Google will end unlimited photo storage from June 2021

In a major announcement made today, Google said that, 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 announcement made by Shimrit Ben-Yair, Vice President, Google Photos essentially means that all new photo and video uploads will count towards the current 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account and across Gmail, Drive and Photos.

Currently, if you upload high-res and express photos and videos to Google Photos, it does not count against the 15GB quota. But if you choose to upload photos and videos at original resolution, then it does count against the storage

"We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier," Ben-Yari quoted in the announcement.

Meanwhile, Google said it was also building two tools to help you manage storage. The company said that it will send alerts when you begin to approach that cap, It will also let you manage your backed up photos and videos and pick what you want to keep and what you want to delete. This tool will automatically highlight content such as dark or blurry photos, screenshots, large videos that you may no longer to keep in your phone.

More so, you can verify your backup quality at any time in the Photos app by going to back up and sync in Settings. Or you can just click here to estimate how long your storage will last. Google is also going to show a “personalized estimate” which will estimates each user’s average uploads over time to guess how much longer they’ll be able to use their current tier.

What do need to do today?

You don’t have to worry right away because this change does not take effect for another six months, so you don’t need to do anything right now, the release said. And once this change does take effect on June 1, 2021, over 80 per cent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with your free 15 GB of storage. As your storage nears 15 GB, we will notify you in the app and follow up by email.

 So what will happen post the 15GB data is used up?

Once your 15 GB has been used up, you will have the choice to subscribe to one of the Google One plans if you plan to keep uploading. As per the announcement, plants starts at US$1.99 per month for 100GB and has tiers going up through 200GB at US$2.99, 2TB at US$9.99 and all the way up to 30TB at US$ 149.99 per month.

 What else is changing with Google that I need to know?

Yes, it’s very important to know that Google is also introducing a new policy of deleting data from accounts that haven’t been logged in to for at least two years, which means if you have been inactive on the service for over two years, then Google may delete your content across multiple services.

"If you are inactive in one or more of these services for two years, Google may delete the content in the product in which you’re inactive. Similarly, if you are over your storage limit for two years, Google may delete your content across Gmail, Drive and Photos," Google said.

Google however, will notify you multiple times before they attempt to remove any content so you have ample opportunities to take action. The simplest way to keep your account active is to periodically visit Gmail, Drive or Photos on the web or mobile, while signed in and connected to the internet.

 As per IT experts, the best thing would be for users to log into their accounts and download the content and keep a backup on the computer or a storage drive.


  • Devendra Ahirwar
    Devendra Ahirwar

    Devendra is a budding reporter with keen eye for newsworthy content.

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