Since its launch on May 28, 2015, Google Photos has provided users with free, unlimited storage for high-quality backups of their photos and videos. However, everyone was well aware that over time, restrictions would appear. And then this day has come.
Google changed Photos data retention policy – from June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos will count towards 15GB which Google singles out free of charge for storing files for each account (recall, they are distributed between Gmail, “Drive” and “Photos”), or in the additional volume provided by a paid Google One subscription.
It is worth highlighting three points here: first – photos and videos without loss of quality were taken into account before, so nothing will change for users who have made backup copies of files in their original quality up to this point; the second – high-quality photos and videos uploaded before June 1, 2021, will not be affected and they will continue to be stored for free; third – Pixel owners will continue to be provided with unlimited storage for high-quality files.
In June 2021, Google will also add a new free backup management tool for photos and videos to the Photos app.
Google claims that even after the changes take effect, for more than 80% of users, the free 15GB will last about three more years. The company promises to notify users in the app and via email when storage is running low. At the same time, Google reminds of the subscription Google One, allowing you to get more space for a fee.
Another important change in the service policy is that data from inactive accounts that have not been logged in for at least two years will be automatically deleted.
“If you have not used one or more services for more than two years (24 months), Google may remove content in products in which you are not active. […] Likewise, if you exceed your storage limit by two years, Google can delete your content in Gmail, Drive, and Photos.
We will notify you several times before attempting to remove any content to provide sufficient room for action. The easiest way to keep your account active is to periodically sign in to Gmail, Drive, or Photos through a web browser or mobile device when actively connected to the network. ”
from a Google statement.
- Google Photos now stores over 4 trillion photos and videos, and 28 billion new ones are uploaded every week.