Google back in December it will no longer offer free unlimited backups of photos and videos in as of June 1st. After that date, “high quality” media you upload will count towards the 15GB cap that’s shared with Gmail and on standard Google Accounts. Aligned with that move, Google is to Photos.
Starting today, you’ll see a tool in the Photos app that’s designed to help you manage media that counts toward your overall storage quota. The storage management option flags certain things that you might not want to keep on Google Photos, such as large videos, screenshots and blurry photos.
Many users will also see an estimate of how long their free Google Account storage will last. It considers how frequently you back up your files to your account. Google might not provide an estimate if you haven’t uploaded a ton of photos and videos to Photos, if you’re getting close to the storage limit or if you’re using an account provided by an organization or group (such as work, school or family). Google believes that over 80 percent of users will be able to back up high quality photos and videos for another three years with their free 15GB of storage.
Elsewhere, Google is renaming the high quality storage tier to “storage saver,” and it will roll out that change soon. You’ll be able to back up your images using the storage saver option or at the same resolution you took them with (“original quality”). Google says it’s making this change so that storage options in Photos will be easier to understand.
If you run out of free storage and want to upload more photos, you’ll either need to clear out some room or take out a paid Google One storage plan. Google will notify you in the Photos app and by email when you’re getting close to the limit. However, you can upload as many high quality photos and videos as you like until that date without them counting against your cap. They’ll continue to be exempt from your account’s storage limit.
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