Free services will end one day and slowly will become paid services. That day is here for Google Photos, the super-popular photo and video storage service that came with lucrative unlimited storage and backed by Google’s artificial intelligence magic is moving out of the ‘FREE’ norm. Google Photos is ending the free unlimited high-quality storage benefit for all its users starting June 1, 2021.
As a result, any photos or videos you upload or backup on Google Photos starting June 1, 2020, will count towards the free 15GB storage limit that comes with your Google Account. Yes, its the same free 15GB storage that’s shared between your Gmail, Google Drive and other Google services.
“We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier,” said Google in its official blog.
Ok, so what happens to your existing photos and videos on Google Photos? According to Google, any photos or videos uploaded in high-quality before June 1, 2021, will not count toward your 15GB of free storage. Thus you got around six months to backup all your photos and videos on Google Photos, without hitting the storage limit and paying for the service.
After June 1, 2021, any photos and videos you upload or backup to Google Photos, maybe in high-quality (Google compressed photos) or original quality (un-touched raw photos) will count towards your Google Account storage limit.
According to Google, “once this change does take effect on June 1, 2021, over 80 per cent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with your free 15 GB of storage”.
Neverthless, you could purchase additional storage on Google by subscribing to Google One plans, which starts at Rs 1300 for 100 GB storage for one year. In addition to extra storage, the membership offers access to Google support and regular exclusive benefits from Google and third-party services. Besides, you could also share the purchased storage with your friends and family.
Google is also offering a storage estimate tool which will show how long your storage may last taking into account how frequently you back up photos, videos and other data to your Google Account.
Pixel 1 – 5 gets bailed out
If you have a Google Pixel/XL, Pixel 2/XL, Pixel 3/XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4a or Pixel 5, then you are on luck. The above changes won’t have any impact on these devices. You will get free unlimited storage for your photos and videos uploaded on high-quality to Google Photos even after June 1, 2020. These uploads or backup won’t count towards your Google Account storage limit.
And, if you are one who owns the original first Google Pixel, then you will get free unlimited storage for your photos and videos uploaded on high-quality as well as in original quality to Google Photos even after June 1, 2020.