Home Technology Google Photos’ unlimited free storage comes to an end in 2021

Google Photos’ unlimited free storage comes to an end in 2021

2 min read

When it comes to online accounts, it’s almost a given that most people will have a Google account in some form. Whether they make use of the company’s dominant Android operating system, or Google’s other excellent online services through Gmail, one of the benefits most Google users get is a generous amount of online storage space in which to back up their photos, videos, and documents.

That generosity is getting downsized. Google has announced in a new blog post that it’ll be ending its unlimited free storage policy for photos and videos, restricting free accounts to 15GB of available space.

Starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account

For Google, the change is understandable given the amount of storage space photos and videos do take up on its services and it must be incredibly expensive for them to keep these massive storage volumes running. Restricting access will help to manage this, and will also provide some more opportunities for monetisation as the company pushes users up to subscribe to its 100GB service, which costs $2 a month. Competitors Apple and Microsoft are already doing this, so it’s only natural that Google does keeps pace with its competition.

If you’re not willing to pay for that and still get more storage, you can also get yourself a Pixel device, which will be exempt from this limit. All data from these devices allow for syncing with Google drive services. Google has also indicated that it will start to remove data from accounts it believe to be inactive to make up some additional space, and if you have been over the 15GB storage threshold for the last two years and haven’t upgraded your Google access, your content may be deleted as well.

The 15GB will not just apply to photos and videos though as all space used on Google drive will need to make use of this same 15GB limit, including all of your either saved Google documents from  Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, or Jamboard.  

Google is planning to make this change on June 1, 2021, and has said that any photos and videos uploaded before this time will be exempt, along with photos that are uploaded using lower quality resolutions rather than high quality.

Last Updated: November 17, 2020

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