Google’s photo unlimited free storage to end this month.
Google Photos is one of the best photo storage platforms available on the Internet. One of the reasons it shot to fame was the unlimited free storage for high-quality photos and videos.
This meant that you could keep your Google Photos settings at high-quality uploads, and your Android phone would continue uploading unlimited photos and videos that won’t count against your Google account storage of 15GB. But, like everything, the free ride is finally coming to an end.
Google made an announcement in 2020 about their new policy.
Back in November, Google announced that it was ending the free unlimited storage on June 1, 2021, which means starting next month, any photo or video uploaded on the photo storage service will count against the 15GB of free Google account storage. However, this doesn’t apply to Pixel users globally. If you own a Pixel device, then hold it tight and continue the free ride.
For those unaware, Google Photos launched at Google IO 2015 and was a standalone app basically pulled out of Google+ service. It came with some handy tools for editing photos and videos. The app hit the 500 million users mark by May 2017 and hit 1 billion app downloads by June 2017.
What happens to the existing photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos?
One of the biggest questions raised soon after Google announced to change the Google Photos high-quality free tier to a paid one back in November was what happens to the existing photos and videos. It’s worth noting that all photos and videos uploaded in high quality before June 1 2021, won’t count towards users’ 15GB of Google account storage.
This should come in as relief for a lot of users, especially considering that the last few months, in any case, haven’t been great for holidaying thanks to the pandemic, which means fewer recent photos and plenty of old memories that will be safe in Google Photos.
When will it start?
Starting June 1, 2021, high-quality content will be saved but counted towards your Google account storage. And, this means that once you’ve reached your storage limit, you can either subscribe to Google One for additional cloud storage or delete content to continue with the free storage option in Photos. The primary reason is simply that your Google account storage is shared across Drive, Gmail and Photos.
If some users fear losing Google account storage space by saving original quality images in the Photos app and want to change the tier, they should do it now. The photos backed up in original quality and then compressed to high quality after June 1 2021, will count towards your Google account storage. This means that if you want to switch your tier to high quality from your current original quality, then do it right away.
The good thing is, Google Photos is giving users an estimate on how long a user’s storage may last based on how often they back up photos, videos, and files.
Google has also confirmed that it will roll out a new storage management tool for existing Google Photos users from June. The Google Photos page says, “In June, you will be able to access a new free tool that lets you find and review blurry, dark and other low-quality photos to help you stay within your 15GB of account storage.”
Are you a Google Photos user but confused about what to do?
Considering the new changes that go into effect from June 1, 2021, existing Google Photos users should upload all their images and videos in high quality right away.
Why? Google says:
“Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded in high quality before June 1, 2021, will not count towards your 15GB of free storage. This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021, will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit.”
The high-quality tier offered in Google Photos is one of the best you can get on any photo-storing platform. It allows you to save photos up to 16-megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution.