OREANDA-NEWS. April 18, 2016. Simply by adding a checkbox, Google has made storage and photography services on the cloud vastly more useful.

The checkbox opens the ability to pick which folders on the Internet-based file system called Google Drive are synchronized to your Mac or Windows PC. The change, announced Thursday, may sound minor on the surface. But for me, it's a profound transformation. Not only does it improve the cloud storage service, it also unlocks the potential of Google Photos.

Let me explain.

My primary personal computer is a Mac whose storage system is a 256GB solid-state drive that's fast but doesn't have nearly enough room. I use external drives and a 128GB USB thumb drive to cope, but Google Drive is on the SSD.

One click keeps gigabytes of photos and videos on the cloud.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

The documents stored on Google Drive aren't too burdensome, but my photos and videos, backed up automatically from my phone, are an ever-growing problem. Maybe they are for you, too. Year after year, those travel pictures, party selfies and baby videos have a way of accumulating.