Google Photos: Will soon run out of unlimited free storage


If your smartphone uploads photos directly to a free cloud, that’s practical: free, free device storage, and access to photos from anywhere. Now Google is changing the rules of the game.

Google has announced a new layout of its online storage offering for photos. The internet company is canceling the ability to save unlimited, free, high-quality photos and videos on Google’s servers.

From June 1, 2021, newly uploaded images and moving images will instead count towards the 15 gigabyte (GB) online storage quota that belongs to every Google account.

Google defines high quality as photos up to a size of 16 megapixels and videos up to HD resolution (1080p). The photos and videos you wanted to upload in their original quality have always been counted in your Google Account storage. And anything over 15GB has always had to and should continue to be paid for. Prices for online storage subscriptions called Google One start at just under two euros per month for 100GB.

Google clarifies that the new regulation does not apply to photos and videos saved in high quality before June 1, 2021 or that have already been uploaded in high quality.

On the one hand, this means that users don’t have to worry about their data which is already on Google’s servers. On the other hand, this means that you can continue uploading high resolution photos and videos until they expire. The counter will not start until June 1, 2021.

Google considers the free storage space to be so generous that the company believes most users “will only notice a change after several years.” Anyone who approaches the storage limit after the deadline should receive a reminder in good time.
As of the reporting date, the Internet company also wants to release a new tool for storage management. This should make it easy to find and delete dark, blurry, or otherwise unusable content to save storage space.

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