ADVERTISEMENT

Google Photos Ends Unlimited Free Storage: What’s Different Now?

Google has ended free unlimited storage for High quality and Express quality photos and videos. What happens now?

Updated
F.A.Q
3 min read
Image used for representation only.
i

Google Photos is what many of us use as a backup for our pictures and videos, thanks to the unlimited free storage it provides. That policy ends for High quality and Express quality photos on Tuesday, 1 June, after being announced in November last year.

But what does this mean? What exactly is changing? How can you buy more storage? Read on for the breakdown.

What has Google Photos offered so far?

So far, Google Photos has offered three backup options:

  • Free unlimited high quality storage.
  • Free express quality storage.
  • Free original quality storage up to 15 GB across Photos, Gmail, and Drive, with additional storage available as part of Google One. This is your Google Account storage.

What’s different from 1 June?

  • High quality and express quality storage will now count towards your Google Account storage.
  • This is free only up to 15 GB.
  • Original quality photos and videos will continue to count towards your Google Account storage, as they have before.
  • Photos that were backed up in Original quality and compressed to High quality after 1 June will count towards your Google Account storage.

What about High and Express quality photos and videos that I backed up before 1 June?

Those will not count towards your Google Account storage.

ADVERTISEMENT

What do I do once I reach my limit?

You can either delete old photos and videos using Google’s storage management tool to clear up space, or subscribe to Google One and upgrade your storage.

What is Google One?

Google One is a paid service that lets you expand cloud storage depending on the subscription plan you choose. This storage is shared across Google Photos, Gmail, and Drive.

I want to upgrade my storage. What are the plans available?

Google One gives you a few options to choose from:

  • 100 GB for Rs 130/month, or Rs 1,300/year.
  • 200 GB for Rs 210/month, or Rs 2,100/year.
  • 2 TB for Rs 650/month, or Rs 6,500/year.

This storage is shared across Google Photos, Gmail, and Drive.

How do I check how much storage I have left?

Android, iPhone, and iPad:

  • Open the Google Photos app.
  • Tap your account profile photo/initial on the top right.
  • Select ‘Google Photos settings’ > ‘Back up & sync’ > ‘Manage storage’.
  • You’ll see an estimate of how long it’ll take to fill your storage at the top.

Computer:

  • Open the storage management tool.
  • You’ll see an estimate of how long it’ll take to fill your storage at the top.

How do I free up my storage?

Android, iPhone, and iPad:

  • Open the Google Photos app.
  • Tap your account profile photo/initial on the top right.
  • Select ‘Google Photos settings’ > ‘Back up & sync’ > ‘Manage storage’.
  • Under ‘Review and delete’, select a category.
  • Tap ‘Select’ and select the items you want to delete.
  • Tap ‘Move to trash’.

Computer:

  • Open the storage management tool.
  • Under ‘Review and delete’, click a category.
  • Select the items you want to delete.
  • Click ‘Move to trash’.
ADVERTISEMENT

I have a Pixel device. How will this affect me?

If you have a Pixel 5 or earlier device, you will continue to receive free unlimited storage for photos and videos that have been backed up from your Pixel devices.

What will happen to my photos if I have gone over the limit?

  • You will not be able to back up new photos and videos.
  • If you are over the limit for 24 months, your content may be impacted.

How do I buy more storage?

Android, iPhone, and iPad:

  • Open the Google Photos app.
  • Tap your account profile photo/initial on the top right.
  • Select ‘Google Photos settings’ > ‘Back up & sync’ > ‘Buy storage’.
  • Select a plan.

Computer:

  • Open photos.google.com
  • Click the gear icon at the top.
  • Click ‘Buy storage’.
  • Select a plan.

I do not want to buy a plan yet. What can I do?

You can change the quality settings of your photos from ‘Original’ to ‘High’.

What are some alternatives to Google One storage?

  • Microsoft OneDrive: If you use other Microsoft services, OneDrive is a good alternative. You can buy 100 GB of storage for Rs 140/month.
  • Flickr: Get unlimited storage at $5.99 (roughly Rs 436) a month, billed annually.
  • iCloud: A good alternative for Apple users. You can buy 50 GB at Rs 75/month, 200 GB at Rs 219/month, or 2 TB at Rs 749/month.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

ADVERTISEMENT
Published: 
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT