Google Photos will end free high-quality uploads in just three weeks. The search giant announced its new unlimited high-quality storage policy back in November 2020. Starting June 1, 2021, all the “High-quality” images or videos that you upload on Google Photos will be counted toward your Google Drive storage limit. So what this means? We tried to answer all your questions to make it easier for you to understand Google’s new storage policy.
Starting June 1, 2021, the photos or videos uploaded on the Google Photos app will be counted toward the free 15GB storage that one gets with every Google account. Google lets you upload any photo or video in three sizes – Original quality, High quality, and Express.
Those who have selected “Original quality” and are already paying for Google One storage don’t need to worry as the new storage policy only affects those who prefer the free unlimited uploads feature. The “High quality” and “Express” options let you save unlimited photos at slightly low quality. The “High quality” option compresses images to 16MP and videos to high definition, whereas the “Express” option compresses photos to 3MP and videos to standard definition.
Google will end this unlimited free storage option and from June 1, all your photos or videos will be counted toward your Google Account storage. Once the provided 15GB storage space gets full, you will either have to buy the Google One subscription for additional storage or delete some photos for some extra space.
It is worth noting that all the existing high-quality content will remain exempted from storage quota, as per Google. This means that if you upload any photo or video in high quality before June 1, 2021, then those won’t be counted toward your Google account storage.
If you have Pixel 5 or earlier versions, then this new storage policy won’t affect you. Pixel phone users will continue to receive unlimited free storage option. Google will also delete the content of accounts inactive for more than two years starting June 1.
All you need to do is open the Google Photos app and visit the settings section by tapping on the profile icon, located on the top right corner of the screen.
Under the Account Storage section, the app displays how much storage you have used until now. When you tap again on Account storage, you will notice Upload size section at the bottom of the screen.
Google can even estimate how long your storage may last and this will be based on how often you back up content to your Google Account.
Back in November 2020, Google Photos Product lead David Lieb explained on Twitter that the storage policy needs to be changed because free backups are costing big to the company. It is a necessary step to “align the primary cost” of offering free service while also accepting the “primary value” of online storage.
Google says “over 1 billion people back up a remarkable 28 billion photos to Google Photos each week. In order to welcome even more of your memories and build for the future, we are making this change.”
The basic subscription of Google One offers you 100GB storage space for Rs 130 per month or Rs 1,300 on a yearly basis. By paying this, you get lots of storage space, which you can even share with your family. For 200GB storage space, you will be required to pay Rs 210 per month or 2,100 per annum. For 2TB, the price of Google One in India is Rs 650 per month and Rs 6,500 per year. For 10TB, the price is Rs 3,250 per month.
You can check out the best Google Photos alternatives here. There’s the India-based DigiBoxx as well, which is giving 20GB of free cloud storage and 100GB of storage space per month for just Rs 30. One can also use Degoo. It offers 100GB of free cloud storage, but you will also witness ads. This cloud storage service has a 500GB storage plan as well, which offers no ad and will cost $2.99 per month (around Rs 220 in India.)