Google Photos offers a plethora of image editing tools and options. However, the tools are redundant if you cannot save changes to an image. This describes the plight of some Android users who encounter the “ Unable to save changes ” error message when trying to save edited images to Google Photos. This guide lists five (5) effective troubleshooting fixes to help affected users overcome the error.
Before continuing, you should note that the steps in this guide may vary depending on the brand of your phone, the version of Android operating system, and the version of the Google Photos app on your device.
1. Update Google Photos
Make sure the Google Photos app installed on your device is up to date. Some (read: older) versions of the app had bugs that prevented images from being edited and saved, especially on SD cards. Google’s new app updates aim to fix these bugs.
Go to the Google Photos page on the Play Store to update the app.
2. Force stop Google Photos
Simply closing and reopening Google Photos may not fix the app’s errant behavior. You should try to force shutdown Google Photos and check if the edited photos can now be saved on restart.
Step 1: Long press the Google Photos app and tap the app info icon.
2nd step: Next, tap Force Stop and tap OK in the confirmation prompt.
3. Change background battery and data usage
For some reason, denying Google Photos background access to the internet and your device’s battery may cause some app features to malfunction. We have found that some users can eliminate the “Unable to save changes” error by turning on background data usage and turning off background restriction for Google Photos.
Follow the steps below to do so.
Enable background data usage
Step 1: Long press the Google Photos app icon and tap App Info.
2nd step: Select “Mobile data and Wi-Fi”.
Step 3: Activate the Background data option.
If the option is already activated, deactivate it and then reactivate it. Then proceed to the section below to turn off the background restriction for battery usage.
Disable background restriction
Step 1: On the Google Photos app info page, tap the Advanced drop-down option.
Step 3: If the background restriction option is set to Restricted, tap it to enable background battery usage for Google Photos.
Step 4: You will see a warning that disabling the background battery restriction for Google Photos may drain your device’s battery faster than usual. Tap Delete to continue.
It is useful to add that temporarily disabling the battery saver can also help solve this problem. You can turn off Android battery saver from the notification panel or by going to Settings> Battery> Battery saver> Turn off now.
4. Change the storage location
Another thing that we have discovered is that this error mainly affects images stored on external storage (SD card). Fortunately, there are two workarounds. First, configure the app storage location on your device’s internal storage. See Method # 5 for the second workaround.
Follow the steps below to change the Google Photos storage location.
Step 1: Launch Google Photos and tap on the photo / profile icon in the top right corner of the app.
2nd step: Tap Photo settings.
Step 3: Select “Access to SD card”.
Step 4: Press the Start button to continue.
Step 5: Tap the hamburger menu icon and select your phone’s name / internal storage.
Step 6: Finally, tap on “Allow access to [Phone Name]’and tap Allow in the confirmation prompt.
This will give the Photos app access to your device’s internal storage and then store the edited photos there.
5. Move images
This is another effective troubleshooting fix for Google Photos “Unable to save changes” error. Since the app will not edit the images on the SD card, moving the image (s) you want to edit from the SD card to your device’s internal memory will do the trick. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Launch the File application and select the image or folder of images you want to move.
2nd step: Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner and tap Select All.
Step 3: Tap the three-dot menu icon again and select Move to.
Step 4: Finally, select Internal storage and wait for the images to move.
Try to edit the photo again and check if Google Photos saves them without any error message.
Edit, save and share
At least one of the troubleshooting solutions should fix the Google Photos “ Cannot edit changes ” error on your device. By the way, clearing Google Photos cache or app data might also fix this anomaly. Finally, make sure your phone’s operating system is up to date. Let us know if you need any assistance.
Having trouble backing up your photos and videos because the Google Photos app is stuck in the “Prepare to back up” step? Find out 8 ways to fix the problem in the article linked below.
Last updated Sep 30, 2020
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