Google Photos to stop offering free, unlimited storage in 2021

Google Photos has told users that as of June 1, 2021, it will no longer have free, unrestricted storage of ‘high quality’ photos.

Google Photos to stop free unlimited storage in 2021
Google Photos to stop free unlimited storage in 2021

Since its launch in 2015, Google Photos has provided unlimited free photo storage in the so-called “high-quality” environment, making it one of Google’s best services. That, however, is coming to an end, as reported in November. Google Photos will start charging for storage over 15GB in a month, on June 1.

About Google Photos

Google has created a photo storage facility.

Google Photos is a Google-developed photo sharing and storage service. In May 2015, it was revealed as a separate social network from Google+, the company’s previous social network.

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Google Photos’ free tier allows users to store an unlimited number of photos and videos up to 16 megapixels and 1080p quality (anything larger gets down-scaled to these sizes).

Google Images, which has long been regarded as a lifeline for those who want to take a lot of photos but have limited phone storage, is about to undergo a significant overhaul that will severely restrict what is available to free users.

Google said in a blog post that more than 4 trillion images and videos have been uploaded to its cloud service since it launched five years ago.

However, beginning June 1, 2021, unrestricted, unlimited cloud storage of “high quality” images and videos will be capped at 15GB. Backing up photos and videos before the deadline would not count against the 15GB cap.

After this date, those who want more than 15GB of image storage will need to sign in for a Google One account. This offers at least 100GB of cloud storage for €1.99 a month or €19.99 a year in Ireland.

Backing up “original quality” images is also included in users’ storage limits, and will continue to be included in the 15GB of free storage per Google Account.

However, Google has provided an incentive for snap-happy Pixel phone owners, as the new cap would not apply to high-quality images uploaded from these cameras.

“This transition enables us to keep up with the increasing demand for storage,” said Shimrit Ben-Yair, vice-president of Google Photos.

“And, as always, we honor our promise not to use details from Google Photos for commercial purposes. We recognize that this is a significant change that can come as a surprise, so we wanted to inform you ahead of time and provide tools to help you.”

Google added in an email to users that it didn’t “take this decision lightly.” Based on your current use, the company has built a page that predicts how long your free storage will last. It will also give users a series of notifications and warnings if they approach the 15GB limit before the June deadline.

In June 2021, a new storage management feature for the Images app will be released, allowing users to control their backed-up photos and videos and remove those that aren’t worth keeping, such as blurry or dark photos.

The cloud division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, continues to generate considerable sales, with $3.4 billion in revenue in the most recent period.

However, if you use Google Photos often, it’s probably worth investing in Google One storage. Google Photos is a fantastic service, so it’s understandable that it isn’t completely free, even though the free tier does restrict the quality of the material you may upload.

Many users will never need to pay in the first place, or at least not in the near future. According to Google, 80% of Photos users would not exceed 15GB for at least three years. Not to mention the fact that 15GB is three times the amount of free cloud storage offered by Apple’s iCloud, which only provides 5GB.

Consider yourself forewarned: Google Photos will begin to cost you a little more in the near future. However, if you use it often, you can invest in it — it’s a fantastic service that’s well worth the money.


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