Google Photos to end free unlimited storage from tomorrow: Plans, how to check space and more

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KEY STORY

  • Google Photos will officially end its unlimited free storage policy for pictures at ‘high resolution’ and ‘express resolution’ starting tomorrow, June 1. The policy change was announced in November last year. If you’ve relied only on Google Photos to back up all your smartphone pictures, you will soon need to start worrying about the storage space on your account.
  • The policy change also means Google wants more consumers to pay up for the cloud storage service. Here’s everything to keep in mind as Google changes its policy on cloud storage for Photos.

Google Photos storage: What was the earlier policy, what has changed?

  • Google offers 15GB free storage space. This space is divided across Gmail, Google Drive and Photos. Under the earlier policy, photos at high or express resolution, which are both compressed formats, did not account towards free storage. This meant one could upload photos for free without worrying about running out of storage.
  • From June 1, these photos will count towards the 15GB free quota. If you are continuously uploading photos to your Google account, then you will perhaps need to buy some extra storage space.

Google Photos storage: How much do the storage plans cost?

  • Google One storage is the paid subscription which will add 100GB or more storage to your account depending on what plan you decide to choose. The basic plan starts at 100GB which is Rs 130 per month or Rs 1300 per year.
  • The 200GB plan starts at Rs 210 per month. The other plans are 2 TB at Rs 650 per month or Rs 6,500 per year, 10 TB which is Rs 3,250 per month, and 20 TB at Rs 6,500 per month, and 30 TB at Rs 9,750 per month.
  • Google Photos storage: What about photos uploaded earlier?

  • Google says earlier photos are not impacted by the policy change. So even if you were not a paying customer for Google One, the earlier photos will not count towards your storage and you don’t need to worry about transferring or deleting these in order to get extra space. But all photos uploaded from June 1 will be counted towards your storage space.
  • Google Photos storage: How do I check how much storage I have left?

  • Just go to your Google account, and login to account storage management The tool link can be found at one.google.com/storage/management. Google will show what extra files can be deleted, including from Photos, Gmail and Drive.

Google Photos storage: I have a Pixel phone. Does this impact me?

  • Typically Pixel users get free unlimited storage on Google Photos, but the new policy will bring some changes as well.
  • Those with Pixel 3a and higher (up to Pixel 5) can continue to upload photos in High quality for free without worrying about storage space. But photos in original quality will count towards the free storage space.
  • Those with an older Pixel 3 continue to get unlimited free storage at Original quality for all photos and videos uploaded till January 31, 2022. Photos and videos uploaded on or before that date will remain free at Original quality.
  • After January 31, 2022, new photos and videos will be uploaded at High quality for free. If you upload new photos and videos at Original quality, they will count against the free storage quota.
  • Pixel 2 were given free storage at Original quality for all photos and videos uploaded till January 16, 2021. Photos and videos uploaded on or before that date will remain free at Original quality. After January 16, 2021, new photos and videos will be uploaded at High quality for free. If you upload new photos and videos at Original quality, they will count against your storage quota.

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