Google Vice President Shimrit Ben-Yair announced updates on its storage policy on November 11, notifying users that Google Photos shall discontinue unlimited free storage for users from June 1, 2021.
“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,” Ben-Yair wrote in the blog.
Any existing high-quality photos or videos uploaded before June 1, 2021, will be considered free and will occupy the 15 GB of free storage limit. For this, users can verify backup quality at any time in the Photos app by going to back up & sync in Settings. If the photos and videos are backed up in original quality, these changes will not affect the user. Pixel 1-5 is exempted from this change, even after June 1.
To understand individual impact and usage, a personalized estimate can be viewed for how long the storage may last. This estimate makes a prediction after an evaluation of the frequency of backing up photos, videos and other content to the Google Account. A new free tool in the Photos app shall be provided with the update to manage all backed up photos and videos. This tool will help the user review the memories they want to store while also displaying shots the user might prefer to delete, like dark or blurry photos or large videos.
The storage can be expanded through Google One. Plans start at $1.99 per month in the United States for 100 GB of storage and include additional member benefits like access to Google experts, shared family plans and more.
Five years since launch, Google Photos app hosts more than 4 trillion photos, while 28 billion photos and videos are uploaded to it for storage each week.