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Manual face tagging is finally in Google Photos, but with a caveat

Google Photos grid view
Google Photos grid view (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Tagging is available on any photo that Google's algorithm recognizes a face or animal.
  • The face in the photo can be a previously cataloged person or a new face to add.
  • As with most Google features, this is rolling out in stages.

The ability to manually tag a person in Google Photos has been a long-requested feature, and it seems that we are finally being heard. Android Police reported last week that the ability to tag a person in Google Photos was available in the code for app version 4.32, and for some folks, it's available now. I happen to have the feature live on my Pixel 4 XL, and it works well.

To check if you have the option on your device, simply open a photo and either pull up from the bottom of the photo or click the three dots in the upper right. If in the panel that opens up has a pencil — congrats, you can manually tag photos. You simply need to tap the pencil and viola, you can now add a person or animal tag to the photo that wasn't there before. There is a caveat to this feature, though. If you have a photo that doesn't have a person or animal that Google's algorithm recognizes, then you won't be able to tag it.

Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central

This is a very welcome addition to an already great app which Google has been giving some significant updates to lately. I for one will be using this option for the blurry photo situations of my kids that don't quite look like they should for Google to find the face.

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Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
  • Not sure I'd enable this just yet.. just like i declined the Facebook version to group faces and the Google Photos automatic one. I'll wait and see how you early adopters get on.
  • How is this different from the way Photos already lets you tag someone? I have a People and Pets Album and anyone new shows up in my photos it will place them at the bottom of the list. I tap on it and I can enter a name of who the person is or remove them from results.