Google Photos’ unlimited storage terminates next week, but there’s a new tool that might help


Several months ago we learned that Google Photos would be restricting its previously unlimited image uploads to just 15GB per person — the same 15GB that comes free with your Gmail account, no less, so you’re probably already using some of that storage. This is partly a reminder that the 1 June 2021 deadline is fast approaching. If you’ve got several terabytes of memories stored in Google Photos’ cloud, now is the time to do something about them.

What to expect from Google Photos next week

Google is aware that you might have large quantities of images backed up on its service, images that may be given the chop on 1 June when the limitation kicks in. To that end the company has launched a new tool, available through the Photos app, to help you manage your image load. It “…surfaces photos or videos you might want to delete — like blurry photos, screenshots and large videos”, letting you automagically delete images that are not worth looking over.

But you might not have that much to stress about. There are a few exemptions to next week’s data storage cutoff. Images that were uploaded to Google Photos in so-called High quality will not count towards your 15GB storage total, provided they’re uploaded before 1 June 2021. Original quality images, however, will. Google’s also renaming the High-Quality format to Storage Saver, to reflect the new status quo.

And some folks have a similar exemption after the cutoff. BUT… that’s only if you upload those images from a Google Pixel 2, 3, 4, or 5 handsets. Everyone else (i.e. pretty much all of us) will have their images counted towards that 15GB cap after next week, no matter what quality they’re loaded in. The search giant reckons it shouldn’t be an issue, however, as “…more than 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years of memories in High quality with your free 15GB of storage.”


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