Google Photos is ending free unlimited storage from next week.
After June 1, any photos uploaded to the app will count towards the 15GB of free cloud storage that Google gives every account holder.
If you want to use more than that, you’ll have to start paying for more storage.
However, any photos uploaded before next Tuesday will continue to be hosted for free. So if you want to offload most of your pictures to the cloud – now’s the time.
According to the company, more than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, and every week 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded.
‘Your Google Account storage is shared across Drive, Gmail and Photos. This change also allows us to keep pace with the growing demand for storage,’ explained Shimrit Ben-Yair, vice president for Google Photos at Google.
‘And, as always, we uphold our commitment to not use information in Google Photos for advertising purposes,’ he continued.
‘We know this is a big shift and may come as a surprise, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this easier.’
If you’re someone that shoots a lot of video or takes a lot of pictures, you’re going to hit a 15GB storage limit pretty quickly. So it may be wise to invest in an external drive as a safe backup.
Or be prepared to pay Google for more cloud storage space.
Do I need to back up my Google Photos?
Backing up photos saved on the cloud is always a good idea. If possible, keep them offline on an external hard drive. Or, alternatively, saved on your computer.
However, Google has made clear that all existing photos and videos on Google Photos will remain there even after the unlimited storage comes to an end.
‘Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward your 15GB of free storage,’ Ben-Yair said.
‘This means that photos and videos backed up before June 1, 2021 will still be considered free and exempt from the storage limit.’
He added: ‘Once this change does take effect on June 1, 2021, over 80 percent of you should still be able to store roughly three more years worth of memories with your free 15 GB of storage.
‘As your storage nears 15 GB, we will notify you in the app and follow up by email.’
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