Google Photos unlimited free storage comes to an end: What to know about the new quota

google photos

From 1 June, 2021, the end of Google Photos unlimited free storage has officially begun.

Previously, the company allowed users to store high-quality images for free, with no limit. Only uncompressed images stored at Original quality were subject to a limit.

However, now users will have all their photos subject to a 15GB quota. Additional storage will need to be purchased.

Google says it will start rolling out the change today. However, for those who are unsure about some of the technicalities of the new storage and how to manage their storage, there are a few key things to note.

Here are five essential things to know about the new policy:

1. Existing high-quality images and videos are exempt

Your existing high-quality uploads to Google Photos won’t count towards your quota. Rather, Google will count uploads starting from 1 June.

However, uncompressed images previously uploaded will count towards the 15GB total.

2. Google is renaming high-quality images

Google will be renaming the high quality (i.e. compressed) storage tier to “storage saver”. It will roll out this renaming gradually with the new storage policy.

According to the company, it will still store the images at the same resolution as before. However, the name change makes it clearer that this option takes up less storage space.

3. You can compress existing uncompressed images

If your 15GB quota is already being taken up by previously uploaded Original quality images, you don’t have to delete them to save space. Rather, you can compress them.

You are able to compress these images in Google Photos using a built-in tool.

We cover this in our guide on how to free up space in Google Photos.

4. Google gives you an estimate of how much time you have left

google photos storage estimate

Based on your image upload rate and how much quota you have left, Google gives you an estimate of how much time you have left before you fill up your free storage.

This storage management tool also provides you with ways to review and delete large photos and videos, as well as blurry photos.

You can access this estimate on the Quota Management page of Google Photos.

5. What counts towards your Google Photos storage limit

what counts towards google photos account storage

While Google Photos is the headliner when it comes to the new storage limit, it’s technically not the only service that counts towards your quota.

Rather, the 15GB of free storage is a combination of your Google Photos uploads, as well as your Gmail and Drive uploads.

For many people, this will be the reason they start 1 June with some of their quota already used.

You can also manage this storage and delete files using the Google One Storage Manager.

Feature image: Screenshot/Google

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Megan Ellis


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