Google Photos availability of ZIP exports

Today, I was in the process of exporting a few batches of files from Google Photos. You select up to 500 photos or videos, hit “Download”, wait a minute or so (depending on the size), and your browser will start downloading the ZIP.

These are fairly large files (around 8 GB each in my case), and I was just heading out the door, so I had to cancel a few of them.

Later on, when I pulled out my laptop, I decided on a whim to use the “retry” functionality on the Chrome “Download history” page. Lo and behold, it worked! I had assumed the files would be deleted as soon as the connection was closed, but apparently they are kept for quite some time (at least 12 hours or so).

That then led me to open up an incognito window to attempt the download link there. Somewhat reassuringly, it prompted me to login to my Google account.

The more you know!