Google Photos to suspend free unlimited storage starting June 1, 2021

Google Photos Commercialization no more free services
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Google Photos was launched back in 2015 and since then, it has remained one of the most popular services from the tech giant. Partly because it allowed free unlimited cloud storage if you chose to upload your photos/videos in a compressed “High” setting. However, Google has announced that the service will no longer be free starting from June 1, 2021. In this post, we will talk about the termination of unlimited storage on Google Photos.

Google Photos: No More Unlimited Storage

The commercialization of Google Photos is a part of the Google Account’s latest storage policy. The latest update in the policy affects both Google Photos and Google Drive. For Drive users, Google will count Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard files as part of 15GB allocated storage, starting from June 1. Similarly, Google will also be suspending free unlimited storage of compressed files in Google Photos on the same day.

Google says that the commercialization of services like Photos and Drive allows the company to keep with the increasing storage needs. For instance, Google reports that 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos and 28 billion new files are being added each week. It also says it will help the company invest in the services and brings improvement to users.

What about the existing videos and photos?

If the existing photos and videos in your Google Photos are stored in compressed “High” quality, they will remain free even after all the changes have been implemented. Only photos and videos stored in “High” quality after June 1 will count towards the free 15 GB storage allocation. However, if you chose to store them in the original quality, it will be counted within the free 15GB storage.

Google Photos - Storage Estimation

Still, if you own a Pixel phone like the new Pixel 5, you will still be able to use the service for free (at least for now). Photos and videos stored in “High” quality using a Pixel smartphone will continue to be stored for free. But, upload from other devices will use the 15GB storage of your Google Account. You can check the backup quality in back up & sync in Google Photos’ settings.

What if you exceed the 15GB storage limit?

If your Google Account storage nears the 15GB storage limit, Google will notify you in the app, followed-up with an email. But before something like that happens, you can always check your remaining free storage here. You can also expand the storage by subscribing to one of the Google One storage plans.

Other changes

Similarly, Google will also be deleting content from services like Gmail, Drive, and Photos of inactive users (of 2 years). Your contents can also be deleted if your storage is over the limit for two years. However, users will receive multiple notifications before Google takes this step.

There is also an Inactive Account Manager that notifies a trusted contact if any of the services has been inactive for a predetermined period of time. Finally, the company will be launching a “Storage Management Tool” on June 1, 2021 for free. With this tool, users will be able to easily sort out potentially unnecessary photos/videos that have been backed up.

So what do you think of the decision of Google to terminate unlimited storage on Photos? Let us know in the comments section.

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