Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will from next year start charging for Google Photos storage after exceeding 15GB on the account. The company has offered free unlimited photo backups for the past five years at a high quality, but from June 1, 2021 users will have to pay for additional photo storage on Google One if they want to save more photos exceeding the 15GB limit.
Google capping free photo storage at 15GB
The Google Drive policy change comes with other changes such as counting Google Workspace spreadsheets and documents against the same cap. The company has also introduced a new policy whereby it will delete data form accounts that have been inactive for at least two years.
Most importantly, documents and photos uploaded before June 1, 2021, will not count against the limit. Therefore users have a lot of time to consider whether they will be using Google Photos, or they will need to switch to another cloud storage provider. Photos uploaded after June 1, 2021, will count against the cap. But the policy change doesn’t affect pixel smartphone users who will continue uploading high-quality photos to Google Photos beyond June 2021 without caps. Although the deal is not as good as the original deal of unlimited original quality photos for Pixel users, it is still a bonus for those using Google devices.
Google still offers more free storage than rivals
Google has been counting “original quality” photo uploads versus the storage cap but taking away the free unlimited backup for “high quality” photos takes way the most significant selling points of the service. However, Google argues that it still gives more free storage than other cloud providers such as Apple who gives just 5GB. The company also said that around 80% of the Google Photos users would not reach the $15GB limit before three years.
According to the company, they want to bring their policies in line with industry standards. The company is also adding new storage management tools to Google Photos that will make it easier to delete photos that you don’t need.