The best thing about the Google Photos app has been the ability to store all the photos that we click every day on the cloud in high quality for free. This would help free up the internal storage space, especially on budget smartphones. Sadly, that feature is set to go away next year as Google announced it will no longer offer unlimited storage for “high quality” photos from 2021.
Google announced in a blog post that the Photos app will no longer store unlimited ‘high quality’ photos from June 1, 2021, and those uploads will count towards the free 15GB storage Google offers with each account. To get more storage, you will have to pay monthly for a Google One subscription, which starts at Rs 130 for 100GB of storage.
Thankfully, photos uploaded before the June 1 deadline will not count towards the 15GB free storage. To do a quick backup of all your photos before the deadline, simply enable backup and sync in the Google Photos app.
“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,” Shimrit Ben-Yair, Vice President of Google Photos said in the blogpost.
Studying the backup patterns of users, Google said roughly 80 per cent of Photos users won’t exceed the 15GB cap for the next three years after the restriction is implemented. However, you will have to make a conscious choice of which photos to backup from June 1, 2021.
Having said that, if you own a Pixel 2 or later, you will still get the unlimited photo storage option for high-quality photos, while users still on the OG Pixel will continue to get the option to upload unlimited photos at their original resolution, giving yet another reason to buy Pixel phones.
After the policy goes into effect, Google will also rollout a tool to help Photos users manage their backed up photos and videos. The tool will help users review the photos they want to keep, and also suggesting photos that can be deleted. The tool will select photos that are dark, blurry or large in size. Users will also start receiving warnings as the storage starts to become full. Moreover, the app will tell users how many years of storage they have left so that users have an idea how long they can continue uploading photos in high resolution without exceeding the 15GB cap.