Technology

Google Photos to end free, unlimited storage: What difference does it make for me?

Young people, small business, technology. Woman at work as photographer in office. Hispanic girl using computer laptop for image review, editing.

Google has announced that, from June 1, 2021, all content added to the firm’s Photos platform — irrespective of quality — will count towards the account holder’s 15GB of free storage. Beyond that, users will have to buy more space by signing up for a Google One subscription.

Thankfully, until the deadline comes, it’s still possible to upload an unlimited number of photos, which won’t count towards the storage limit in the future.

Currently, pictures backed up in high quality to Google Photos are stored free of charge and in unlimited numbers, although files are compressed slightly to save on storage space. Videos over 1080p are also reformatted to HD (1080p). Only photos imported in their original quality are currently deducted from the 15GB free storage limit for Google accounts, beyond which, users have to pay for more.

Once the free 15GB is used up, users will have to sign up to Google One via a paid subscription in order to store more photos online in their Google account.

However, images uploaded before the cutoff date won’t be included in the 15GB cap, so users can take advantage of the warning to upload their photo archives. After that, choices will inevitably need to be made by anyone hoping to stay within their 15GB of free storage.

Google One is the umbrella service for all of Google’s online storage facilities (Gmail, Drive and Photos). Various subscription plans are available offering different amounts of storage space, starting at $1.99 (P95) a month for 100GB.

Note that owners of Google Pixel smartphones will continue to enjoy free and unlimited storage space for all the high-quality photos and videos uploaded from their device. You can check your current storage use at photos.google.com/storage. RGA

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