Google Photos to stop offering free unlimited storage?

  • The move seems to be an effort to manage the growing demand of data storage
  • More than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded

Google Photos has become one of the most user-friendly and functional photo storage/gallery applications. After five years since the company launched the platform, it has announced that it will stop offering the free unlimited storage feature from 1 June next year.

Google Photos in a blog post announced that it will no longer offer unlimited free storage for your “high quality” photos from next year. So, starting on June 1, 2021, new photo and video uploads will count towards the 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account.

Is there a need to worry?

You don’t need to worry right away because photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021, will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit. Only photos uploaded on June 1st will begin counting against the cap.

Additionally, the company says that “over 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with your free 15 GB of storage.”

Google is building two tools to help you manage storage. The company says it sends alerts when you start reaching for that cap, which also allows you to manage your backed up photos and videos and choose what you want to keep and what you want to delete. This tool automatically highlights content such as dark or blurry photos, screenshots, and large videos that you do not want to keep on your phone.

Also, you can verify the quality of your backup at any time in the Photos app by backing up and syncing in the settings. Google is also going to show a “personalized estimate” that estimates each user’s average uploads overtime, to determine how long they can use their current range.

What to do when 15 GB exhausts?

Once your 15 GB has been used up, you will have the choice to subscribe to one of the Google One plans for uploading further. It starts at $1.99 / month for 100GB. It has tiers going through 200GB ($2.99 / month), 2TB ($9.99 / month), and 30TB ($149.99 / month).

However, if you are a pixel owner, there is some good news for you! Pixel owners will be able to upload high-quality (not original) photos for free after June 1st.

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