After it’s initial release in 2015, Google Photos is today ending unlimited storage – replacing it with 15 GB free storage per account spread out between all Google products.
Users that were previously enjoying the unlimited free storage for 6 years, may now find themselves over the new threshold.
For any user that is over the 15 GB limit, Google has set 1st June, 2021 as a cutoff and any data stored before this will not count towards the now limited storage – meaning any data uploaded before today will not be affected by this change.
From the Google Blog: “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 or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member. Your Google Account storage is shared across Drive, Gmail and Photos.”
What happens when you inevitably run out of free storage?
Google One offers paid storage expansion plans ranging from 100 GB (NZ$2.99/month) all the way up to 2 TB (NZ$14.99/month) which can be shared with up to 5 family members.
There are also a number of alternatives like Flickr pro which provide unlimited storage for USD4.99/month and if you are an iOS user, you could always upgrade your iCloud storage, after using up the free 5 GB, to 2 TB for NZ$16.99/month.
How to make the most out of your free storage?
Compressing photos while backing them up to Google Photos will considerably reduce the space they take up and the free storage will last you much longer. The downside to this is that the photos are not backed up in the best possible quality.
Deleting duplicates and unwanted photos before backing up will help declutter and organize the storage while saving you some of those precious GBs.
Both actions can be automatically performed in Google Photo’s settings menu either by choosing the Original Quality or the Storage Saver tab.