Google has announced a major change to its Google Photos storage policy. Effective 1st June 2021, all new uploads of photos and video will take up your existing Google cloud storage and it marks the end of its free unlimited storage feature.
The Google Photos was first introduced in 2015. The unlimited storage was limited to photo quality of up to 16MP and videos of up to Full HD resolution, which is more than good enough for most users.
Once configured, the app will automatically back up all of your photos and videos to the cloud in the background. The service provides users peace of mind knowing that your digital memories are still safe in the event that your phone is damaged or stolen.
According to Google, there are more than 4 trillion photos stored in Google Photos, and 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded each week. It stresses that it is important for it not just being a great product but to continue to meet your needs in the long haul. Therefore, its storage policy has to be updated in order to welcome more memories and to build Google Photos for the future.
To help users optimise storage, Google will introduce a free tool in the Photos app in June 2021 that highlights photos that you might want to delete. This would include dark or blurry photos as well as large videos.
So what happens to your existing photos?
According to Google, any photos and videos that are uploaded in “High Quality” before 1st June 2021 will not utilise the 15GB free storage. Your old uploads will be kept for free and exempted from the storage limit.
Take note that this is only applicable if the images are backed up in “High Quality”. If “Original Quality” is selected, it will take up your storage as usual. You can check your Google Photos Backup and sync settings in the app.
Google Pixel owners not affected
If you own a Google Pixel 1-5, Google says that photos uploaded in High Quality will not be impacted but only if you upload from the Google Pixel device itself. Photos and videos uploaded in High Quality will still be exempted from the new policy change after 1st June 2021.
For early Google Pixel 1-3 owners, you do get to enjoy the unlimited “Original quality” perks for a longer period of time. It is still free for the first Pixel, while Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 owners can still enjoy this benefit until 2021/2022 depending on your device. Google has stopped offering unlimited “Original Quality” storage for newer Pixel models.
What if you need more storage?
By default, Google is still providing 15GB of free storage which is shared for Google Drive, Gmail and Photos. You can upgrade your cloud storage with Google One.
Upgrading to 100GB costs RM8.49/month, followed by 200GB that costs RM11.99/month. If you need even more, you can get 2TB at RM42.99/month, 10TB at RM214.99/month, 20TB at RM429.99/month and 30TB at RM644.99/month.
Since you’re going to use the service in the long run, you can save 17% if you prepay annually for the 2TB plan and below. The 100GB plan is offered for RM84.99/year, 200GB at RM119.99/year and 2TB at RM429.99/year.
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