Google Photos: “Not backed up. Too big or unknown type.”

I go the following error message for one of my uploads in the Google Photos app on Android Lollipop (5.1.1) on Google Photos version

Not backed up. Too big or unknown type.

With the only action ‘Got it’. Why did I receive this error message? I did not hit my Google storage limit. And the video was 1080p, so within the limits. The filetype is a simple .mp4 video file, so that would be no problem either.

The issue ultimately was the filesize, which is (probably) limited to a certain size. I could find no evidence of what the file size limit is, however. The video file that I tried to upload using the Google Photos app on Android was about 3,5GB.

Did you find more information on this? Let me know below by leaving a comment. Thanks!Google Photos error prompt


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14 thoughts on “Google Photos: “Not backed up. Too big or unknown type.”

  1. Got these messages too, for a number of photos. One or more were videos, which I understand. Others??? (Found your post via Google Search “Not backed up. Too big or unknown type”).

  2. I got the same error message on iOS, for screenshots and videos. When I take a new screenshot there’s no problem syncing the file, only screenshots and videos I already have stored on my phone won’t sync.

  3. On my phone (Galaxy S6 on Lollipop 5.1.1) I moved the offending image (a photo, no different than all the others that sync correctly) to another folder using Samsung’s My Files app. I then cleared the cached app data and moved the photo back into the Camera folder. It worked! Google Photos synced the file immediately.

  4. The limit seems to be 2 gig. I have one 1.9 gig video that uploads and a 2.0 one that doesn’t.

    Google photos app on android displays a cloud icon with a strikethrough, which when clicked pops up “Not backed up. Too big or unknown type.” leading me in exasperation to your page. It would be nice to get a upload failed message because its just silently gone from the desktop cloud backup, raising the question of how much google/ android just silently tosses to achieve its “unlimited” storage?

    A better solution would be to give a backup failed message and access to some form of compression that brings the video under a certain size and then uploads it.

    1. Hi Dave

      you are right, Google Photos should at least provide a more detailed error message, such as “This file is bigger than x Gigabytes, so it could not be uploaded automatically”.
      When using Google Photos on the web (via, I successfully uploaded files over 5 GB without any issues with drag and drop.

      I like your suggestion as well. Cropping a video (e.g. removing the begin and end part of a video, while maintaining the ‘action’) or reducing the filesize by reducing the quality (less favourable in my opinion) would both be options.
      Or, better yet, it’s 2015 and the app should be able to handle 2GB+ files without any issues, don’t you agree :)

  5. Pingback: Google Photos: Find the total number of photos | Thomas' Miniblog
  6. I’m also having a similar problem. Some of my RW2 files are not uploading. Some are. Some bigger ones are uploading (videos, anybody?) — and when I hit the info badge for the photo it tells me it is zero bytes.

  7. I’m having the same problem. Some of my pictures upload no problems but some randomly get the cloud with the strike through it. If I select the pictures in questions and hit the 3 dots top right and click backup now they start to backup. But it is very annoying having to go through all of the pictures and see which ones did not backup and then manually try to force the backup. Any solutions or new news on it?

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