Google Photos Is Ending Its Free Unlimited Storage

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Google’s most beloved feature across all of its products, i.e., storage of unlimited photos in “high quality” is going to be shut down on June 1st, 2021. After this date, all photos uploaded will count against your free data limit of 15GB. However, all photos uploaded before June 1 next year will still be available under the free unlimited storage option.

I woke up in the morning and like every day, I was checking my mails and boom… saw this mail from Google Photos.

The Mail from Google Photos

Reading the mail, I started wondering about how I can store my photos. I have been using its free storage services since its inception in 2015. The good news is that Google will keep all photos and documents uploaded before June 1st and will not count against that 15GB allotted storage so that you have plenty of time to decide whether to continue using Google Photos or switching to another cloud storage provider for your photos. Only photos uploaded after June 1st will begin counting against the allotted storage.

1 billion users have used Google photos as their primary cloud storage for photos, and it was easy to just turn on the backup and sync option with high-quality setting and let your photos upload to the cloud without any storage worries. High-quality settings compress the photos to 4MB (1MB-4MB) and this way you can store approximately 300 photos per GB. So after June 1st, 2021 your “original quality” Google Photos, Google Drive and Google Mail and now the “high quality” Google Photos would all count towards the 15GB storage. 

The US-based search-engine giant has stated that it hosts more than 4 trillion photos and videos, with users uploading 28 billion every week. While now the media uploads would count towards your 15GB storage, around 80 per cent of the users won’t reach that limit for 10 years, the company stated. They have also provided a link to check your current storage consumption of Google Photos here.

My current storage consumption

Now that the storage is limited, you now want to search for photos which are blurry or irrelevant and want to delete. But this would take you a while if done manually. Thankfully, Google is working on a new storage management tool to be integrated with Google Photos next year, so that you can easily clear up images that are not good. 

But…wait! What would you do if the 15GB storage is full? You need to buy storage in order to use it. If you’re like me who uses multiple devices using a single Google Account, then taking the Google One subscription will make more sense. Personally, I would really hate to pay up extra for the service I have been using for free. The company said,

“We are grateful that you choose Google Photos to safely store your memories. This change enables us to keep up with the growing demand for photo storage and remain focused on building Google Photos for the future.”

My Thoughts

The free-unlimited photos storage has been one of Google Photos’ USPs and it was used and loved by millions of users. Sure, other cloud storage providers would bank on this opportunity to grab some of Google’s loyal users and it would be good for the users if they get options to choose from. But yeah, this decision might make or break Google Photos future as the most preferred storage option.