Google Photos Important Update: No more free Storage for High-Quality Images

Google Photos Important Update: No more free Unlimited Storage for High-Quality Images in Google Photos

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Today morning I received a mail in my Gmail and saw a mail from Google Photos stating, “Important Update about Google Photos Storage”, and seeing the topic of mail, deep down I felt, it has arrived finally, yes I’ve heard that Google will charge for every Google services that we’re using for free when we will be fully dependent on it. And I think this is one of the very first steps with Google Photos ending its free service for storing unlimited numbers of High-quality backup of photos. Not just the High-Quality Images of Google Photos, but also the files that are created or modified in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard will be counted as the consumption of Free 15GB Storage provided by Google. These changes are taking in effect from June 1, 2021.


Once I read somewhere on the internet, later on, Google is planning to charge even for Gmail, I thought maybe the time hasn’t arrived yet, because we had unlimited storage for high-quality photos and Gmail can work perfectly with few files in the Drive. Though Google Drive there itself can take all the free storage provided by Google. Still, we managed to keep a few important files in drive and seamlessly use Gmail and Google Photos for free with unlimited storage.

But with the recent update that Google is planning to do with Google Photos, it is clearly stated, Google Photos will no longer be free for high-quality images also. And we have to manage the storage from the 15GB free given by Google. Unless we buy more storage from Google One by upgrading our storage plans.

Google One
Google One

This is a win-win move played by Google, as now we’re fully dependent on Google Photos for Cloud storage and to back up our photos. There are lots of benefits of using Google Photos, some of them are:
We can access our photos on any new smartphone where we can sign-in to our Google account. There is no need to wait hours to transfer GigaBytes of Photos to another phone if we replaced or lost our old phone.
We can even access Google Photos in Laptop or PC or tablet or even smartphone from the web version of Google Photos through,
It is also available as a desktop app and for iPhone also to keep backups of photos of those devices.
It was free up to Unlimited Storage for high quality compressed images, so we need not worry about running out of Cloud storage.

Now, a single image that we click on our high-quality smartphones are more than 10-50 MB, and we can’t keep thousands of images to our phone storage alone, as it will also run out of storage if we do so. So the only option was Google Photos cloud storage. Now still, we can add up to 15 GB either original or by compressing them to high-quality images in Google Photos. And if we ran out of that also, we will need to buy more storage from Google One. We can get storage up to 100 GB if we upgrade to Google One.

Google Photos has now more than 4 trillion photos and videos, and every week around 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded to Google Photos.

The mail sent by Google Photos states, from June 1, 2021, all new photos and videos backed up in High quality will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with your Google Account or any additional storage you may have purchased, the same way other Google services like Google Drive and Gmail already do. And same is for Google Docs, Sheets, Slide, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard, after June 1, 2021, if you modify, create or edit any file, they will be added to your storage quota.

And the only exemptions to this update is all photos and videos that were backed up in High quality before June 1, 2021, and this old free unlimited storage will not be counted on Google Account storage.

But what about those countries where people can’t purchase storage from Google One?
We all know Google provides service worldwide, but not in every country people can purchase from international companies like Google, Amazon, etc. Though except China, Google allows every country’s customers to purchase paid apps and games. Problem is not with Google, the problem is in the country’s laws for international payment such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Niger, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Jordan, Ukraine etc. Mostly, Google supports payments in USD from these countries and normal people cannot have international cards to purchase a Google product using the International Card. People cannot keep International Cards without a valid Visa and passport in these countries. So it’s a loss for the people who live in these countries, as they won’t be able to purchase storage from Google One.

When Google Photos will count new photos and videos backed up in high quality towards the free 15GB of storage?
Starting from June 1, 2021, all new photos and videos that you backup will be counted as the consumption of free 15GB storage provided by Google.

Google Photos
Google Photos

Will my Gmail stop working if my Google Storage is full?

Yes, your Gmail won’t be able to receive mail or send, if your Google Storage is full and you may need to delete some emails or photos or files to use it again.


What is included in Google One Storage?

Google One Storage includes all the Google Drive files including Google Docs, Sheet, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard, Gmail and Google Photos.


Do I have to buy new storage from Google One for my older high-quality backup of Photos?

No, you don’t need to buy more storage for backed up photos which are in high quality, but if you have Original Quality images backed up in Google Photos and you don’t change them to High quality from original before June 1, 2021, and you change them to High quality after this update of June 1, 2021, then your images won’t be included in unlimited free storage but will be included in the same 15 GB storage you have. So it will occupy some storage after June 1, 2021, which you could have obtained for free, if you change them to high quality before June 1, 2021.


Does Google recommend anything right away to do for the update of Google Photos?

No, Google says, you can continue to use Google Photos to back up your photos and videos. And they will reach out to their users and send reminders when they are reaching storage limits. And some users might need years before they need to take any kind of action. Though, I recommend you, to change your Photos to high quality before June 1, 2020.


When will I reach my free 15 GB of storage?

You can check your available storage from Google One app or Google Drive app. It can take years for some, but it can happen in a day if you have large videos and thousands of Photos to backup or any kind of file.


How much I’ve to pay to buy storage from Google One?

You can buy 100 GB for $1.99/month, 200GB for $2.99/month and 2TB for $9.99/month
Or if you prepay annually, you can get 100GB for $19.99/year, 200GB for $29.99/year and 2TB for $99.99/year.

Will I loss my files stored in Google Storage cloud if I cancel or don’t renew my Google One Subscription?

Yes, you won’t be able to access those files stored in Google Storage if you downgrade or cancel or do not renew your storage plan. Although, Google says it takes 57 days


What can I do to manage my storage?

Right now, you can change your Photos from Original to High quality if your storage is consumed by Photos and if your storage is consumed by other files and unwanted photos and mails, you can delete them manually to free up storage.


Google has also updated how our inactivity will impact on our files and backups that we have stored in Google account.

What happens to my files if I don’t use my Google Drive or Gmail or Google Photos for many years?

As per the new update of June 1, 2021, if you do not use Gmail or Google Drive that also includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Jamboard, Drawings and Forms or Google Photos for 2 years, your content within the inactive product(s) may be deleted after providing you with advanced reasonable notice.
But if you’re a Google One member with no outstanding payment or quota issues, you will be able to keep those files and backup even if you’re not really using them actively, the only thing you need to do is a payment to your subscription on time. You will be considered active and no files will be deleted.

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What happens if my Storage Quota on Google Storage is full?

If you have consumed your storage quota in Google Storage, then you can’t upload or backup new files or videos or images to Google Drive or Google Photos or send or receive mail in Gmail. Only up to June 1, 2021, you can continue to create or modify files in Docs, Sheets, Slides, Jamboard, Drawings and Forms and create a back up of High quality and Express quality photos and videos in Google Photos, even if you are over quota. But after June 1, 2021, you won’t be able to do that also. It will also impact the collaborative content-creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard. You won’t be able to create any file in these apps until you buy more storage or delete unwanted files in Google Storage. Not just you but no one will be able to edit your affected files, and also you won’t be able to add or copy existing content. Though you will be still able to sign into and access your Google Account. And if you have been over your storage and you decided to stay without upgrading your storage quota for 2 years, your content in Gmail, Google Drive (including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files) and Google Photos may be deleted.

This is a big update of Google and will affect millions of users, those who relied on Google for the true use of the free Internet, otherwise without the free internet services and products many people won’t be able to utilise it easily. Though still there is 15GB, it won’t be much for everyone who uses internet and Google products in a day to day life. Many organizations including Google has been trying to provide free internet facilities, but will it be really free if we can’t pay for the services provided by them due to some issues? What are your thoughts on this, you can comment down below?