Google Photos

Google Photos ending Free and Unlimited Storage in June 2021

In June 2021, you’ll be able to access a new free tool in the Photos app to easily manage your backed up photos and videos.

Google is ending free unlimited high-quality backups for Photos users, which means that once users hit the 15GB Drive cap, they will need to purchase a storage plan to backup more photos.

Starting on June 1, 2021, new photo and video uploads will count towards the 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account. This change is meant to keep pace with the growing amount of data being created.

Google says that there are currently more than 4 trillion photos stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded. 

Shimrit Ben-YairVice President, Google Photos said:

Since so many of you rely on Google Photos to store your memories, it’s important that it’s not just a great product, but also continues to meet your needs over the long haul. In order to welcome even more of your memories and build Google Photos for the future, we are changing our unlimited High quality storage policy. 

Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward your 15GB of free storage. This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021 will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit. You can verify your backup quality at any time in the Photos app by going to back up & sync in Settings.

If you back up your photos and videos in Original quality, these changes do not affect you. As always, your Original quality photos and videos will continue to count toward your 15 GB of free storage across your Google Account. 

If you have a Pixel 1-5, photos uploaded from that device won’t be impacted. Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from that device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021. 

In June 2021, you’ll be able to access a new free tool in the Photos app to easily manage your backed up photos and videos. This tool will help you review the memories you want to keep while also surfacing shots you might prefer to delete, like dark or blurry photos or large videos.

The change is undoubtedly to encourage more users to upgrade to Google One plans and monetize the Photos backup feature. Google One also includes a new VPN offering for the higher tiers and offers free phone backups. 

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