solution for photos on your phone and Google+.

If you have blank and duplicate albums, they likely won’t show up in Google+. Maybe because it is smart enough to ignore them, or maybe it’s just a glitch in the matrix, we’re not so sure. We’re also not entirely sure how this issue is happening, but we know that you have to go to Picasa to fix it.

So to use Picasa instead to manage the albums, you will need to head to the Picasa Web Albums site, found at, now before you click on the link, you may get redirected to G+. This seems to be caused by cookie issues in your browser, if so try using this link instead to bypass the redirect. Whichever link works, you should see the following


Select the “My Photos” tab at the top of the page. At this point, you should be shown all of the albums, empty and otherwise, listed in chronological order. From here, if you you have a duplicate Instant Upload folder, it should be displayed near the top with 0 photos inside. Click into the album, then at the top bar click “Actions”, then “Delete album”.

The album is now completely gone from your account, and should no longer show up in your phone’s Gallery. While you’re in there, it might be time for some good Spring cleaning. Look for duplicate photos, duplicate or empty albums and mismatched folders. It really bugs me to have the albums labeled in the USA date sequence (2013-3-31) although Google know I’m in the UK!
If you feel like cleaning each of these up, you can do it.

Once you’ve gone through all of the album sprucing up that you need to do, head back to your phone to check if everything has lined up. Open the Gallery, where it should automatically refresh if you have a data connection. If not, hit the overflow settings key at the top right and select “refresh” and let the photos repopulate in the proper folders. If you’ve deleted the proper albums, you should be looking at a (relatively) clean grouping of photos.

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini