Google Photos will start charging users for used storage space that exceed the 15GB quota. Unlimited storage for high quality photos will no longer be available, starting June 1, 2021. According to Google, high quality and express quality photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021, won’t count toward users Google Account storage. But photos backed up in original quality and then compressed to High quality after June 1, 2021, will count toward users Google Account storage.
Google will also be giving estimates on how long users’ storage may last. The estimates will be based on how often users back up their photos, videos, files, and other content to their Google Accounts.
The recent development seems to be aimed at cajoling more individuals to opt for paid Google One subscriptions. Users who decide that they want more space will have to expand their storage through Google One. Google has made various plans available. In the US, for example, plans start at $1.99 per month for 100 GB of storage. Plans include additional member benefits like access to Google experts, exclusive features like advanced photo editing tools, shared family plans, and more. Also, with Google One, users get cloud storage for Google Photos, along with Google Drive and Gmail, up to 30TB.
Pixel phone owners will enjoy an advantage, as the change will not totally apply to them. According to Google, Pixel phone users will continue to be able to upload their photos and videos in high quality from their devices, even after June 1. But unlike before, they will also not be able to access unlimited storage for their content in its original file size.
As much as Google Photos continues to ensure that it’s users do not run out of space for their photos, videos, files, and memories, it acknowledges that a good number of users won’t reach the limit for years to come. There are also users who have do not use their accounts actively. To this effect, additionally, Google is bringing a policy to delete data from inactive accounts that have not been signed in for at least two years.