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Google Photos’ storage policy will be changed from June 1. How to continue using it for free

Starting June 1, 2021, Google will roll out changes to its High quality storage policy. Users will not have unlimited storage on Google Photos anymore. All new photos and videos you will back up, will count toward the free 15GB of storage — it comes with every Google Account, or the additional storage users have purchased as Google One members. This will help the company to keep pace with the growing demand for storage and build Google Photos for the future, Google says in its blogpost.

However, users can continue using Google Photos for free. Google gave some recommendations on how to extend the free mode and to accept the new rules easier.

What will change?

Your existing High quality photos and videos are exempt from this change. Any photos or videos backed up in High quality before June 1, 2021, will not count toward your Google Account storage. These photos and videos will remain free and exempt from the storage limit.

Also Google is renaming its High quality storage tier to Storage saver, which you’ll start to see soon. While updating the name is still in process, your photos and videos will continue to be stored at the same great quality. As always, you have the control to choose the storage option that works best for you, whether that’s storing more photos and videos with Storage saver or backing them up in the same resolution that you took them with Original quality. 

Will 15GB of storage be enough for me? 

You have a personalized estimate of how long your storage may last. Your estimate takes into account how frequently you back up photos, videos and other content to your Google Account. As your storage nears 15GB, Google will notify you in the app and follow up by email.

“We estimate that more than 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years of memories in High quality with your free 15GB of storage,” the company says. 

If you don’t see an estimate: 

  • you may not have uploaded many photos and videos to Google Photos, 
  • you may be close to your storage limit (making it difficult to predict how many months your remaining storage will last), 
  • your account is provided through work, school, family or another group.

How to continue using Google Photos for free

You have a new, free tool to easily manage your storage quota

This tool was developed for those who want to keep using Photos for free. It helps you easily manage the photos and videos you’ve backed up that count toward your storage quota. The storage management tool surfaces photos or videos you might want to delete — like blurry photos, screenshots and large videos — so you can get the most out of your storage.

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