One of the most beloved features of Google Photos, unlimited backups at reduced high quality, is going away next year. With effect from June 1, 2021, new images and videos you upload to Google Photos will count towards the free 15 GB of storage offered with every Google Account.
The change will not impact media files you’ve already uploaded to Google Photos. As a result, photos and videos you’ve uploaded in high quality before June 1 will remain available and will not affect the 15GB storage limit. “This change allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage…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,” says Google in a blog post.
Google Photos’ new storage policy doesn’t affect Pixel phone users. The company will continue to offer unlimited uploads in high quality if you have a Pixel (1-5). With this decision, Google just gave customers yet another reason to buy Pixel phones. However, it is not as appealing as Google’s previous offer that had unlimited original quality uploads on Pixel devices.
To help users with this transition, Google will offer a free tool to easily manage backed up photos and videos. With this tool available next year, you can easily review and delete large photos, dark photos, and blurry images. You can also consider switching to Google One if you need more storage and exclusive filters.
With over 4 trillion photos and over 28 billion new photos and videos uploaded every week, Google Photos is the go-to solution for a wide range of users to back up their memories without worrying about data caps. In retrospect, the decision seems inevitable and I’m glad Google didn’t impose the limit for over five years.