Google Photos will end its very attractive free unlimited storage benefits, and will start charging storage space fees for your photos and videos over 15GB quota. This new change will take effect on June 1, 2021. The change is designed to help Google persuade more people to get Google One subscription, which can provide up to 30TB of cloud storage space for Google Photos, Google Drive and Gmail. Google has also developed a policy to delete data from inactive accounts that have not logged in for at least two years.
As a result of the latest update, starting from June 1st, all new photos and videos you upload on Google Photos will count towards the 15 GB free storage limit, which is part of your Google account. However, Google clearly mentioned in its blog post that any photos or videos you uploaded in “high quality” (not “original quality”) before June 1 will not count towards the 15GB limit. Therefore, this change will take effect for uploads after June 1.
Google also gives Pixel phone users an advantage because they will be exempt from making the latest changes, and even after June 1st, they can still upload their photos and videos in “high quality” from their devices. But unlike before, they will also not be able to access the unlimited storage space of their content at their original file size. Other users who do not own a Pixel phone have a 15GB cap and can upload “original quality” photos and videos that have not been applied to Pixel phones so far. This means that Pixel users must also sacrifice storage space to a certain extent.
Google Photos was launched in 2015. Thanks to its free storage advantage, it has gained great popularity among smartphone users. Google emphasized in its blog post that more than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos and 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded every week. The widespread adoption of the service also provides Google with a local way to enhance its machine learning algorithms. However, it has now decided to end the benefits of free storage.
Google said that the new update will not bring any major changes to most Google Photos users, because with 15GB of free storage, more than 80% of its user base “should still be able to store about three years of memory.” After the user reaches the limit, some alerts and warnings will be provided through the Google Photos application.
You can get a “personalized estimate” through the Google Photos settings to estimate how long the storage space can be used. Similarly, starting in June, a tool will be available in the Google Photos app that allows you to manage your backed up photos and videos. It will also surface shots you might want to delete, including some dark or fuzzy photos and screenshots.
In addition to Google Photos, Google also includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Engineering Drawings, Sheets and Jamboard files, with a maximum storage capacity of 15GB. The company also announced a policy to delete inactive account content for more than two years from June 1.
The company said in the announcement: “Before we try to delete any content, we will notify you multiple times so that you have enough opportunities to take action.”
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