Google Photos ending unlimited free storage

Google Photos, Google’s gallery and cloud storage app, will end its unlimited free storage policy — requiring users to pay for extra storage when their free quota runs out.

Google made the announcement on its company blog on 11 November.

Previously, users had access to unlimited storage for “high quality” backups of their images and videos. Only original quality, uncompressed images and videos were subject to an upload limit.

But Google says that the new policy will apply to compressed backups too.

“Starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member,” the company said.

This means new photo and video uploads, regardless of compression, will count towards your total account storage quota. This includes your Gmail and Drive storage, which counts towards the limit.

According to Google, the change is due to the growing demand for storage, The company says that every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded to Photos.

What happens to your current Google Photos uploads?

The change does not affect uploads before 1 June, 2021. However, every image and video uploaded after that date will count towards your Google Account storage.

When you reach your free limit of 15GB, you will need to purchase additional storage space from Google to upload more.

The only users that will continue to be exempt from the new policy are those who upload from a Pixel smartphone (Pixel 1-5).

Google has also created a “personal estimate” tool that lets you know how much time you have left before you reach your 15GB quota.

google photos personal estimate storage

You can access this estimate on the Google Photos website.

Feature image: Google

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Megan Ellis
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